Roman Josi scored twice on the power play, and the Nashville Predators defeated the Boston Bruins by a 3-2 final on Monday night at TD Garden. Viktor Arvidsson scored the go-ahead goal late in regulation, and Carter Hutton stopped 15 shots for his third victory of the season.
“It’s great, I don’t think we ever waivered,” Hutton said. “We were pretty confident the whole time; even in that stretch when we were struggling, I don’t think anyone lost confidence in the way we were playing. We needed a night like this to get the results, and I thought we stepped up big time.”
Boston struck first 4:13 in when Kevan Miller sent a puck to the front of the net, which deflected off a skate and over the shoulder of Carter Hutton for a 1-0 lead. Before the opening stanza was out, the Preds went on a 4-on-3 power play, and Roman Josi extended his point streak to four games. Mike Ribeiro found Josi in the left circle and the Nashville defenseman wristed a shot past Jonas Gustavsson to even the score at 1-1 headed into the first intermission.
Loui Eriksson put the Bruins back in the lead with a power-play goal in the second, but Josi took matters into his own hands on a Nashville man advantage 27 seconds later. The Swiss blueliner collected the puck on the near-side boards and drove to the net, reminiscent of a power forward move, and slid the biscuit over the line to even things up once more.
The score remained even through much of the final frame, until Arvidsson executed a beautiful individual effort, deking around a Boston defender and then Gustavsson, leaving a yawning cage in which to deposit the game winning goal with 4:56 remaining in the contest. Hutton and the Preds staved off a final Bruins push to hang on for the 3-2 victory.
“We thought we played some really good games lately and kind of found a way to lose and tonight we found a way to win that game,” Josi said. “We stayed disciplined tonight and it was a good win.”
(Only) Two for Josi:
Roman Josi almost recorded a Gordie Howe hat trick (one goal, one assist and one fight), but two power-play goals might be even better. The 25-year-old tallied twice with the man advantage for the Preds, with his second marker reminiscent of a rather famous goal from legendary Bruins defenseman Bobby Orr, flying through the air as the puck slid past an outstretched Gustavsson.
“I had a lot of space; I think their D tried to clear and was out of position, and I saw an empty lane to the net so I decided pretty quick I’m going to take it to the net and hopefully something good happens,” Josi said. “I did fly, but I think their D ended up putting it in.”
It’s been quite a stretch for the No. 1 defensive pairing of Josi and Shea Weber; the Preds Captain potted three power-play goals of his own on Saturday against Detroit for his first career hat trick - and the first hat trick by a blueliner in Predators franchise history - although Josi was playfully instructed to stop at two on Monday.
“He told me after the second one ‘don’t get another one, I want to be the only [defenseman] in franchise history [to score a hat trick],’ so I wasn’t allowed to score anymore,” Josi joked. “Our D corps is trying to add to the offense and lately they’ve been going in for us.”
Josi also participated in his first NHL scrap with Brad Marchand. Josi scored the takedown after the short scuffle, but don’t expect him to make a habit of the rough stuff.
“It was a short fight; it was my first fight and I tried to not get beat up, so it was all right,” Josi said.
As long as two points come along, the Preds are pleased with whatever Josi can bring to the scoresheet.
“He was terrific,” Head Coach Peter Laviolette said of Josi. “The puck was in his hands all night, he was up and down the ice, goals, a fight, a good game for him. It was really good.”
“He’s such a great player, we know how good he is, and to see him scrap, you don’t see that too often,” Hutton said. “But he kept his composure, comes back and scores two huge goals for us and that’s obviously a difference maker.”
Peter Laviolette on Carter Hutton:
“He’s been great. He was supposed to get a start earlier, but he was banged up, but for him to come back and get back on the ice and get a big win for us, it was important.”
Two more goals for the Preds defensive unit and a game-winner from Viktor Arvidsson are shown on the scoring diagram.
Infographic: Preds Ruin The Bruins
Shea Weber recorded two assists versus the Bruins, the seventh consecutive game he's tallied against Boston.
Eric Nystrom briefly left the contest to receive several stitches following a fight, but returned for the third period.
Monday's win was the Predators first in Boston since Nov. 28, 2003.
The Preds are back in action on Tuesday (at 7:30 p.m. CT) to face their division and recent playoff rival the Chicago Blackhawks.