The Boston Bruins used three goals in the first period and three goals in the final period to upend the Nashville Predators in a 6-2 win on Monday night in Nashville.
Jarome Iginla started things off early as he tipped a Zdeno Chara shot past Carter Hutton at the 1:16 mark of the first period. Less than five minutes later, the Bruins would chase Hutton after Matt Fraser tallied his first goal of the year. The three-goal period was completed when Reilly Smith roofed a shot over Marek Mazanec while Seth Jones was serving a hooking penalty at 10:47.
Craig Smith jump-started things for the Preds in the middle frame when he slammed home a rebound on the power play at 11:35. The Preds power play continued to click, as Jones and Ryan Ellis worked the man advantage along the blueline before Smith buried a Jones shot.
It was Smith again early in the third, as he pulled Nashville within one just over three minutes into the final frame with his team-leading 10th goal of the season. Nick Spaling and Shea Weber collected the assists on the play.
The Preds would lose the momentum built off Smith’s goals less than two minutes later when the Bruins tallied two power-play goals – one five-on-three and one five-on-four – in a 49-second span.
With Gabriel Bourque serving a too many men on the ice call and Paul Gaustad serving a cross-checking minor, Carl Soderberg tallied his fifth goal of the season at 5:01, before Iginla notched his second of the night en route to First Star honors.
Brad Marchand would finish the three-goal period at 15:54 with his eighth marker of the season. Nashville will now have a three-day break before heading to Dallas on Friday night to take on the Stars.
Two Big Things and Notes:
Power-play Prowess: With Craig Smith’s second-period power-play goal, Nashville has now scored a power-play goal in six straight contests with eight of their last 14 goals coming on the man advantage. After going one-for-two on the night, the Preds power play now ranks seventh overall in the NHL, converting on 21.6 percent of their man-advantage opportunities this season. Nashville is now 13-3-2 when it scores a power-play goal. Shea Weber leads the team with 13 points (7g-6a) on the power-play.
Weber and Smith Again: It’s beginning to sound like a broken record with postgame notes in Nashville, as Shea Weber and Craig Smith continue to find the scoresheet for the Preds. Weber (9g-12a) and Smith (10g-11a) are now tied for second in team scoring.
Weber posted an assist on Smith’s second goal on Monday night, extending his point streak to six-games (2g-6a-8pts) – the longest such streak by a Predator player this season. Smith jumped into Nashville’s goal-scoring lead with his third multi-goal game of the season, and second in his last three games – he owns three of Nashville’s five two-goal performances this season. Three of Smith’s last six goals have come on the power play.
GETTING THEIR SHOTS: Sixteen of Nashville’s 18 skaters attempted a shot (including misses and attempts blocked) as the Predators put up double digits in shots on goal in each period for the first time in seven games (Dec. 7 at Washington).
SCORING DEPTH: Nashville now has 13 skaters with at least 10 points – only Chicago and Vancouver (five each) have more than Nashville’s four defensemen in the double digits.
Seth Jones earned an assist on Craig Smith’s first goal, moving him in a four-way tie for 18th in points (11) among rookie defensemen.
Nick Spaling has matched his 2012-13 point total (9G-4A in 47 GP), accomplishing the feat in 14 fewer games (6G-7A in 33 GP).
Eric Nystrom’s fighting major was his third such penalty of the season (last on Nov. 15 at Pittsburgh).