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Nashville Predators 3, Dallas Stars 1

by John Manasso / Nashville Predators

NASHVILLE -- Carter Hutton made 33 saves for his second straight win, and David Legwand and Shea Weber each had a two-point game when the Nashville Predators defeated the Dallas Stars 3-1 at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday.

Hutton last recorded back-to-back wins on Nov. 2 and 6. He has stopped 61 of the past 63 shots he's faced, including a 4-1 victory against the New York Rangers on Tuesday, which was his first start since Nov. 10.

Dallas lost its second straight and is 1-2-1 in its past four, leaving the teams tied in the Central Division with 33 points.

After the first 18 minutes of the first period passed by scoreless, the teams combined for three goals in the final 1:53. Dallas got on the board first when the Predators' defensive coverage broke down. Stars forward Erik Cole won the puck behind the net then skated out in front alone and lifted a backhand over Hutton at 18:07.

The game turned when the Stars took two quick penalties. First, Shawn Horcoff high-sticked Nashville defenseman Kevin Klein, and seven seconds later Dallas' Brenden Dillon shot the puck over the glass, earning a delay of game.

Nashville took the lead on the power plays. David Legwand, from below the right circle, found Patric Hornqvist open in the slot, and Hornqvist wristed a shot past Kari Lehtonen at 19:02 on the 5-on-3. Hornqvist's goal was his seventh, tying him for the team lead.

Twenty-eight seconds later on a 5-on-4, Legwand put a rebound of Roman Josi's shot from the left point into an open net.

Weber had the secondary assist on each goal. Ten of his 15 points have come on the power play, tying him with Legwand for the team lead.

At 9:14 of the second, Nashville's Paul Gaustad, known more for his defensive prowess and for winning faceoffs than any fancy moves, scored a gorgeous goal with a delayed penalty called against the Stars and Hutton pulled for an extra attacker.

Gaustad was the trailer on the rush up the ice, and Colin Wilson found him wide open skating down the left side. Lehtonen came out to challenge Gaustad, but the big center faked around the goalie and sent the puck high into an open net to make it 3-1.

In the Predators' win Tuesday, Gaustad had a goal and two assists. He has seven points this season.

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