P.K. Subban scored twice as the Nashville Predators defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 on Monday night at Bridgestone Arena. The Predators are now 11-8-4 all-time against the Lightning, including 8-4-1 at home, and the Preds have won six consecutive home games against Tampa Bay.
The victory moves Nashville to 6-1-1 at home this season and 8-7-3 overall, kicking off their three-game home stand exactly how they planned.
"I thought it was one of our best games of the season against a really good team," goaltender Pekka Rinne said. "We didn't really give them too much life, even in the third period. We did a really good job at just handling their skill and at the end there, a few penalties and they got one, but we did a really good job."
Video: Subban, Rinne lead Preds to 3-1 win
"Tonight, we brought the A-game," winger Filip Forsberg said. "Performance [and] effort, I think that's the biggest thing. Just to work hard and be ready to play."
Twice as Nice:
Video: TBL@NSH: Subban blisters one-timer for PPG
One simply wasn't enough.
P.K. Subban gave the Predators a 2-0 lead at 9:55 of the second period on the power play, and less than four minutes later, he did it again. Both came on shots from the point, the first marker especially booming as it went through the five hole of Ben Bishop. It was Subban's first multi-goal effort since October of 2014.
Now on a three-game point streak, Subban, who admitted earlier in the season it was taking some time for him to feel completely comfortable on the ice in his new surroundings, appears to be hitting his stride as of late.
Video: TBL@NSH: Subban wires home his second of the night
"I don't know why, but when the puck finds its way in the net, sometimes it gives you a boost of confidence and I just had the bounces today and tried to put the puck at the net," Subban said. "I needed to have a better game today, and I think as a group, we knew we could play better and we did that."
"That's a key moment in the second period - quick, huge two goals and that changed the game," goaltender Pekka Rinne said. "He played a good game, he battles hard and I think that's all the things that we are expecting from him and you can see that on the ice. He was pretty fired up out there after those two goals as was everybody else."
Video: Peter Laviolette likes his defense's play in 3-1 win
Subban and his defense partner, Mattias Ekholm, are also continuing to mesh as a pairing, something Head Coach Peter Laviolette noted earlier in the day, revealing in his postgame press conference a meeting he had with the duo prior to Monday night's game.
"I had a conversation with Ekky and P.K. today, because to me, there seems to be more chemistry," Laviolette said. "I think they're understanding the ice together. They both have the ability to be dynamic players on the ice, and I think they're understanding how to use each other in that manner. The last few games have looked really good to me."
"One of Our Best Games of the Season"
Video: Subban, Forsberg, Rinne reflect on another home win
With the exception of a rough third period in St. Louis on Saturday night, Laviolette stated he was pleased with his club's play as of late, and it carried right over into the victory over Tampa Bay, a game in which Nashville held their opponents off the scoresheet until the final minute of play.
The win provided a clear confidence boost to a Preds team that has been finding those sorts of things more often than not as of late.
"We are in a position where we need all the points we can get, all the wins," Rinne said. "We need to keep building our confidence and going to keep rolling. We are going to face Dallas next; this is our division rival and a really big game. That's going to be a really big challenge for us, but for sure, when you beat the Tampa Bay Lightning, it's always a big win and you can enjoy that for a bit.
Prior to his postgame media availability, Head Coach Peter Laviolette provided a statement on the tragic school bus crash in Chattanooga earlier in the day: "Our thoughts and prayers are with all the families of the kids and parents; such a tragic thing, having kids myself, it's really tough, so we're praying for all of them tonight."
Forward Colin Wilson returned to the lineup on Monday after missing Saturday's game with an upper-body injury.
Defenseman Ryan Ellis recorded three assists against the Lightning, a career high for one game. Ellis also tied his career high with three points in the contest.
With his 145th career assist, defenseman Roman Josi is now tied with Cliff Ronning and Greg Johnson for ninth on the franchise's all-time assist list.
The Preds continue their Thanksgiving home stand on Wednesday night when they welcome the Dallas Stars to Bridgestone Arena.