April 16, 2019 / 4:49 AM / 6 days ago

Predators slip past Stars, take series lead

EditorsNote: rewords fifth graf

Apr 15, 2019; Dallas, TX, USA; A view of the arena before the game between the Dallas Stars and the Nashville Predators in game three of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Mikael Granlund’s goal midway through the third period broke a deadlock, and Pekka Rinne sparkled in net as the visiting Nashville Predators claimed a 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars on Monday night and took the lead in their opening round Western Conference playoff series.

The Stars had all the momentum, and not just because they had erased a two-goal deficit, when Granlund sent a long wrist shot that somehow beat Ben Bishop with 8:19 left on the clock.

The Predators held on the rest of the way thanks to Rinne to take a 2-1 edge in the best-of-seven series. Rinne made 40 saves, including a mammoth stop on Jamie Benn right after the Stars made it a 2-2 game.

Game 4 will be Wednesday in Dallas.

After a scoreless yet action-packed first period, Nashville’s Rocco Grimaldi opened the scoring at 3:29 of the middle frame with the kind of goal Bishop doesn’t often surrender. Grimaldi, a scratch in the series opener, shot from the side boards and it banked into the net off the inside of Bishop’s arm. It was the second goal in as many games for Grimaldi.

Despite Dallas controlling play — thanks in large part to an 89-second, five-on-three power play — Filip Forsberg doubled the Nashville lead at 14:35 of the second when he received a long-bomb pass and converted a deke.

The Stars kept pushing and were rewarded when Mats Zuccarello put them on the board with 2:49 remaining in the middle period. He converted a breakaway of his own for his second goal of the playoffs.

Then Tyler Seguin tied the game with 11:45 remaining in regulation. While his linemates Benn and Alexander Radulov won the puck in a rugby scrum behind the net, Seguin cruised untouched into the crease and one-timed a feed to make it a 2-2 game.

Bishop stopped 25 shots for Dallas.

Before the game, the Predators announced both Wayne Simmonds (lower body) and Brian Boyle (appendix procedure) would be out of action on a week-to-week basis.

—Field Level Media

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