March 7, 2018 / 4:06 AM / 9 months ago

Predators top Stars for club-record 9th straight win

The Nashville Predators set a franchise record Tuesday night with a little help from their big trade deadline acquisition.

Ryan Hartman broke a scoreless tie early in the third period with his second game-winning goal since joining the club just over a week ago, and Pekka

Rinne stopped 26 shots for his seventh shutout in a 2-0 defeat of the Dallas Stars at sold-out Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.

Hartman, who was picked up on Feb. 26 from Chicago, potted a tie-breaking goal in the last minute of his first game with the Predators the next night in Winnipeg. He provided the only goal they would need at 5:33 of the third period.

Linemates Colton Sissons and Austin Watson shook the puck free in the left circle. Hartman got time and space to load up a backhander and slotted it over the stick side of KarI Lehtonen for his 10th goal of the season.

Lehtonen played an excellent game otherwise, making 32 saves, including a great pad stop on a Ryan Johansen breakaway late in the first period.

Lehtonen was playing for the second straight night after starter Ben Bishop was injured Monday night in the first period of a 3-2 overtime loss to Ottawa.

But Lehtonen’s efforts weren’t enough to keep Nashville from bagging its ninth straight win, a new club record, and staying six points ahead of Winnipeg in the Central Division.

Both teams earned plenty of man-advantage time in the first two periods, getting four chances each. However, goaltending and defense kept the game scoreless. Lehtonen came up big when necessary, and also got some help from a crossbar that denied Sissons on a Grade A chance.

Rinne didn’t see as much rubber, but stood tall for his 36th win. His biggest save came just over a minute into the third period when he stoned former teammate Alexander Radulov on a gilt-edged opportunity.

Dallas emptied its net in the last minute, but Nick Bonino applied the killing blow with an empty-net marker at 19:46. It made him the 10th Predator to score 10 goals this season.

—Field Level Media

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