February 14, 2020 / 3:52 AM / 13 days ago

Smith's hat trick leads Predators past Islanders

Craig Smith scored his first career hat trick and the Nashville Predators routed the visiting New York Islanders 5-0 on Thursday night.

Feb 13, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; New York Islanders right wing Josh Bailey (12) has the puck taken from him by Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi (59) during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Predators goalie Juuse Saros made 31 saves for his second shutout of the season and ninth of his career.

Rocco Grimaldi had a goal and an assist, and Mattias Ekholm also scored for the Predators, who were 1-5-0 in their past six home games.

Smith has five goals in his past three games and 16 on the season.

New York goalie Thomas Greiss was pulled at 13:33 of the first period after allowing three goals on eight shots. Semyon Varlamov came on and made 16 saves.

The Islanders had won two straight and five-of-seven (5-1-1).

Smith made it 1-0 just 35 seconds into the game when he stole the puck from New York’s Nick Leddy in the Islanders’ zone and beat Greiss from a tough angle along the goal line.

The score was 2-0 after Grimaldi won a battle for the puck behind Greiss and fed out to Smith, who scored on a high wrister from the slot at 7:41.

Nashville went ahead 3-0 when Ekholm finished off a 3-on-2 rush with a shot from the left circle. That was all for Greiss, who allowed eight goals on 23 shots in two appearances this season against Nashville.

Grimaldi made it 4-0 when he stole a pass at center ice, carried it in and scored on a wrist shot from the right circle.

Smith completed the hat trick and ended the scoring when he converted a pass in the slot from Roman Josi at 11:38 of the second period.

—Field Level Media

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