Viktor Arvidsson scored two goals Saturday night, including what proved to be the game-winner late in the second period, as the Nashville Predators beat the Islanders, 4-3, in New York’s home opener.
Mattias Ekholm and Craig Smith scored in between Arvidsson’s goals for the Predators, who won both games on a season-opening New York trip and will face the Calgary Flames in Nashville’s home opener on Tuesday.
Goalie Juuse Saros made 26 saves, including seven in a scoreless third period, as the Predators hung on to their narrow lead.
Mathew Barzal, Valtteri Filppula and Anders Lee scored for the Islanders, who beat the Carolina Hurricanes in the season opener for both teams Thursday night and will host the San Jose Sharks on Monday.
Goalie Thomas Greiss, making his second straight start, recorded 19 saves.
The Predators went ahead 3:42 into the first, when Filip Forsberg’s clearing pass from deep in the Nashville zone hit Arvidsson in stride around center ice. Arvidsson skated up the right side of the ice in a 1-on-3 situation but deked out Ryan Pulock, who fell to the ice as Arvidsson descended upon Greiss and beat him from point-blank range.
The Islanders tied the game at 12:01, when Josh Bailey won a puck battle behind the net and dished a no-look pass to Barzal, who tapped the puck under Saros’ legs as he swooped upon him.
A Predators win of a faceoff in the neutral zone led to the go-ahead goal by Ekholm, whose shot sailed under the glove of Greiss with 3:04 left in the period.
The Islanders tied the score 2:46 into the second, when Filppula tapped in the rebound of a shot by Tanner Fritz.
The Predators scored two goals in a span of 3:42 late in the period. Smith scored the go-ahead goal at 13:30 when his shot sailed past a sprawling Johnny Boychuk and over Greiss’ glove.
Nashville doubled the lead at 16:42, when Arvidsson, stationed at the doorstep, took a pass from Ryan Johansen and fired a shot past Greiss, who was screened by teammate Bailey.
Lee pulled the Islanders within one by scoring a power-play goal with 29 seconds remaining, when he put back the rebound of his own shot.
—Field Level Media