March 30, 2019 / 2:03 AM / 6 months ago

Predators, Rinne (42 saves) shut down Penguins

The Nashville Predators scored in each period and goaltender Pekka Rinne was sharp Friday in a 3-1 victory over the host Pittsburgh Penguins.

Mar 29, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Nashville Predators center Ryan Johansen (92) skates with the puck ahead of Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Justin Schultz (4) during the first period at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Craig Smith and P.K. Subban each had a goal and an assist, and Viktor Arvidsson also scored for Nashville (44-28-6), which won its second in a row and is 5-1-1 in its past seven.

Rinne matched a season best with 42 saves.

Nick Bjugstad scored for Pittsburgh (42-25-11), and Matt Murray made 23 saves.

Nashville, which already had clinched a playoff spot, pulled even with first-place Winnipeg in the Central Division at 94 points each.

Pittsburgh is five points behind first-place Washington and two points behind the New York Islanders in the Metropolitan Division.

Nashville took a 1-0 lead at 1:35 of the first. Matt Irwin let loose a shot from the left point. Smith, in the circle, got it past Murray with a long, bouncing redirection for his 20th goal. It’s Smith’s fifth season with 20 or more goals.

Rinne made 22 saves in the first period.

Arvidsson notched his 100th career goal to make it 2-0 at 17:36 of the second. On a power play, he and Subban played give-and-go high in the Pittsburgh zone before Arvidsson wristed a shot from the left circle that was screened by teammate Brian Boyle and the Penguins’ Erik Gudbranson.

It was Arvidsson’s career-high 32nd goal of the season, coming in 54 games, and his first in five games. Ryan Johansen picked up the other assist, giving him 50.

Inside the final two minutes of the second, Rinne made a big save to keep the Penguins from halving the lead. Patric Hornqvist dove to push the puck ahead to

Jake Guentzel on a breakaway, but Rinne got his glove on Guentzel’s shot from the slot.

Subban made it 3-0 on a knuckling shot from the right point at 17:28 of the third.

Bjugstad spoiled Rinne’s shutout bid with a wraparound goal with 1:03 left in regulation and Murray pulled.

—Field Level Media

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