EditorsNote: Tweaks to second graf, last graf
Goaltender Pekka Rinne recorded 42 saves in his return to the lineup as the visiting Nashville Predators remained undefeated on the road, beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 on Thursday.
Leading 2-1 late in the third period, Nashville added to the lead when Calle Jarnkrok scored his third goal of the season at 16:42 off a pass from Ryan Johansen, who had a two-assist game and has 13 helpers.
Miikka Salomaki scored an empty-net marker 54 seconds later for his second goal of the season.
Kyle Turris and Roman Josi also had tallies for the Predators, who improved to 6-0-0 on the road and 8-0-0 when scoring first.
The game was a matchup of the two top point-collecting teams — Nashville entered with an NHL-high 18 through 12 games, Tampa Bay with 17 in 11 contests.
Slater Koekkoek scored for Tampa Bay, which had its four-game home winning streak snapped, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 20 saves.
Injuries were a key issue as Rinne, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner as the league’s top goalie, returned after missing five games after he collided with teammate Kevin Fiala in an Oct. 19 game in Calgary.
Top-line right winger Viktor Arvidsson, Nashville’s third-leading scorer, did not play due to a lower-body injury.
Victor Hedman, last year’s Norris Trophy winner as the NHL’s top defenseman, missed his third game for the Lightning as did left winger Ondrej Palat, but the team was coming off an impressive 8-3 win over New Jersey.
Nashville put a pair past Vasilevskiy in a first period that saw the visitors outshoot the Lightning 15-13.
Turris had an incredible deflection at 6:02 for a 1-0 Nashville lead while tied up in the slot with defenseman Braydon Coburn. Turris reached around Coburn and tipped in a long shot by Mattias Ekholm for his third goal.
Josi took a nifty, spinning pass from Johansen and buried his third goal with under seven seconds remaining in the period for a 2-0 edge.
Playing in place of Hedman, Koekkoek scored his first goal at 14:21 of the second when he ripped a shot from the left circle over Rinne’s glove to make it 2-1 as Tampa Bay outshot Nashville 17-4 in the period.
The Lightning continued the third-period pressure, outshooting the Predators 13-5 in the final 20 minutes to no avail. For the game, Tampa Bay fired 43 shots on goal compared to 24 for Nashville.
—Field Level Media