TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Rookie Anders Lindback made 42 saves to help Nashville sweep a pair of weekend road games with a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday night.
Lindback made in-close saves on Vincent Lecavalier and Ryan Malone during the second and stopped Lecavalier on a third-period breakaway.
Shea Weber, Sergei Kostitsyn, Cody Franson and Colin Wilson scored for the Predators, who are the only NHL team (5-0-3) not to have a loss in regulation this season. Nashville was coming off a 1-0 victory Saturday night in Dallas, where Pekka Rinne made 30 saves.
Tampa Bay got goals from Sean Bergenheim, Martin St. Louis and Adam Hall. Dan Ellis took the loss in his first game against his former team.
After Weber scored from the left circle 11:54 into the first, Kostitsyn gave the Predators 2-1 lead on an in-close rebound goal with 4:56 left in the period.
Bergenheim skated alone down the slot off a pass from Pavel Kubina and scored on Lindback's stick side as the Lightning went up 1-0 at 6:30 of the first.
Franson made it 3-1 during a breakaway with 2:05 to go in the second. The goal came after Lindback stopped Victor Hedman's shot from the slot.
|Since the start of Training Camp, Head Coach Barry Trotz has been stressing detail to the Preds game … the need for the players to make the little plays, make the correct reads, and win the one-on-one individual battles. Tonight it was Steve Sullivan who won a pair of one-on-one battles within the final 20 seconds of the game to help Nashville hold off Tampa Bay’s late surge.
With 18.5 seconds left in the game, Sullivan beat the speedy Martin St. Louis in a footrace for an icing call. Sullivan got ahead of St. Louis and then dove toward the puck to negate the potential icing and force the Lightning to have to bring the puck back down ice.
Sullivan continued with the play, hustling back to his skates and rejoining his defensive zone responsibilities. With 3.5 seconds remaining in regulation he beat Steven Stamkos to a loose rebound in front of the Preds net and chopped a clearing attempt off the sideboards and out of the zone, allowing the clock to run out before the Lightning could regroup.
Neither of those plays show up in the score sheet or on any stats tally, but both were integral in allowing Nashville to skate away with a regulation win tonight.
--Jay Levin, NashvillePredators.com
Wilson extended the Predators' lead to 4-1 with 5:50 left in the third. Tampa Bay pulled to 4-3 when St. Louis (15:01) and Hall (15:58) scored 57 seconds apart.
Steven Stamkos assisted on St. Louis' goal, giving him five assists and nine points during a four-game points streak. Stamkos was shaken up with 3:07 left in the third when he was checked into the end boards by Martin Erat, who received a minor penalty for cross-checking.
It was just the 15th meeting, with seven coming in Florida, between the teams. Nashville (2-3-2-0) had won just once previously at Tampa Bay, a 3-0 victory on March 24, 1999.
NOTES: Lightning LW Simon Gagne (stiff neck) missed his second consecutive game. ... Nashville RW J-P Dumont, who left Saturday night with a lower-body injury, was in the lineup. ... The Predators arrived at their Tampa hotel around 3 a.m. ... Nashville C Jerred Smithson played in his 400th NHL game and assisted on Kostitsyn's goal to stop a 19-game points drought. ... The Pittsburgh Penguins, off until Wednesday night's game with the Lightning, practiced in Tampa.