NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Anders Lindback is making shutouts seem easy.
Lindback made 28 saves to record his second consecutive blanking, and Patric Hornqvist had two goals to lead the Nashville Predators to a 5-0 victory over the New York Islanders on Monday night.
The Predators have won three straight and are 6-0-2 in their last eight games. New York has lost six in a row and 20 of 21 (1-17-3).
Lindback made it back-to-back shutouts two nights after stopping 22 shots in a win over the Florida Panthers on Saturday. The rookie from Sweden has won three straight and is 4-0-1 since taking over for No. 1 Predators goalie Pekka Rinne, who is out with a knee injury.
"I feel like the whole team is really stable, and we go out every night and do what we have to and work really hard," Lindback said. "I feel like I am pretty good in my positioning and tracking the first pucks. I'm trying not to leave too many bad rebounds out there."
Kostitsyn gave Nashville a 1-0 lead at 11:15 of the opening period.
With the Predators on a power play, Cody Franson had the puck at the right point. He moved to the high slot and fired a shot that was deflected in front by Kostitsyn. It got past Islanders goalie Dwayne Roloson on the glove side to extend Kostitsyn's point streak to a career-best six games.
"The first goal was really huge," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "If they score on the first couple of shifts there, it might be a totally different attitude. They are a young team and they have some dynamic guys like John Tavares. We don't know the players as well from the East, we don't play them a lot."
New York is 0-15-2 in games it trailed 1-0.
"I think we have slides where out of 60 minutes we will play 50 minutes or 45," Islanders defenseman James Wisniewski said. "It's not all in the whole 15 minutes or 10 minutes that we don't play well, it's three minutes in the second or four minutes in the first or something where people take advantage."
Hornqvist doubled the Nashville lead at 5:22 of the second period.
From the high slot, defenseman Shane O'Brien sent a wrist shot on goal. Roloson made the stop, but Hornqvist gathered the rebound and put a shot into the open net for his seventh goal.
Just over two minutes after Hornqvist's goal, Smithson made it 3-0.
"We had a tough night back there. I'm not going to lie to you," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said of the team's defensive effort. "We had a lot of giveaways, we didn't move the puck fast enough, and we didn't let the puck do the work. That is why in the second period, we spent most of the time in our end."
Hornqvist and Spaling added third-period goals. Spaling netted his first NHL goal in his 50th career game.
"It's great," Spaling said. "It's pretty exciting to get that. I'm just glad to get one."
NOTES: Nashville RW Martin Erat had an assist to extend his point streak to three games. ... The Predators haven't allowed a power-play goal in 12 of 13 games. ... Islanders rookie RW Rhett Rakhshani made his NHL debut after being called up from AHL Bridgeport earlier Monday. ... New York D Mark Eaton, who played five seasons with the Predators, missed his first game of the season because of a groin injury.
Head Coach Barry Trotz
On the play of Anders Lindback…
In the first period I thought we really left him out to dry – especially early. We talked about getting off to a good start and we really didn’t. We put him under siege a little more than we wanted to. He played really well; I thought it was a difficult night for him – a lot of the pucks were being tipped and redirected, and they had a lot of wrap-arounds, which can go off your own people’s skates or can find people back door. That was actually a pretty difficult night and I thought he really gave us a chance to get our legs under us.
On what he told the team after the first period…
The one thing we wanted to do was get back to Predator hockey, get our pace up. We wanted to play fast. We were slowing everything down. When you play fast, you play sharper. I just said “Let’s do what we need to do. Here’s a team that’s on the brink – the second goal is going to be huge. Let’s make sure we take care of our end and get the second goal.”
Getting the first goal against them tonight was huge – it put a little doubt in [the Islanders’] mind. When you’re going through tough times it becomes a bigger mountain to climb. If they had scored on their first couple of shifts, it might have been a totally different attitude.
On the Islanders…
They’re a young team, and they’ve got some really dynamic guys like John Tavares. We don’t know the players as well. Being in the East, we don’t play them a lot. Guys like Moulson, who had a breakout year last year, is really dangerous; Parenteau was a player that I didn’t know much about, but I thought he was pretty good.
On Nick Spaling scoring his first career NHL goal…
I think if I [hadn’t put Nick Spaling on the ice for the 5-on-3] I might have had a mutiny on the bench. If you had seen the bench when he scored, our bench went crazy. He’s just such a good player and a good teammate. [His teammates] really respect how he handles himself, how he prepares himself, how he plays, how he gives of his body, how he’s detailed. He’s had a few chances and hasn’t buried them. When we had the 5-on-3, we just got him out there. If you watch, everybody was trying to feed him. We put Patric out there, who had two goals, so we were hoping something good happened, and it really did. It was a great pass over to [Spaling] there, and when he scored everybody’s arms went up; mine, too. He’s just one of those guys you appreciate. It’ll be something he’ll remember for a long time.