DALLAS (AP) -- The Nashville Predators are fighting for a playoff
spot, and a third consecutive victory against the Dallas Stars is sure to
boost their confidence.
Dallas goalie Ron Tugnutt and defenseman Phillppe Boucher watch as the puck off the stick of Nashville's Vladimir Orszagh gets by for a score.
''Early in the season, I think we got them at a good time,''
Predators coach Barry Trotz said. ''And maybe they didn't give us a
lot of respect. We've played them hard and now we're earning their
Scott Hartnell scored the go-ahead goal with 2:57 left as the
Predators remained unbeaten in three games against the Stars with a
2-1 victory Friday night.
Vladimir Orszagh also scored and Tomas Vokoun made 27 saves for
the Predators, who have outscored the Stars 10-4 this season.
Nashville, battling for the final Western Conference playoff spot,
is 9-1-1-1 in its last 12 games.
Derian Hatcher's short-handed goal with 10:14 remaining had
lifted the Stars into a 1-1 tie.
The Stars, who lead the NHL with 91 points, are 3-2-3-1 in their
last nine and 23-4-6-1 at home this season.
Hartnell broke the tie, deflecting Rem Murray's shot from the
left boards between the pads of Ron Tugnutt to hand Dallas its
fourth regulation defeat at home this season.
''Rem did a good job at the half-wall and threw it to the net,''
Hartnell said. ''I was able to knock it in. We kept at them and
kept throwing pucks at the net.''
Tugnutt had gone behind the net to play the puck, but his pass
was poor, resulting in a turnover. Tugnutt was able to get back in
position just in time to watch the deflection bounce between his
pads and into the net.
''I was in good position,'' said Tugnutt, filling in while
Dallas starting goaltender Marty Turco recovers from a sprained
ankle. ''I thought it was coming up higher. I compacted myself, but
it dropped to my feet between the smallest of holes.''
Vokoun, who improved his record to 25-20-8 and is 9-2-1 in his
past 12 games overall, made a big save against Dallas leading
scorer Mike Modano from the slot with 43 seconds left.
''He's been incredible for us,'' Trotz said. ''When we play
well, he gives us good goaltending. He's gotten better every
On the tying goal, the Predators got caught up ice on their
third man-advantage situation of the night as Claude Lemieux and
Hatcher skated into the Nashville zone two-on-one.
Hatcher broke in on the left side, took Lemieux's pass and beat
Vokoun from low in the circle for his seventh goal of the season
and second short-handed score of his career.
The Predators wanted to dictate a deliberate pace, and that's
what they got through the opening 40 minutes. Modano had another
good scoring chance early in the second period, hitting the right
goalpost from 30 feet before Orszagh notched his 15th goal with 1.2
With Dallas' Brenden Morrow in the penalty box for roughing,
Andy Delmore's shot bounced to Orszagh low in the left circle, and
he fired the puck high over Tugnutt.
After a cautious first period, the Predators turned up the
intensity in the second period culminating with Orszagh's goal.
''In our minds, the game was probably lost in the second
period,'' Hatcher said. ''That's three times they've beaten us.
They're playing good hockey and we knew it. They took the game over
in the second period and we decided not to come out and play for
Nashville has won five in a row against Dallas. ... Stars right wing Scott Young was scratched due to a hip flexor injury and is
day-to-day. That created an opening for David Oliver, who made
his Stars debut. Oliver, called up from Utah of the AHL on
Thursday, played in his 189th NHL game. ... Stars right wing Jere Lehtinen
had his career-high five-game goal-scoring streak snapped.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: American Airlines Center Location: Dallas, Texas
Referees: Bill McCreary, Kevin Pollock Linesmen: Dan McCourt, Pierre Racicot
Attendance: 18,532 (100.0% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
No scoring this period
Vladimir Orszagh (15)
(Power Play) Assists: Andy Delmore, Kimmo Timonen
Derian Hatcher (6)
(Shorthanded) Assists: Claude Lemieux, Brenden Morrow