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Smith scores twice to lead Predators over Bruins 5-3

  • Nashville Predators left wing Viktor Arvidsson (33), of Sweden, takes a fall after colliding with Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, right, of Slovakia, in the second period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) Mark Humphrey

  • Nashville Predators left wing Kevin Fiala (22), of Switzerland, celebrates with P.K. Subban (76) and Kyle Turris (8) after Fiala scored a goal against the Boston Bruins in the second period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) Mark Humphrey

  • Nashville Predators left wing Kevin Fiala (22), of Switzerland, scores a goal against Boston Bruins goalie Anton Khudobin, of Kazakhstan, in the second period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) Mark Humphrey

  • Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban (76) moves the puck against Boston Bruins center Riley Nash (20) in the second period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) Mark Humphrey

  • Boston Bruins left wing Anders Bjork (10) and Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi (59), of Switzerland, battle for the puck in the first period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) Mark Humphrey

  • Nashville Predators right wing Craig Smith (15) is congratulated after scoring a goal against the Boston Bruins in the first period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) Mark Humphrey

  • Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (35), of Finland, blocks a shot by Boston Bruins right wing David Backes (42) in the third period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. The Predators won 5-3. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) Mark Humphrey

  • Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (40), of Finland, replaces goalie Anton Khudobin (35), of Kazakhstan, in the second period after Kyudobin gave up four goals against the Nashville Predators in an NHL hockey game Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) Mark Humphrey

  • Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara (33), of Slovakia, scores a goal past Nashville Predators right wing Craig Smith (15) in the third period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. The Predators won 5-3. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) Mark Humphrey



Associated Press
Tuesday, December 05, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Craig Smith scored twice and added an assist to lead the Nashville Predators over the Boston Bruins 5-3 on Monday night.

Kevin Fiala had a goal and an assist, and Nick Bonino and Filip Forsberg also scored for Nashville, which has won three of four. Pekka Rinne made 36 saves.

Charlie McAvoy, Zdeno Chara and David Pastrnak had the goals for Boston, which won its previous two games.

Smith scored the game’s first goal at 1:26 of the opening period. Boston goalie Anton Khudobin stopped Alexei Emelin’s slap shot from the left point, but Smith was positioned in the slot to bang home the rebound.

Smith struck again with 17.4 seconds remaining in the first.

From the left point, Mattias Ekholm sent a pass to Smith in the slot, sending him in on a partial breakaway. Smith beat Khudobin high to the glove side with a wrist shot for his 11th of the season.

Bonino made it 3-0 at 2:15 of the second.

Bonino won a faceoff back to Viktor Arvidsson at the top of the left circle. Arvidsson’s shot hit Colton Sissons and the puck bounced to Bonino on the left side, where he had a virtually open net to put in his fifth of the season.

Fiala’s goal at 4:10 spelled the end of the night for Khudobin. He allowed four goals on 14 shots and fell to 7-1-2 this season.

Tuukka Rask made 10 saves in relief.

McAvoy got the Bruins on the scoreboard at 10:14 of the second on a power play. From behind the Nashville net, Danton Heinen sent a pass to McAvoy at the right faceoff dot, where he beat Rinne with a one-timer low to the far side.

Boston made things interesting early in the third, getting goals from Chara and Pastrnak 1:15 apart to draw within one less than six minutes into the period.

Forsberg responded 34 seconds after Pastrnak’s goal to put the Predators back in front by a pair of goals following a timeout called by Nashville coach Peter Laviolette.

NOTES — Nashville D Yannick Weber returned to the lineup after missing 10 games with a lower-body injury. ... Predators C Ryan Johansen missed the game with an upper-body injury. ... Smith scored 12 goals in 78 games last season. ... Boston RW David Backes had an assist, giving him 500 points in his NHL career.

UP NEXT — Bruins: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday.

Predators: At the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.