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Cole Caufield pushes Predators past Canadiens

Jan 12, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens right wing Cole Caufield (22) celebrates his goal against the Nashville Predators during the second period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

Cole Caufield had two goals and Kirby Dach had a goal and an assist to lead the host Montreal Canadiens to a 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators on Thursday.

Jake Evans also scored, while Jonathan Drouin added three assists and Sam Montembeault made 39 saves for the Canadiens, who have won two of their past three games.

For the Predators, Nino Niederreiter and Filip Forsberg scored, Juuso Parssinen had a goal and an assist and Yaroslav Askarov had 31 saves as Nashville dropped its second straight following a four-game winning streak.

After Forsberg scored 12 seconds into the second period to tie the game at two, the Canadiens regained the lead for good on the power play midway through the period.

After getting a pass from Drouin, Nick Suzuki found Caufield, who ripped a shot from the slot by Askarov at the 10:03 mark.

Caufield struck again midway through the final period, when he scored another power-play goal off assists from Dach and Drouin to push Montreal’s advantage to 4-2 with 13:45 to play.

Parssinen’s goal off an assist from Mattias Ekholm pulled the Predators to within 4-3 with 1:29 remaining.

The Predators took a 1-0 lead midway through the first period when Roman Josi circled around the top of the zone before wristing a shot that Niederreiter deflected past Montembeault at the 10:35 mark.

Montreal countered less than three minutes later. Evans took a pass from David Savard and wristed a shot that deflected off Askarov and trickled across the goal line at the 13:30 mark, with Joel Edmundson also assisting.

The Canadiens took a 2-1 lead on Dach’s one-timer just 98 seconds later. After Drouin stole Askarov’s outlet pass, he found Jesse Ylonen, who made a quick fake before sliding a pass to the far post to a wide-open Dach just a few feet in front of the goal.

Nashville tied the game just 12 seconds into the second period. After Matt Duchene collected Parssinen’s pass behind the Canadiens’ goal, he found Forsberg, who slapped it past Montembeault from close range.

The Predators outshot the Canadiens 42-35.

–Field Level Media