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Predators power past slumping Golden Knights

Feb 20, 2024; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Vegas Golden Knights center Paul Cotter (43) shoots against Nashville Predators goaltender Kevin Lankinen (32) during the second period at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Cole Smith scored his third game-winning goal of the season and Kevin Lankinen made 23 saves to lead the Nashville Predators to a 5-3 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night in Las Vegas.

Luke Evangelista, Cody Glass, Tommy Novak and Gus Nyquist added a goal apiece and Roman Josi and Ryan McDonagh each had two assists for Nashville, which won its second straight game. The win moved the Predators into a tie with the St. Louis Blues for the second Western Conference wild-card spot at 60 points.

Alex Pietrangelo, William Karlsson and Michael Amadio were the goal-scorers and Alec Martinez added two assists for Vegas, which lost for the third time in four games. All three defeats came at home.

Golden Knights goalie Adin Hill finished with 35 saves while dropping his third consecutive start.

Nashville jumped out to a 1-0 lead at the 5:35 mark of the first period. Evangelista fired a wrist shot from the right circle past Hill’s glove side for his 11th goal of the season.

Vegas tied it 1-1 at 14:09 of the first on a power-play goal by Pietrangelo, who rifled a shot from the right point past a screen and into the top far corner of the net.

The Predators regained the lead with 51.3 seconds left before the first intermission. Glass’ wrist shot from the top of the slot went past Hill’s blocker side.

Novak made it 3-1 at 8:04 of the second when he fired a wrist shot from the edge of the left circle through defenseman Zach Whitecloud’s legs and through Hill’s pads for his 12th goal.

Smith extended the lead to 4-1 at 15:58 of the middle period when he deflected a Michael McCarron shot inside the left post.

Karlsson cut it to 4-2 with a power-play goal 47 seconds into the third period. He beat Lankinen with a wrist shot from the slot that clanged in off the right post for his 18th goal.

Vegas got within 4-3 with 2:59 left when Amadio tapped the rebound of a Martinez shot into an open right side of the net.

The Golden Knights pulled Hill for an extra attacker with 2:15 remaining, and Nyquist sealed the win with an empty-netter with 1:49 to go.

Vegas captain Mark Stone didn’t play in the third period after sustaining an upper-body injury during a second-period, neutral-zone collision with Nashville center Yakov Trenin.

–Field Level Media

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