Ryan Johansen scored the lone goal of the shootout, and the Nashville Predators outlasted the visiting Dallas Stars for a 3-2 victory on Sunday night.
Opening the shootout, Johansen took his time getting to the net, then drilled the puck past Dallas netminder Anton Khudobin. Teammate Juuse Saros (24 saves) did his job in the shootout, and the Predators, who own the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division, also got goals from Ryan Ellis and Yakov Trenin to win for the 12th time in 15 games.
Roope Hintz had a goal with an assist and defenseman Jamie Oleksiak also scored for the Stars, who were trying for a third straight victory. Khudobin made 18 saves for Dallas, which is 2-11 in games decided past regulation, sits sixth in the Central and six points behind the Predators.
Dallas got on the scoresheet 4:56 into the game on a failed Nashville clearing attempt. John Klingberg picked the puck up along the boards and delivered a cross-slot pass that Hintz drilled home for his second goal in three games.
The Predators, though, answered with 9:03 left in the first. Ellis, who returned for Saturday’s 3-0 loss to Tampa Bay after missing 20 straight games with an upper-body injury, drove a shot from the point that made it by a screened Khudobin for a 1-1 tie.
Khudobin again had trouble 2:09 into the second period, when he allowed Trenin’s wrister to sneak by for a 2-1 Nashville edge. However, Oleksiak would bail out his netminder with 1:04 left in the middle frame on a near rink-to-rink trip, weaving his way through four Predators and in to beat Saros for the 2-2 tie.
Dallas defenseman Andrej Sekera did not return to the game after he was injured blocking a shot during the second period.
–Field Level Media