UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — The Nashville Predators completed a two-day sweep of New York teams in a stunning way.
Nick Bonino had the tiebreaking goal late in the second period as the Predators got seven consecutive scores to rally for an 8-3 win over the New York Islanders on Tuesday night.
Craig Smith had two goals and an assist, Filip Forsberg, Calle Jarnkrok, Roman Josi and Ryan Johansen each had a goal and an assist, and Rocco Grimaldi also scored to help the Predators win for the second straight night and the fourth time in six games. Pekka Rinne stopped 27 shots.
“It was good. We just stuck with it,’’ Smith said. “We got some really good chances and the penalty kill did a really good job. Our goalie made some big saves. It was a big win.”
On Monday night, the Predators beat the Rangers 5-2.
Brock Nelson, Derrick Brassard and Casey Cizikas scored in a 5:16 span of the second period to give the Islanders a 3-1 lead. However, it was all Predators after that. Thomas Greiss gave up five goals on 15 shots through two periods, and Semyon Varlamov stopped six of the nine shots he faced in the third.
After Cizikas’ goal put the Islanders ahead by two at 8:11 of the second, Forsberg began Nashville’s comeback 27 seconds later with a power-play score for his 12th. Smith, who had scored the game’s first goal early in the first period, then tied it with his second of the game and fourth of the season with 9:02 left in the middle period.
Bonino put the Predators ahead for good with 1:36 left in the second, and Grimaldi made it 5-3 with his fifth of the season — and Nashville’s fourth of the period — 48 seconds later.
Jarnkrok, Josi and Johansen scored in the third to finish off the Predators’ big night.
The Islanders hadn’t allowed more than five goals in their first 32 games this season so giving up eight – especially on home ice – was particularly out of character for a team that plays stingy defense.
“This doesn’t happen to us very often,” Cizikas said. “This game is funny sometimes. It’s a matter of how you rebound and come out next game.”
The Islanders hadn’t lost a home game in regulation since Oct. 8 against Edmonton at Nassau Coliseum. They were 12-0-1 since in games on Long Island and at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. The only blemish since a 5-2 loss to Edmonton on Oct. 8 at the Coliseum was a 4-3 overtime defeat in Brooklyn against Pittsburgh on Nov. 7 that ended a 10-game winning streak.
“Our goalies have bailed them out so many times this year, tonight we couldn’t bail them out,’’ Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “We win and lose as a team. Tonight, every puck found the back of the net.”
Nelson tied it for the Islanders at 2:55 of the second with his 12th, and Brassard put New York ahead with a pawer-play goal at 4:43. Cizikas’ short-handed goal made it 3-1. Then the Predators started their onslaught less than a half-minute late.
“It was a good response to get it back to tied before we took the lead,’’ Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. “We were trying to get some mileage out of the whole bench.”
Greiss started in goal to continue the Islanders’ rotation of starting goalies for the 32nd straight game.
The Islanders had won six straight home games and eight straight at Nassau Coliseum. They were coming off a 3-2 overtime home victory over Buffalo last Saturday.
“It was an outlier,’’ Trotz added. “You’ve got to let it go, tear it up a little bit and move on.”
NOTES: The defeat was the first in regulation for the Islanders when scoring at least three goals this season. They entered 19-0-1 in such situations. They are now 57-3-3 under coach Barry Trotz during past two seasons when scoring at least three times, including shootouts. … The Islanders scratched D Noah Dobson and F Michael Dal Colle. … The Predators scratched D Yannick Weber and F Mikael Granlund. … New York D Nick Leddy returned after a three-game absence because of a lower-body injury. … The teams meet again on Feb. 13 in Nashville. … The game marked the 2,500th as a general manager for Islanders President and GM Lou Lamoriello. He became the third GM to reach the milestone after current Predators GM David Poile and former Oilers and Rangers GM Glen Sather.
Islanders: At Boston on Thursday night.
Predators: At Ottawa on Thursday night in the third of a four-game trip.
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