Duchene's goal, assist lead Predators to 6-4 win over Devils
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Matt Duchene scored a third-period goal and assisted on another to lead the Nashville Predators to a 6-4 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night.
Cody Glass, Cole Smith, Mikael Granlund, Filip Forsberg and Tanner Jeannot also scored for Nashville, which has won three straight and five of six heading into the All-Star break. Juuse Saros stopped 36 shots and Juuso Parssinen added two assists.
Jack Hughes had a goal and an assist for the Devils, who lost in regulation for just the second time in January and fell to 7-1-1 in their last nine games.
Jesper Bratt, Yegor Sharangovich and Dawson Mercer also scored for New Jersey. Mackenzie Blackwood made 35 saves and Dougie Hamilton had three assists.
Hughes extended his point streak to seven games, picking up an assist on Bratt’s first-period goal and then scoring one of his own early in the second. Hughes has five goals and eight assists during his streak.
Blackwood was active in the first, stopping 20 of the 22 shots he faced — the most the Devils have allowed in a period this season. Likewise for Nashville, the shot total was its season high for a period.
Hamilton and Hughes each have multiple points in three straight games. Hughes leads the Devils with 21 multipoint games this season, and Hamilton is second on the team with 14.
Nashville swept the two-game season series and has won six straight against New Jersey. Predators coach John Hynes, who coached the Devils prior to being hired in Nashville, is 5-0-0 against his former team.
POWER PLAY STRIKES
Nashville’s power play has struggled all season and especially of late, scoring just twice in 28 opportunities over the past 10 games. The Predators began the day 29th in the NHL with a 16.2% success rate but went 1 for 2 with the man advantage, with Glass scoring at 12:24 of the first period by poking a rebound past Blackwood.
It took Smith 49 games to score his first NHL goal, but the Nashville forward now has goals in two of his last three games. Both came off deflections in front.
Predators: Host the Vegas Golden Knights on Feb. 7.
Devils: Visit the Dallas Stars on Friday.
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Jim Diamond, The Associated Press