NHL Game Summary - Nashville at Dallas
(Friday, December 23rd)
Final Score: Dallas 6, Nashville 3
Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Michael Ryder had a goal and two assists as the Dallas Stars scored three goals in the first period and held off a couple pushes by the Nashville Predators to take a 6-3 victory at American Airlines Center.
Steve Ott, Loui Eriksson and Mike Ribeiro each tallied a goal and an assist, while Richard Bachman stopped 34 shots for the Stars, winners of five of their last seven.
Matt Halischuk, Martin Erat and David Legwand notched goals for Nashville, which lost for the second time in three games
Pekka Rinne started in net for the Predators but was pulled near the midpoint of the first period after allowing three goals on seven shots. Anders Lindback replaced him in net and stopped 19-of-21 shots.
"I didn't think we played that poorly, but the pucks ended up in our net and that's what happened in the game," Nashville head coach Barry Trotz said. "In the end the three-goal start was the difference."
Dallas struck for three goals in a three-minute span in the first period to take control of the game and knock Rinne out of the game.
The first goal came at the 9:25 mark when Sheldon Souray's shot from the point hit a body in front of the net and the loose puck was gathered by Vernon Fiddler, who wristed it in from the right circle into the top-left corner.
Eriksson struck just 1:16 later by finishing off a rush with a snap shot from the left circle into the short side, and a Trevor Daley wrister from the right point 12:30 into the opening frame was deflected through the legs of Rinne by Ott, ending the goaltender's night.
Nashville recorded two quick goals in the second to bring the Predators within a goal with a Blake Geoffrion shot from the right circle that trickled through the pads of Bachman before Halischuk swiped it home 8:56 into the middle stanza and an Erat wrister on a two-man advantage less than three minutes later.
But Ribeiro received a pass to the right of the net and waited for Lindback to make a move before lifting the puck under the crossbar for a 4-2 game after two periods.
Legwand again brought Nashville within a goal 4:38 into the third period while on a power play, but Jamie Benn's one-timer from the slot 30 seconds later regained the Stars' cushion.
Ryder's empty netter with 2:07 left in regulation sealed the victory for the Stars.
"A lot of times when you can go and score quick goals like that usually the other teams comes back like they did tonight, but we were able to contain them at 3-2 and always have the lead," said Ribeiro. "The most important thing is to add those two points."
Souray left the game with a lower body injury and did not return...Rinne had won his last six starts entering the game, just one win shy of the franchise record...Dallas improved to 11-5-1 at home, while Nashville fell to 9-8-1 on the road this season.
12/24 02:07:17 ET