ATLANTA – Jordin Tootoo scored on a power play to cap a three-goal rally early in the third period and the Nashville Predators beat the Atlanta Thrashers 6-4 in a pre-season game Friday night.
Nashville’s scoring burst came against Atlanta goalie Ondrej Pavelec, who replaced Johan Hedberg after two periods. Rich Beverly scored at 2:16 of the third period and David Legwand tied it two minutes later. Tootoo knocked in a rebound to put the Predators ahead 7:24 into the final period.
“I’m trying to become a more well-rounded player,” said Tootoo, who was involved in a second-period fight. “I want to stay physical, but also be a threat to help out offensively.”
Nashville coach Barry Trotz was impressed by Tootoo’s performance.
“We’re seeing the evolution of Jordin Tootoo,” Trotz said. “I told him he needs to play that Gary Roberts-type game. Play with that edge, but also the skill game.”
Joel Ward scored with 1:58 left and Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne finished with 29 saves as the Predators improved to 2-3 in the pre-season. Atlanta is 1-4.
Vernon Fiddler scored for Nashville just 26 seconds in and the Predators took a 2-0 lead on Hamhuis’ power-play goal at 6:04 before the Thrashers scored four times in the final seven minutes of the first period.
“They score four goals and I should stop three,” Pavelec said. “No excuse for that. That was probably the worst period of my life.”
White scored a power-play goal at 13:07 and Joey Crabb tied it at 14:57. Colby Armstrong gave Atlanta the lead with a short-handed goal at 16:43 and Slava Kozlov scored with 11 second left in the period while the Thrashers enjoyed a two-man advantage.
It was the first pre-season game for Kozlov, who had shoulder and knee surgery in the off-season. Veteran defenceman Mathieu Schneider, acquired from Anaheim late last week, is scheduled to make his Thrashers debut in the final pre-season game Saturday night against St. Louis.