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Rookie Anders Lindback makes 42 saves as Nashville beats Tampa Bay 4-3.

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

TAMPA, Fla. - The Nashville Predators had an outstanding 24 hours.

Rookie Anders Lindback made 42 saves to help Nashville sweep a pair of weekend road games with a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday night.

Lindback made in-close saves on Vincent Lecavalier and Ryan Malone during the second and stopped Lecavalier on a third-period breakaway.

"Our goalies are awesome," Nashville defenceman Cody Franson said. "Our goalies have been a real backbone for us."

Shea Weber, Sergei Kostitsyn, Franson and Colin Wilson scored for the Predators, the only NHL team (5-0-3) that hasn't lost in regulation this season. Nashville was coming off a 1-0 victory Saturday night in Dallas, where Pekka Rinne made 30 saves.

"I didn't know what to expect," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "The guys did a great job."

The Predators arrived at their Tampa hotel around 3 a.m.

Sean Bergenheim, Martin St. Louis and Adam Hall scored for Tampa Bay. Dan Ellis faced 26 shots and took the loss in his first game against his former team.

"We got outplayed," St. Louis said. "They outworked us, and that's why they came out on top."

Bergenheim skated alone down the slot off a pass from Pavel Kubina and scored on Lindback's stick side as the Lightning went up 1-0 at 6:30 of the first.

After Weber scored from the left circle 11:54 into the first, Kostitsyn gave the Predators 2-1 lead on an in-close rebound goal with 4:56 left in the period.

Franson made it 3-1 during a breakaway with 2:05 to go in the second. The goal came after Lindback stopped Victor Hedman's shot from the slot.

"It doesn't matter how close the score is ... at least we won," Lindback said.

Wilson extended the Predators' lead to 4-1 with 5:50 left in the third. Tampa Bay pulled to 4-3 when St. Louis (15:01) and Hall (15:58) scored 57 seconds apart.

"We never make it easier for ourselves," Trotz said. "It was unfortunate."

Nashville has played seven one-goal games, going 4-0-3.

Steven Stamkos assisted on St. Louis' goal, giving him five assists and nine points during a four-game points streak. Stamkos was shaken up with 3:07 left in the third when he was checked into the end boards by Martin Erat, who received a minor penalty for cross-checking.

Stamkos returned before the game ended and said he was fine after spending around 40 minutes post-game in the trainers' room.

"I don't think he meant to do it," Stamkos said. "I was off balance ... he gives me a little nudge. Quick play. Things like that happen."

It was just the 15th meeting, with seven coming in Florida, between the teams. Nashville (2-3-2-0) had won just once previously at Tampa Bay, a 3-0 victory on March 24, 1999.

NOTES: Lightning LW Simon Gagne (stiff neck) missed his second consecutive game. ... Nashville RW J-P Dumont, who left Saturday night with a lower-body injury, was in the lineup and had an assist. ... Nashville C Jerred Smithson played in his 400th NHL game and assisted on Kostitsyn's goal to stop a 19-game points drought. ... The Pittsburgh Penguins, off until Wednesday night's game with the Lightning, practised in Tampa.



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