Jonathan Marchessault and Jack Eichel each had a goal and an assist in a four-goal first period and the Vegas Golden Knights extended their point streak to seven games with a 6-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday.

Anthony Mantha and Noah Hanifin also scored in the opening period and Brett Howden also tallied for Vegas, which has gone 6-0-1 in its last seven games to pull within three points of Edmonton for second place in the Pacific Division.

Logan Thompson made 27 saves to win his sixth straight start in his 99th career game.

Quinn Hughes scored twice for the Canucks, who have lost three of four but are five points up on the Oilers for first in the Pacific.

Ullmark perfect in Bruins’ win

Linus Ullmark turned away 32 shots and assisted on Charlie Coyle’s short-handed, game-winning goal in the third period to lead the Boston Bruins to a 3-0 victory over the Nashville Predators.

David Pastrnak and Pavel Zacha had a goal and an assist apiece to help Boston win for the third time in four games and extend its Atlantic Division lead to four points over Florida.

Juuse Saros made 30 saves for the Predators, who dropped their third in a row following a franchise-record 18-game point streak.

Surging Penguins rally past Devils

Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby each scored twice during the Penguins’ five-goal third period and Pittsburgh remained in the playoff race with a 6-3 win over the New Jersey Devils.

The Devils took a 3-1 lead into the third period, but Crosby scored on a power play at 6:48 and Malkin’s first goal of the game just over a minute later tied it.

Rickard Rakell’s goal with 3:44 left put the Penguins ahead and Malkin made it 5-3 32 seconds later. Crosby’s empty-net goal closed the scoring.

Pittsburgh is 4-0-2 in its last six games and had moved within three points of Washington for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

Rookie Logan Cooley had his first career hat trick and Clayton Keller had a goal and three assists as the Arizona Coyotes put an end to the Nashville Predators’ franchise-record 18-game point streak with an 8-4 victory on Thursday.

Nick Schmaltz had a goal and an assist and Nick Bjugstad, Jack McBain and Mattias Maccelli also scored for the Coyotes, who have won five of seven despite being already eliminated from playoff contention.

Arizona went 3-0-1 against Nashville this season.

Jason Zucker scored a pair of goals and Roman Josi had three assists for the Predators, but they had a six-game winning streak snapped and suffered their first regulation loss since Feb. 15.

Juuse Saros was pulled after two periods for allowing six goals. Kevin Lankinen stopped all 11 shots he faced.


Rangers top Avs in shootout

Artemi Panarin and Vincent Trocheck scored in the shootout to lift the league-leading New York Rangers to a 3-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche in a matchup of two of the league's top teams.

Kaapo Kaako and Chris Kreider scored in regulation and Igor Shesterkin stopped 38 shots and was perfect in the shootout as the Rangers won their fourth straight.

New York leads the NHL with 102 points and is three points ahead of Carolina in the Metropolitan Division.

Casey Mittelstadt and Devon Toews had goals for the Avalanche, who lost their second in a row following a nine-game winning streak.

Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon was held without a point, ending his 35-game home point streak and his overall 19-game run. His 35-game streak is second in NHL history to Wayne Gretzky’s 40-game run in 1988-89.


Streaking Stars beat Canucks

Jamie Benn snapped a tie late in the third period and Jake Oettinger made 27 saves to lead the Dallas Stars to their sixth straight win, 3-1 over the Vancouver Canucks.

Roope Hintz had the other goal and two assists for the Stars, who have won 11 of 13 to take over sole possession of first place in the Western Conference.

J.T. Miller scored and Casey DeSmith stopped 31 shots for Vancouver, which has lost two straight after a 7-1-1 surge.

Roman Josi scored 40 seconds into overtime to cap a stunning comeback and the Nashville Predators extended their point streak to 18 games with a 5-4 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday.

The Predators scored three times in the third period to erase a 4-1 deficit before Josi’s goal gave them their sixth straight win and a 16-0-2 mark since a regulation loss to Dallas on Feb. 15.

Filip Forsberg had a goal and two assists to reach 40 goals for the second time in his career. He has seven goals and seven assists during a seven-game point streak.

Ivan Barbashev, Brett Howden and Shea Theodore scored first-period goals for Vegas and Mark Jankowski’s tally in the second made it 4-1.

The Golden Knights, who had won three straight, pulled within one point of Los Angeles for third place in the Pacific Division and are six points ahead of St. Louis for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference.

Rangers clinch playoff berth

Adam Fox scored 36 seconds into overtime after a wild third period and the New York Rangers became the first team to clinch a playoff spot with a 6-5 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.

Alexis Lafreniere scored twice and Vincent Trocheck had a goal and two assists for the Rangers, who took over the NHL lead with their 100th point and gave coach Peter Laviolette his 800th victory.

The teams combined for seven goals in the third period with Philadelphia’s Tyson Foerster scoring with 3:31 left to forge a 5-5 tie.

Travis Konecny and Scott Laughton each had a goal and an assist for the Flyers, who are winless in four straight road games (0-2-2) and have a one-point lead over Washington in the race for third in the Metropolitan Division.

Bruins beat Panthers to move atop Atlantic

Trent Frederic and Pavel Zacha scored late in the third period to rally the Boston Bruins to a 4-3 win over the Florida Panthers, moving them into sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division.

Carter Verhaeghe scored midway through the third period to give Florida a 3-2 lead but Frederic scored on a power play with 4:22 remaining and Zacha put Boston ahead just over two minutes later.

Charlie McAvoy and David Pastrnak also had goals for the Bruins, who avoided a third straight loss and lead the Atlantic with 99 points, two ahead of the Panthers.

Evan Rodrigues and Sam Reinhart also tallied for the Panthers, who dropped to 1-4-1 in their last six games since losing star defenseman Aaron Ekblad to a lower-body injury on March 9.

Kevin Lankinen turned aside 33 shots for his first shutout in almost three years and the Nashville Predators extended their point streak to a franchise-record 16 games with a 3-0 win over the Florida Panthers on Thursday.

Filip Forsberg scored two goals and assisted on one by Gustav Nyquist as the Predators improved to 14-0-2 in their last 16 games since a regulation loss to Dallas on Feb. 15.

Nashville surpassed a 15-game point streak (14-0-1) from Feb. 17-March 19, 2018.

Lankinen stopped five shots in the first period, 16 in the second and 12 more in the third for his first shutout since March 25, 2021, for Chicago against Florida.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 34 saves for the Panthers, who have lost three straight – two by shutout – but remained three points behind Boston for the Atlantic Division lead.


Panarin powers Rangers past Bruins

Artemi Panarin registered his third hat trick of the season and Jonathan Quick stopped 24 shots to lead the New York Rangers to a 5-2 victory over the Boston Bruins in a matchup of Eastern Conference heavyweights.

Adam Fox and Mika Zibanejad also scored for the Rangers, who have won six of eight to move within one point of Boston for the top seed in the East.

The win was the 391st of Quick’s career, tying him with Ryan Miller for the most by an American goalie.

Panarin’s three goals extended his career high to 41 and gave him a personal-best 97 points.

Jake DeBrusk and Justin Brazeau had goals for Boston, which had won three straight and five of six.


Hurricanes win in overtime to stay hot

Seth Jarvis scored 1:28 into overtime and Frederik Andersen remained unbeaten since returning to action as the Carolina Hurricanes edged the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-2.

Jarvis scored a goal in his fifth straight game to give the Hurricanes their fifth straight win.

Jordan Martinook and Jalen Chatfield also had goals as Carolina improved to 14-3-1 in its last 18 games and remained four points behind the Rangers for the Metropolitan Division lead.

Scott Laughton and Travis Konecny scored for the Flyers, who moved four points ahead of Washington in the race for third place in the Metropolitan.

Michael McCarron scored twice and the Nashville Predators scored seven straight goals to extend their point streak to a franchise record-tying 15 games with an 8-2 rout of the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.

Roman Josi and Filip Forsberg each had a goal and two assists and Ryan McDonagh and Kiefer Sherwood added three assists apiece for the Predators, who improved to 13-0-2 in their last 15 games since their last regulation loss to Dallas on Feb. 15.

Nashville matched a 14-0-1 run from Feb. 19-March 19, 2018.

Juuse Saros stopped 18 shots and is 10-0-2 in his last 12 starts.

League-worst San Jose has lost five straight and is 1-12-2 in its past 15 games.

Rantanen’s big game powers red-hot Avalanche

Mikko Rantanen completed his hat trick with the tiebreaking goal early in the third period and the Colorado Avalanche won their seventh straight game, 4-3 over the St. Louis Blues.

Casey Mittelstadt had the other goal for the Avalanche, who have outscored opponents 31-13 during the seven-game streak, the longest active run in the NHL.

Nathan Walker, Alexey Toropchenko and Brayden Schenn tallied as St. Louis had a four-game winning streak snapped.

Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon picked up his 75th assist of the season to extend his point streak to 16 games (10 goals, 22 assists).

Jarvis leads Hurricanes over Islanders

Seth Jarvis scored twice and the Carolina Hurricanes started fast in a 4-1 win over the floundering New York Islanders.

Trade-deadline acquisition Jake Guentzel had a goal and two assists and Pytor Kochetkov stopped 30 shots to lead Carolina to its fourth straight victory.

The Hurricanes matched a franchise record with their sixth straight road win and pulled within two points of the Rangers for first place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Islanders have been outscored 20-6 during a five-game losing streak as their playoff hopes continue to dim.


Roman Josi scored twice in the third period and Juuse Saros stopped 23 shots as the Nashville Predators extended their point streak to 14 games with a 4-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken on Saturday.

Filip Forsberg had a goal and an assist and Tommy Novak also scored for the Predators, who have gone 12-0-2 since their last regulation loss to Dallas on Feb. 15 to tighten their grip on the top wild card in the Western Conference.

The 14-game streak is tied for the second-longest in franchise history, matching a 14-game run during the 2015-16 season. Nashville earned points in 15 straight in the 2017-18 season, a stretch during which it went 14-0-1.

Andre Burakovsky had the lone goal for Seattle, which dropped its fourth straight (0-3-1) to fall further back in the playoff race.


Streaking Avs top Oilers in OT

Artturi Lehkonen scored with one second left in overtime and the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 for their sixth straight victory.

Defenseman Sean Walker scored the other two goals to help the Avalanche improve to 10-2-1 in their last 13 games. They kept pace with Dallas, each with 91 points, to remain tied for the Central Division lead.

Nathan MacKinnon assisted on the winning goal to extend his point streak to 15 games. MacKinnon, who has 10 goals and 21 assists during his run, leads the NHL with 116 points.

Sam Carrick and Warren Foegele scored for the Oilers, who have points in nine of their last 10 contests (7-1-2).

Connor McDavid was held without a point to end his home point streak at 26 games.


Panarin stars in Rangers’ win

Artemi Panarin scored twice and added three assists to lead the New York Rangers to a 7-4 win over the sliding Pittsburgh Penguins.

Chris Kreider and K’Andre Miller each had a goal and two assists for the Rangers, who have won four of five to remain four points ahead of Carolina in the race for the Metropolitan Division title.

Panarin has seven goals and 14 assists in his last 14 games. He has 93 points on the season to become the first player in the franchise’s 97-year history with at least 90 points in three consecutive seasons.

Lars Eller and Bryan Rust had a goal and an assist apiece as the Penguins lost for the eighth time in 10 games and dropped seven points behind the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Luke Evangelista snapped a third-period tie and Kevin Lankinen made 32 saves to lift the surging Nashville Predators to a 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.

Kiefer Sherwood had the other goal for Nashville, which has won 10 of its last 11 games (10-0-1) to move into the top wild card playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The Predators have won six straight road games and are 17-4-2 in their last 23 away contests.

Columbus got a career high-tying 47 saves from Daniil Tarasov but was unable to win for the fourth time in five games.

The Predators registered the game’s first 14 shots, but it remained scoreless until Sherwood scored his eighth of the season with 7:41 left in the opening period.


Demko exits in Canucks’ win

Thatcher Demko and Casey DeSmith combined on a shutout and the Western Conference-leading Vancouver Canucks rolled to a 5-0 win over the Winnipeg Jets.

Demko stopped all 12 shots he faced before leaving midway through the second period and the Canucks said only that he would not return to the game.

DeSmith turned aside 10 shots to help the Canucks win their fourth straight game.

Elias Pettersson, Nils Hoglander and Pius Suter each had a goal and an assist for Vancouver.


Tarasenko leads Panthers over Flames

Vladimir Tarasenko scored his first two goals in a Panthers uniform and Anthony Stolarz turned aside 34 shots to lift the league-leading Panthers to a 5-1 win over the Calgary Flames.

Tarasenko, acquired from Ottawa on Wednesday, scored his first goal of the game 23 seconds into the second period to snap a scoreless tie, and tallied again with 5:05 left in the period to extend the lead to 4-1.

Sam Bennett and Kevin Stenlund also had goals for the Panthers, who bounced back from Thursday’s loss to Philadelphia to improve to 13-2-0 in its last 15 games.

Yegor Sharangovich scored for the Flames, who had won six of seven.

Cody Glass recorded his first career hat trick and the Nashville Predators rolled past the Colorado Avalanche 5-1 for their eighth straight victory on Saturday.

Glass opened the scoring with 4:42 left in the opening period and gave Nashville a 2-1 lead with 5:34 to play in the second. He completed his hat trick with an empty-net goal in the final minute.

Tommy Novak had a goal and an assist and Juuse Saros stopped 25 shots for the Predators, who tied the second-longest winning streak in franchise history. They won 10 in a row from mid-February through early March 2018.

Nathan MacKinnon scored the lone goal for Colorado, which dropped to 2-5-1 in its last eight road games.

MacKinnon’s goal extended his point streak to nine games, during which he has five goals and 11 assists.

Bobrovsky lifts red-hot Panthers

Sergei Bobrovsky turned aside 21 shots for his fourth shutout of the season and Sam Reinhart scored his 42nd goal as the Florida Panthers continued their surge with a 4-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings.

Bobrovsky notched his 42nd career shutout to win for the ninth time in his last 10 starts.

Brandon Montour had a goal and two assists and Evan Rodrigues added a goal and an assist to help the Panthers improve to 14-2-0 in their last 16 games.

Florida, which won its league-best 21st road game, moved into sole possession of the Eastern Conference lead, two points ahead of Boston and the Rangers.

Detroit lost its second straight after six consecutive wins.

Maple Leafs beat Rangers in shootout

Max Domi scored the deciding goal in the shootout on his 29th birthday to lift the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers.

John Tavares, William Nylander and Mitch Marner scored in regulation for the Maple Leafs, who have won nine of their last 10 games to pull within six points of second-place Boston in the Atlantic Division.

Vincent Trocheck had a pair of goals for the Rangers, including the tying goal with 67 seconds to play in regulation.

New York lost for just the second time in 13 games (11-1-1) and is two points behind Florida for the Eastern Conference lead.

Claude Giroux's goal with 1:24 remaining in overtime completed a furious rally as the Ottawa Senators overcame a three-goal deficit to earn a 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators in Monday's lone game of the NHL schedule.

Ottawa trailed 3-0 after one period before goals from Drake Batherson, Tim Stuetzle and Brady Tkachuk in the second tied the game, and the Senators received a superb relief effort from goaltender Joonas Korpisalo to help spur the comeback.

Korpisalo stopped all 17 shots he faced after taking over for Mads Sogaard, who was pulled after one period after allowing three goals on 11 shots.

After the Predators failed on a 2-on-1 attempt late in overtime, the Senators countered with an odd-man rush of their own. Stuetzle worked a give-and-go with Giroux, who blasted his teammate's pass over Nashville goaltender Juuse Saros for the game-winner.

Ottawa, tied for last in the Eastern Conference with 40 points, had lost two in a row coming in but improved to 4-1-2 over its last seven games.

The Predators lost for the fourth time in five games despite a solid performance from Saros, who made 14 saves in the third period to force overtime and finished with 31.

Michael McCarron staked Nashville to an early lead when he rocketed a loose puck past Sogaard 8:26 in. Philip Tomasino and Yakov Trenin then scored 2:30 apart before the end of the first period to give the Predators a seemingly comfortable 3-0 advantage. 

Another game, another win for the Edmonton Oilers.

The Oilers beat the Nashville Predators 4-1 on Saturday for their 16th win in a row to move within one victory of the longest winning streak in NHL history.

Edmonton (29-15-1) now begins the All-Star break and won't have a chance to match the record held by the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins until February 6, when it visits the Vegas Golden Knights.

With the win, the Oilers tied the league's second-longest single-season winning streak, held by 2016-17 Columbus Blue Jackets.


Connor McDavid led the way, tallying a goal and three assists, while Leon Draisaitl recorded a goal and two assists for the Oilers, who improved to 24-3-0 since November 24.

The Oilers, who last lost on December 19, are outscoring teams 61-24 during the winning streak and have a franchise-record streak of 14 consecutive games of allowing two goals or less.

Stuart Skinner had another solid showing between the pipes, turning aside 28 shots. He has yielded one goal in each of his last three games and has started 12 games during the winning streak, posting a 1.41 goals-against average in those outings.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins opened the scoring for Edmonton with a power-play goal in the first period and Zach Hyman ended the scoring with an empty-netter for his 30th goal of the season.

Draisaitl scored on the power-play for his 800th career point to reach that milestone in his 683rd game - the fourth-fastest player to reach that mark.

Colton Sissons had the lone goal for the Predators (26-22-1), who lost for the third time in four games.


Matthews scores league-leading 40th goal as Maple Leafs beat Jets

Auston Matthews reached a pair of milestones in the Toronto Maple Leafs' 4-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets, scoring his league-leading 40th goal to reach 600 career points.

Matthews, who has three more goals than the Florida Panthers' Sam Reinhart, has scored in three straight games and has seven goals and three assists in his last six contests.

Playing in his 527th game, Matthews became the fastest skater in Toronto franchise history to 600 career points with his power-play goal with 4:32 to play in the third period.


Ilya Samsonov finished with 24 saves as the Maple Leafs (25-14-8) swept a home-and-home set with the Jets and extended their winning streak to three games.

Ryan Reaves, John Tavares and Simon Benoit also scored goals for Toronto in the final game for both teams before the All-Star break.

Winnipeg's Dylan Samberg opened the scoring when the defenseman found the back of the net on the Jets' first shot of the game 4:13 into the first period.

Mason Appleton added a late goal for the Jets (30-12-5), who lost their third straight game after losing just three of their previous 17 contests (14-1-2).


Rangers score 7 straight goals to rally by Senators

The New York Rangers are heading into the All-Star break on a positive note, rallying from a 2-0 deficit for a 7-2 win over the Ottawa Senators.

Artemi Panarin was one of six Ranger skaters recording multiple points, tallying a goal and two assists, as New York (30-16-3) bounced back from back-to-back defeats and enters the break atop the Metropolitan Division.

After falling behind 2-0, the Rangers erupted for five goals in the second period, tying the game on Chris Kreider's 23rd goal of the season. New York took the lead just 39 seconds later on Zac Jones' first goal.

With the victory, first-year Rangers coach Peter Laviolette moved into a tie for seventh place on the all-time wins list, sitting alongside Al Arbour with 782.

The Senators (18-25-2) lost in regulation for the first time since January 16 after going 3-0-2 in their previous five contests.


Predators spoil Oettinger’s return

Filip Forsberg had a goal and an assist in the third period and Ryan O’Reilly had a goal and two assists to lift the Nashville Predators to a 6-3 win over the Dallas Stars on Friday.

Jeremy Lauzon, Gustav Nyquist and Juuso Parssinen also scored and Roman Josi had three assists for Nashville, which improved to 6-0-1 in its last seven road games.

Dallas’ Jake Oettinger made 32 saves in his first appearance since Dec. 15.

Jani Hakanpaa, Wyatt Johnston and Matt Duchene tallied for the Stars, who had gone 8-3-2 in Oettinger’s absence.

Farabee scores in overtime to lift Flyers

Joel Farabee scored his second goal of the game at 3:36 of overtime to give the Philadelphia Flyers a 4-3 win over the struggling Minnesota Wild.

Tyson Forester and Owen Tippett also had goals for the Flyers, who have won three of four.

Minnesota’s Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 31 shots and remained tied with Patrick Roy for second on the NHL’s career wins list.

The Wild dropped to 1-6-1 in their last eight games since losing star forward Kirill Kaprizov to an injury on Dec. 30.

Auston Matthews continued a sizzling stretch with two more goals and an assist to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 4-1 victory Saturday over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Matthews has goals in seven straight games, with 12 goals and 16 points during that span. He leads the NHL with 28 goals.

He is the first player with 27 or more goals through the first 30 games of a season since Jaromir Jagr did it for Pittsburgh in 1996-97.

William Nylander had a short-handed goal and two assists to extend his point streak to 11 games, while John Tavares also scored and Mitch Marner added two assists.

Justin Danforth had the lone goal for the last-place Blue Jackets, who dropped their fourth straight at home.

Stars score 2 in final 15 seconds to stun Predators

Craig Smith and Jani Hakanpaa scored goals in the final 15 seconds to rally the Dallas Stars to a shocking 3-2 win over the Nashville Predators.

With goalie Scott Wedgewood pulled for an extra skater and Dallas trailing 2-1, Smith scored off a goalmouth scramble with 15 seconds to play.

Hakanpaa then scored his first goal of the season with four seconds left to make it 3-2.

The Stars improved to 5-0-1 in their last six games, and became the first team in NHL history to secure a victory after scoring a tying and go-ahead goal in the final 15 seconds of regulation.

MacKinnon extends point streak as Avalanche win

Nathan MacKinnon had an assist to extend his point streak to 18 games and Alexander Georgiev made 24 saves to lift the Colorado Avalanche to a 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes.

MacKinnon assisted on Valeri Nichushkin’s second-period goal to give him the second-longest point streak by a Colorado player, trailing only Paul Stastny’s 20-game run in 2006-07.

It was also MacKinnon’s 25th point in December. He’s three away from matching the franchise record for a single month set by Peter Stastny in February 1981 with the Quebec Nordiques.

Filip Forsberg scored just 14 seconds into overtime to lift the Nashville Predators to their sixth consecutive win, 3-2 over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.

Michael McCarron scored twice in the first period and Juuse Saros stopped 29 shots for Nashville, which followed a four-game losing streak with wins in six straight.

Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust had goals for the Penguins, who dropped to 2-4-1 in their last seven.

Gustav Nyquist assisted on McCarron’s first goal to extend his point streak to nine games. He has two goals and nine assists during that stretch.

Pittsburgh went scoreless on both power-play opportunities and is 0 for 20 over the last eight games.

Wild stop slide in Hynes’ debut

Joel Eriksson Ek and Frederick Gaudreau scored first-period goals and the Minnesota Wild snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues in John Hynes’ debut as coach.

Matt Boldy added a goal in the third period and Filip Gustavsson stopped 23 shots for Minnesota, playing its first game under Hynes after the Wild fired Dean Evason on Monday.

Colton Parayko scored for the Blues, who dropped to 3-4-0 in their past seven games.

Devils score 3 in third period to rally past Islanders

Curtis Lazar scored with 23 seconds left to cap a three-goal third period and rally the New Jersey Devils to a 5-4 win over the New York Islanders.

New York took a 4-2 lead into the third period, but Jack Hughes scored at 5:08 and Nico Hischier netted the equaliser on a 4-on-3 power play with 8:50 remaining.

Michael McLeod and Dawson Mercer also scored for the Devils, who have won two straight after losing six of seven.

Mathew Barzal had a goal and two assists for the Islanders, who had a six-game point streak snapped (3-1-3).

Nashville Predators goaltender Kevin Lankinen collected a career-high 48 saves to propel his side to a 4-1 win against the New York Islanders on Friday.

The Predators took the lead six minutes into the contest, when Filip Forsberg got on the end of a move from Matt Duchene and Roman Josi to capitalise on an early power play.

That power play unit struck again in the second period, this time with Forsberg and Duchene setting up Josi for the game's second goal. They converted in two of their three total power play opportunities.

Lankinen kept the Islanders scoreless through the first two periods, but it was his third, where he conceded his only goal, that drew the most praise from his teammates.

"He's the first star of the game by far," said Duchene. "The first two periods were pretty even, they had a few more shots because of power plays, but it was pretty even, there was no room out there. 

"Then in the third they threw the kitchen sink at us, and Lankinen stood tall, and we were able to recover on second pucks and rebounds for him. So he was outstanding, and he was our MVP today."

Forsberg echoed those sentiments, crediting Lankinen with the win.

"It's the only reason we're having this interview happy," he said. "Obviously, he was unbelievable for us, especially in the third, but even through the whole game. 

"I don't know how many saves he had in the third, but it was probably 20 almost just in the third period. I mean, we have the two best goalies in the league."

Lankinen had 21 of his 48 saves in the third period, with head coach John Hynes adding: "Kevin was great – he was really good down the stretch. It's great to see him get rewarded."

With the win, the Predators improved their record to 12-9-2, while the Islanders are still in a strong position at 15-10-0.

Nashville Predators coach John Hynes was impressed by the seamless fit of his new signings as they contributed in a major way during the 4-1 win against the San Jose Sharks in the opening game of the NHL season on Friday night.

After signing as an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, Nashville's Kiefer Sherwood opened the scoring just 61 seconds into the action at Prague's O2 Arena. He was assisted by Ryan McDonagh, who arrived from the Tampa Bay Lightning in a trade.

Fellow free agent signing Nino Niederreiter also found the back of the net late in the second period to make it 2-1, before Matt Duchene finished things off with an empty-netter.

Speaking after the game, Hynes said it was nice to see the new faces hit the ground running.

"I thought all the new guys to our team obviously contributed," he said. "A lot of them contributed on the scoreboard, but I thought also just the style of game they played really fits the identity, so it's nice. It's nice for those guys to get off to a good start."

Despite the lopsided score, the Sharks only attempted one less shot (31-32), but Predators goaltender Juuse Saros was sharp, and earned praise from teammate Mattias Ekholm.

"He's that kind of goalie, and he's always our best penalty killer," he said. "On most nights, he's our best player.

"Usually that happens when we win. He's just standing in there for us, and he did tonight. Super excited for him. 

"He's a heck of a goalie, and he makes it a lot easier for us defensemen coming back there."

Ekholm also gave a shout out to the Czech crowd for their enthusiasm in the first regular season game to be played outside of North America since 2019, and looked forward to Saturday night's rematch.

"[The atmosphere] was great," he said. "Sold out. I mean, it was awesome, and that was Friday night. I can't wait for Saturday night."

It was also a memorable night for San Jose's Tomas Hertl, who was born and raised in Prague and used this same arena for his home games when playing for Slavia Praha HC.

Hertl scored the Sharks' only goal, with coach David Quinn shining a light on the achievement after his first game in charge.

"It was a pretty special moment, obviously," he said. "He's been thinking about that for a long time. 

"Obviously happy for him, and the team, I thought, got a little bit inspired by that. I thought they played better after that. Unfortunately, we only got one.

"For the most part, I thought, up until they made it 3-1, we were hanging around. I liked some of the things we were doing. 

"But once they made it 3-1, I really thought there was a huge disparity in the way they played compared to the way we played.

"I thought the last 25 minutes, they really took it to us, and I thought we got a little bit demoralized. We've got to toughen up a little bit mentally in that department."

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