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Dallas at Nashville

Predators pounce on Stars behind Legwand's hat trick

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- When David Legwand became the first player ever drafted by the Nashville Predators in 1998, he was expected to become the leader of the young franchise.

He's beginning to play up to those expectations.

Legwand had the second three-goal game of his career to help the Nashville Predators beat the Dallas Stars 5-1 on Saturday night.

"It was great for David to get such a chance to express himself offensively," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "We're not going to judge one game, but David's growth has been pretty steady."

Last season, after many observers had decided he might be nothing more than a highly-skilled role player, Legwand had a breakout year with career highs with 27 goals, 36 assists and 63 points.

"With every young player, the growth is never a straight line," Trotz said. "The line has moved up for David. I think he has higher expectations for himself. I trust David in all situations on the ice."

The Predators have opened the season with a 2-0 record. Last season they were 0-3 in their first three games. The last time they opened with two straight wins was 2005, when they won the first eight games of the season.

"The season is a marathon, but we can sprint out to the lead," Legwand said. "It's a long season with another big week in front of us. I have to keep it going and the team has to keep it going."

For the second game in a row, Nashville struck first. At the 6:37 mark, Martin Erat skated around behind the goal and passed the puck to Legwand at the edge of the crease. Legwand made a high shot to beat Dallas goaltender Mike Smith to his right side as he sprawled on the ice.

J.P Dumont gave Nashville a 2-0 lead at 5:22 of the second period on the power play. He fired a one-timer from the inside of the right face off circle that went high above the left shoulder of Smith.

Legwand scored his second goal of the game at 9:23 of the second period. Erat found him skating down the slot for a breakaway shot over the left pad of Smith.

"It's a different game for us when we score early like we have in the first two games," Jason Arnott said. "If it doesn't happen we have to be able to stick to our game plan. For the most part it is going pretty well.

"We can't be too high on ourselves though. It is only two games."

Nashville goaltender Chris Mason missed his bid for a second consecutive shutout at 13:14 of the third period, when Krys Barch skated in all alone on a breakaway and blasted a shot that went between Mason's right pad and arm.

Martin Gelinas scored an empty-net goal for Nashville at 18:46.

Five seconds later, Legwand scored from the left side of the goal to complete his hat trick.

"A lot of our offense game from good defense," Trotz said. "All of those goals were transitional-type things that got us back into their zone. Solid defense leads to good offense. That is the right way to play."

Dallas outshot Nashville 29-22.

"I got outplayed," Smith said. "You've got to make big saves at the right times in the game and I didn't do it. The goalie has to be the backbone of the team. This game showed that the goalie can win or lose hockey games for you."

Dallas coach Dave Tippett refused to put all of the blame at Smith's feet.

"I don't think you can blame the game on Mike," Tippett said. "But certainly a couple of big saves wouldn't have hurt our cause. It was more our execution as we tried to create any type of chances."

Notes

  • Ville Koistinen made his NHL debut replacing Shea Weber, who is out three-to-six weeks with a dislocated patella (knee cap) sustained in the first 2:19 of the first period of Thursday night's game with Colorado.
  • Announced attendance was approximately 4,000 below capacity.
  • Arnott was one of the contributors who bought tickets so 250 families could attend the game.
  • Erat had three assists for Nashville.
  • This was the second game in a row that Nashville has faced an opponent that played a game the night before.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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David Legwand (11), who gets his second career hat trick, is a constant threat around the crease. (AP)
David Legwand (11), who gets his second career hat trick, is a constant threat around the crease. (AP)
Related Links
 
Scoreboard
Dallas (1-2-0)0011
Nashville  (2-0-0) «1225
Three Stars
D. Legwand
NSH


Goals: 3
Assist(s): 0
C. Mason
NSH


Saves: 28
Save Pct.: .966
M. Erat
NSH


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 3
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
06:37David Legwand (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Martin Erat, Dan Hamhuis
2ND PERIOD
05:22Power Play - J.P. Dumont (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Marek Zidlicky, Jason Arnott
09:23David Legwand (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Martin Erat, Greg de Vries
3RD PERIOD
13:14Krys Barch (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Steve Ott, Philippe Boucher
18:46Martin Gelinas (1), Empty Net. Assist: Jerred Smithson, Dan Hamhuis
19:01David Legwand (3), Wrist Shot. Assist: Jed Ortmeyer, Martin Erat
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
02:44Tootoo, 5 min, Fighting
02:44Barch, 5 min, Fighting
02:47Winchester, 5 min, Fighting
02:47Hordichuk, 5 min, Fighting
04:21Dumont, 2 min, Tripping
11:11Arnott, 2 min, Interference with goal tender.
18:13Zidlicky, 2 min, Tripping
2ND PERIOD
04:34Zubov, 2 min, Hooking
15:16Tootoo, 2 min, Slashing
16:28Gelinas, 2 min, High sticking
19:49Winchester, 2 min, Holding
3RD PERIOD
02:13Radulov, 2 min, Hooking
06:46Suter, 2 min, Slashing
08:40Hagman, 2 min, Hooking
10:11Erat, 2 min, Interference
13:52Halpern, 2 min, Holding
SHOTS ON GOAL
 123T
Dallas6111229
Nashville49922
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Mike Smith59:45174
Chris Mason59:34281
Game Information
Attendance - 13079
Referees - Marc Joannette, Tom Kowal
Linesmen - Tim Nowak, Mark Shewchyk
 
Other Games
NYR 0 Final
Ott 2
Buf 2 Final
NYI 3
Bos 3 Final
Pho 1
Van 4 Final
OT
Cal 3
Car 0 Final
Wash 2
Colu 2 Final
Min 3
StL 5 Final
LA 3
Det 3 Final
Chi 4
NJ 4 Final
Fla 1
Phi 3 Final
Edm 5
Mon 3 Final
OT
Tor 4
Atl 2 Final
TB 5
Ana 4 Final
Pitt 5