Smith's hat trick leads Predators over Islanders 5-0

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Craig Smith scored three times, Juuse Saros made 31 saves and the Nashville Predators beat the New York Islanders 5-0 on Thursday night.

Rocco Grimaldi had a goal and an assist and Mattias Ekholm also scored for Nashville, which snapped a two-game losing streak.

New York had won two in a row. Thomas Greiss allowed three goals on eight shots before he was replaced by Semyon Varlamov, who made 16 saves.

Making his fourth start in Nashville’s last five games, Saros recorded his second shutout of the season and ninth of his career.

“It always helps with the rhythm and everything feels more natural playing more, so it’s been good,” Saros said.

It was Smith's first career hat trick. Prior to Thursday, Smith had 19 two-goal games, including two this season.

“It was great,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of opportunities to get it, so it was nice.”

Smith scored just 35 seconds into the opening period.

Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy had the puck in the right circle. Smith lifted Leddy’s stick, took the puck and then beat Greiss with a quick wrist shot on the short side just underneath the crossbar.

“I just like the way he comes to the rink every day,” Nashville coach John Hynes said of Smith. “He’s a real coachable guy. He’s got good energy about himself. He’s focused.”

Smith got his second at 7:41 of the first.

Behind the New York net, Grimaldi sent a hard pass to Smith in the slot, where he beat Greiss with a wrist shot.

“We didn’t have a very good start,” Islanders captain Anders Lee said. “We gave them a lot of opportunities and they buried three of them in the first period. We had our chances, but it just wasn’t a good enough effort to get us going in the game tonight.”

Ekholm chased Greiss when he converted a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle 13:33 into the first.

In the first meeting of the season between the teams Dec. 17 on Long Island, Greiss allowed five goals on 15 shots.

“Our effort and our focus on execution and turnovers were not good tonight,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “I didn't like our mindset tonight. There's no way we're going to win any games with that mindset.”

Grimaldi beat Varlamov 4:41 into the second and Smith scored again at 11:38. Smith got his 16th of the season off a pass from Predators captain Roman Josi.

NOTES: Country music singer Luke Bryan performed the national anthem. ... IBF Super Middleweight champion Caleb Plant attended the game. ... Nashville C Calle Jarnkrok recorded his 100th career NHL assist… The Islanders are 6-4-0 against Central Division teams this season.

UP NEXT

Islanders: Visit the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday.

Predators: Visit the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.

Copyright 2020 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

123T
NYI33-17-6
0000
NSH27-22-7
3205
STARS OF THE GAME
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
J. Bailey RW00-200/1015:140
C. Bardreau C00-113/4012:462
M. Barzal C00004/8021:000
A. Beauvillier LW00-300/0017:202
K. Bellows LW00000/0012:151
J. Boychuk D00-410/0014:193
D. Brassard C00-150/5013:191
M. Dal Colle LW00-130/0013:071
N. Dobson D00-320/0017:031
J. Eberle RW00-110/0019:290
L. Komarov RW00-202/0012:272
N. Leddy D00-100/0020:350
A. Lee LW00083/3019:340
M. Martin LW00-110/0509:511
S. Mayfield D00030/0018:301
B. Nelson C00-328/8017:140
R. Pulock D00-120/0022:422
D. Toews D00-120/0023:150
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
V. Arvidsson RW00010/0015:580
N. Bonino C01408/8013:410
M. Duchene C00029/3014:560
M. Ekholm D10230/0022:030
D. Fabbro D00210/0019:161
F. Forsberg LW00010/0013:380
M. Granlund RW00020/0218:530
R. Grimaldi LW11420/0013:370
D. Hamhuis D00130/0218:141
C. Jarnkrok LW01120/1013:390
R. Johansen C00015/3015:080
R. Josi D01300/0022:440
C. Sissons C00117/4016:010
C. Smith RW30430/1012:571
J. Tinordi D00110/0020:332
K. Turris C00010/0015:420
A. Watson RW01100/0511:451
Y. Weber D00120/0017:151
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
T. Greiss (L)8350.62513:33
S. Varlamov 182160.88946:27
GOALIESSA
T. Greiss (L)8
S. Varlamov 18
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
J. Saros (W)310311.00060:00
GOALIESSA
J. Saros (W)31
Jordan Eberle shot on goal (Wrist shot)
NYI:GoalsShots
NSH:GoalsShots
Full Play By Play
GOALS
    • 2ND PERIOD
      • NSH
        11:38GOAL Craig Smith (Wrist shot), Assist: Roman Josi
      • NSH
        04:41GOAL Rocco Grimaldi (Wrist shot)
    • 1ST PERIOD
      • NSH
        13:33GOAL Mattias Ekholm (Wrist shot), Assists: Calle Jarnkrok and Austin Watson
      • NSH
        07:41GOAL Craig Smith (Wrist shot), Assists: Rocco Grimaldi and Nick Bonino
      • NSH
        35.0GOAL Craig Smith (Wrist shot)
    PENALTIES
      • 2ND PERIOD
        • NSH
          15:02Dan Hamhuis penalty Hooking - 2 min.
        • NSH
          06:16Mikael Granlund penalty Holding - 2 min.
      • 1ST PERIOD
        • NSH
          06:46Austin Watson penalty Fighting - 5 min.
        • NYI
          06:46Matt Martin penalty Fighting - 5 min.
      TEAM STATS
      NYI
      NSH
      Shots on Goal3126
      Goals in Power Play00
      Faceoff Wins2029
      Penalties13
      Major Penalties11
      Minor Penalties02
      Misconducts00
      TEAM STATS
      NYI
      Shots on Goal31
      Goals in Power Play0
      Faceoff Wins20
      Penalties1
      Major Penalties1
      Minor Penalties0
      Misconducts0
      123T
      NYI33-17-6
      0000
      NSH27-22-7
      3205
      STARS OF THE GAME
      0.0 %SHOT %19.2 %
      0.808 %SAVE %1.000 %
      SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
      J. Bailey RW00-200/1015:140
      C. Bardreau C00-113/4012:462
      M. Barzal C00004/8021:000
      A. Beauvillier LW00-300/0017:202
      K. Bellows LW00000/0012:151
      J. Boychuk D00-410/0014:193
      D. Brassard C00-150/5013:191
      M. Dal Colle LW00-130/0013:071
      N. Dobson D00-320/0017:031
      J. Eberle RW00-110/0019:290
      L. Komarov RW00-202/0012:272
      N. Leddy D00-100/0020:350
      A. Lee LW00083/3019:340
      M. Martin LW00-110/0509:511
      S. Mayfield D00030/0018:301
      B. Nelson C00-328/8017:140
      R. Pulock D00-120/0022:422
      D. Toews D00-120/0023:150
      SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
      V. Arvidsson RW00010/0015:580
      N. Bonino C01408/8013:410
      M. Duchene C00029/3014:560
      M. Ekholm D10230/0022:030
      D. Fabbro D00210/0019:161
      F. Forsberg LW00010/0013:380
      M. Granlund RW00020/0218:530
      R. Grimaldi LW11420/0013:370
      D. Hamhuis D00130/0218:141
      C. Jarnkrok LW01120/1013:390
      R. Johansen C00015/3015:080
      R. Josi D01300/0022:440
      C. Sissons C00117/4016:010
      C. Smith RW30430/1012:571
      J. Tinordi D00110/0020:332
      K. Turris C00010/0015:420
      A. Watson RW01100/0511:451
      Y. Weber D00120/0017:151
      GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
      T. Greiss (L)8350.62513:33
      S. Varlamov 182160.88946:27
      GOALIESSA
      T. Greiss (L)8
      S. Varlamov 18
      GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
      J. Saros (W)310311.00060:00
      GOALIESSA
      J. Saros (W)31
      STARS OF THE GAME
      123T
      NYI33-17-6
      0000
      NSH27-22-7
      3205
      SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
      J. Bailey RW00-200/1015:140
      C. Bardreau C00-113/4012:462
      M. Barzal C00004/8021:000
      A. Beauvillier LW00-300/0017:202
      K. Bellows LW00000/0012:151
      J. Boychuk D00-410/0014:193
      D. Brassard C00-150/5013:191
      M. Dal Colle LW00-130/0013:071
      N. Dobson D00-320/0017:031
      J. Eberle RW00-110/0019:290
      L. Komarov RW00-202/0012:272
      N. Leddy D00-100/0020:350
      A. Lee LW00083/3019:340
      M. Martin LW00-110/0509:511
      S. Mayfield D00030/0018:301
      B. Nelson C00-328/8017:140
      R. Pulock D00-120/0022:422
      D. Toews D00-120/0023:150
      Total0003120/295-17
      SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
      V. Arvidsson RW00010/0015:580
      N. Bonino C01408/8013:410
      M. Duchene C00029/3014:560
      M. Ekholm D10230/0022:030
      D. Fabbro D00210/0019:161
      F. Forsberg LW00010/0013:380
      M. Granlund RW00020/0218:530
      R. Grimaldi LW11420/0013:370
      D. Hamhuis D00130/0218:141
      C. Jarnkrok LW01120/1013:390
      R. Johansen C00015/3015:080
      R. Josi D01300/0022:440
      C. Sissons C00117/4016:010
      C. Smith RW30430/1012:571
      J. Tinordi D00110/0020:332
      K. Turris C00010/0015:420
      A. Watson RW01100/0511:451
      Y. Weber D00120/0017:151
      Total5502629/209-7
      GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
      T. Greiss (L)8350.62513:33
      S. Varlamov 182160.88946:27
      GOALIESSA
      T. Greiss (L)8
      S. Varlamov 18
      GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
      J. Saros (W)310311.00060:00
      GOALIESSA
      J. Saros (W)31
      GOALS
        • 2ND PERIOD
        • 1ST PERIOD
        PENALTIES
          • 2ND PERIOD
          • 1ST PERIOD
          • 3RD PERIOD
          • 2ND PERIOD
          • 1ST PERIOD

          123T
          NYI33-17-6
          0000
          NSH27-22-7
          3205
          TEAM STATS
          3.26
          GF AVG
          2.98
          GA AVG
          .48
          Power Play
          3.59
          GF AVG
          3.67
          GA AVG
          .63
          Power Play
          All times are US/Eastern.