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Predators' rookie Jones scores winner vs. Habs

The SportsXchange

MONTREAL -- Nashville Predators rookie defenseman Seth Jones' impressive start to his career continued against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

Jones turned a David Legwand pass into a toe drag around Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges and then a goal with 1:27 remaining in the third period to give the Predators a 2-1 win over Montreal on Saturday night at the Bell Centre.

"It was just kind of a reaction thing. I saw the forward's back was turned and he couldn't see me, obviously, so I just kind of went. Leggy made a great play," said Jones, the fourth overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.

It was the 19-year-old's second goal of the season on a night that saw him surpass the 25-minute mark for the fifth time in eight games.

"Right now he's playing with Shea (Weber) and that's going to help him," Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne said. "He's playing extremely well. It's fun to watch.

"He's a young guy and he's using his strengths. He's not afraid to deke guys and sometimes take a little bit risky plays but he has that kind of confidence and swagger and it's great to have him."

Rinne stopped 28 shots for Nashville (4-3-1), which opened up a three-game road trip.

Carey Price made 35 saves in the loss, which snapped a four-game winning streak for Montreal (5-3-0).

Thirteen of those stops came in the first period as the Predators outshot the Canadiens 14-6 en route to a 1-0 lead.

The Predators opened the scoring at the end of a two-man advantage at 12:31 of the first. With the first Montreal penalty set to expire, Weber moved up from the point to the right circle and deflected a shot off Gorges and into the net. It was Nashville's first power-play goal on the road this season.

"The whole game we played extremely well. The first two periods, we put a lot of pressure on their net and Price, he was playing extremely well," said Rinne. "In the third, we killed some huge penalties. Our PK did a great job.

"It's a big win for us; it's our first road win this year."

Brendan Gallagher evened things up at 7:02 of the second period. After Canadiens center Lars Eller drove to the net, he and winger Michael Bournival tried to poke the puck past Rinne, but Gallagher cleaned up the mess with a backhander over the Finnish netminder. The tally, his fourth of the season, snapped a three-game goal-less drought for the second-year player.

The Canadiens thought they took the lead early in the final frame when Eller appeared to get the puck just barely by Rinne. Referee Chris Rooney, stationed behind the net, pointed to signify a goal but the call was overturned after a lengthy video review and discussion among the four officials on the ice.

"In my opinion, the puck was inside. He had his glove on it so technically you can't see it inside, but you know when you can't see it outside the line, it's got to be inside. It's logic," Eller said. "The rules are the way the rules are; you can't change that. But in my mind, the puck's inside."

The Canadiens finished the game down two forwards. Right winger Daniel Briere left in the second period and did not return, suffering a concussion after getting hit by Predators left-winger Eric Nystrom. Gritty winger Brandon Prust fell awkwardly into the boards in the middle of the third and suffered what the team said was an upper-body injury.

"It's not easy but it's a physical game -- we all know that," said Canadiens defenseman Francis Bouillon. "It's never fun when you see your teammates going down like that."

NOTES: The Canadiens were without LW Max Pacioretty, who is out three weeks with a strained left hamstring. ... Montreal D Nathan Beaulieu was re-assigned to the club's AHL affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs, after the warm-up. ... Nashville was without C Mike Fisher (injured) and LW Rich Clune. ... The game was the first at the Bell Centre for Predators LW Gabriel Bourque, a native of Rimouski, Quebec.
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