Legwand responded with two goals, one on the power play, and the Nashville Predators beat the New Jersey Devils 3-2 Saturday night.
“Any time you beat a team like New Jersey, it’s a big game,” said Trotz after the victory over the Stanley Cup champions. “The guys are digging in and all of the credit goes to them.”
Legwand opened the scoring at 13:02 of the first period. He passed to Jason York, who took a shot from the left circle. The drive bounced off the pads of New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur, and Legwand skated low into the slot and shot the rebound into an open net during a power play.
“With a key opportunity like that, at a time in the game like that, you’ve got to put it in and take advantage of it,” Legwand said. “I know I need to pick up my game, and this was a start.”
The Predators set the pace in the first period, outshooting the Devils 13-7.
“The first period wasn’t very good for us,” New Jersey coach Pat Burns said. “It was probably the worst first period I’ve seen in a while from our end of it. But we only came out of it losing 1-0. There’s no reason to blame the whole game on that.”
The Predators took a 2-0 lead in the second period on a goal by Mark Eaton at 4:48. Eaton was stationed just inside the blue line and fired a one-timed shot past Brodeur.
Tomas Vokoun, making his 19th straight start made 38 saves for his franchise record 82nd victory with the Predators.
“The Devils are fast,” Vokoun said. “They play smart system hockey. Their power play was good. They were passing it well They were moving and making it tough on us.
“The credit has to go to us. We were able to stop them.”
Patrik Elias brought New Jersey within 2-1 at 9:46 of the second period. His shot from the left side of the net went over Vokoun, who was stretched out on the ice in front of the net.
Legwand gave the Predators an insurance goal at 5:20 of the third period when a pass from Scott Walker deflected in off of his skate.
“I was just going to the net and it hit my skate and went up over Brodeur’s shoulder,” Legwand said. “Scott Walker just threw the puck to the net hoping something would happen, and it did.”
With 24 seconds remaining, John Madden scored to cut the Devils’ deficit to 3-2.
“Nashville played really hard right from the get-go,” Brodeur said. “They took advantage of some breaks and got some chances.
“I thought we played really well in the second and third periods. We madesome mistakes, but we had a lot of good chances to score.”
The Devils had won their previous four games in Nashville. … Walker has a four-game point streak (one goal, six assists) and has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in seven games. … Nashville has earned at least onepoint in nine of 11 games.