Predators 5, Stars 3
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)—It was hard to say what was more satisfying to Steve Sullivan—his second hat trick in two seasons with the Nashville Predators or the fact that the power play was clicking again.
Sullivan scored three goals, two on the power play, and had a chance at a fourth with a penalty shot in the Predators’ 5-3 victory over the Dallas Stars on Thursday night.
“We were able to get it done on the power play,” Sullivan said. “We know we are going to get chances. We started burying them.”
The Predators were 4-of-10 on the power play.
“We kept it simple,” coach Barry Trotz said. “We established shots. We established lanes. We moved the puck quickly.”
Sullivan scored twice in the third period to earn the hat trick. He failed on a penalty shot in the second period. The Predators have won five games this season when trailing after two periods.
“This was a character win,” Sullivan said. “The guys in this room believe they can go into the third period trailing and still win the game. We have a never-give-up mentality.”
Dallas took a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal. Martin Skoula fired the puck toward the net, and Brendan Morrow, anchored on the right side, took the pass and put it by Nashville goaltender Tomas Vokoun at 6:01 of the first period.
Nashville answered with a power-play goal at 18:46 when Martin Erat scored in traffic in front of the net.
In the second period, Dallas took a 2-1 lead on Nathan Perrott’s first of the season. Steve Ott took a wrist shot that bounced off Vokoun, who went sprawling on the ice. Perrott, also on his back, hit the puck with his stick and put it over Vokoun’s back and into the net at 3:41.
The Predators tied it again at 6:15 with a power-play goal that Sullivan shot from inside the left circle off the crossbar to the right side of the net.
Sullivan missed a chance to give the Predators the lead at 10:42 when his penalty-shot try went high and wide over the net.
The Stars struck on the power play to make it 3-2 when Philippe Boucher scored in traffic in front of the net at 15:53.
Marek Zidlicky tied it for the Predators 15 seconds into the third period.
“Zidlicky has got some dynamic ability to create things,” Trotz said. “He jumped in holes and made things happen.”
Sullivan made it 4-3 at 10:11 on the power play with a wrist shot from the left side of the net. He finished his hat trick at 17:10 to close the scoring.
There were 19 penalties in the game, 10 committed by Dallas. The lack of flow in the game was frustrating for Dallas coach Dave Tippett.
“We went in there expecting a good game, but there were a lot of penalties that took away the rhythm,” he said. “Without a question this game had as little flow as we have seen all year. If the games are going to be called this tight we have to adapt.”
Perrott, making his debut with the Stars, is a former Nashville Predators player. … The Predators are 6-0-1 when allowing the first goal. … The Stars have at least one power-play goal in their last seven games and have scored at least three goals in each of their last eight.