Predators 4, Maple Leafs 2

Larry Millson, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

TORONTO -- Center Craig Smith scored twice and added an assist and center Matt Cullen had a goal and three assists as the Nashville Predators defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 on Thursday to extend their winning streak to three games.
Rookie defenseman Seth Jones also scored for the Predators (11-9-2), who had three unanswered goals in the second period. Center Colin Wilson chipped in with two assists for the Predators.
Centers Peter Holland and Nazem Kadri scored for the Maple Leafs (13-8-1), who had a five-game home winning streak snapped.
Nashville goalkeeper Marek Mazanec, who was making his sixth career start in the NHL, stopped 24 of 26 shots.
Toronto goalkeeper Jonathan Bernier, starting his second game in a row, stopped 24 of 28 shots.
Nashville took a three-goal lead when Smith picked up his second goal of the game and sixth of the season at 4:32 of the third period on a shot from a sharp angle from the edge of the right faceoff circle.
Kadri picked up his sixth goal of the season at 15:28 of the third period to cut Nashville's lead to two goals.
The Predators who trailed 1-0 after one period, took a 3-1 lead on Smith's first goal of the game on a power play on a close-in effort at 16:25 of the second period. That added to the lead that Cullen gave Nashville at 11:14 of the second with his fourth goal of the season. Left winger Gabriel Bourque passed to Cullen who whiffed on his first shot in front of goal before scoring with his second attempt.
The Predators tied the game at 2:01 of the second on Jones' third goal of the season, 36 seconds after Leafs left winger Mason Raymond was assessed a double minor for high-sticking center David Legwand. Cullen passed back to Jones who wired a slap shot from just inside the blue line.
The Leafs took a 1-0 lead in the first. Bernier made a save on a point-blank shot by Cullen on a power play two minutes into the game to keep Nashville off the board. Then Holland skated in unimpeded to score on a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle at 5:48 of the period. It was Holland's second goal of the season and his first since he was acquired Saturday in a trade with the Anaheim Ducks.
NOTES: Leafs C Nazem Kadri was back in the lineup after serving a three-game suspension for his hit on Minnesota Wild G Niklas Backstrom on Nov. 13. ... Nashville LW Eric Nystrom (upper body) did not play Thursday, but he could be ready to return Saturday when the Predators host the New York Rangers. ... Predators C Filip Forsberg (upper body) continues to be listed as day-to-day. He did not play Thursday. ... The Leafs sent RW Carter Ashton to the AHL Toronto Marlies, opening a spot for C Tyler Bozak (hamstring) who could return to the lineup Saturday against the Washington Capitals. ... Toronto D Mark Fraser has not played since last Saturday, when he tweaked a knee against the Buffalo Sabres.

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