Pekka Rinne was perfect in goal stopping all 30 Shots from the Dallas Stars in the Predators’ 1-0 victory at the American Airlines Center in Dallas on Saturday night. Cal O’Reilly scored on a rebound off of a Shea Weber shot just 42 seconds into the contest and that held up as the only goal in the contest.
Kari Lehtonen was the hard luck loser in goal for the Stars and was impressive stopping all but one of the Preds’ 24 shots.
The Predators looked strong as the game began and outshot Dallas 11-8 in the first period. The second period was all Dallas, with them peppering Rinne with 13 shots while the Preds only got off five shots. In the final period, the Stars led in shots 9-8.
The Stars had numerous scoring chances but the best was in the second period when a shot from Matt Niskanen ended up behind Rinne in the blue ice. Defenseman Kevin Klein beat Stars forward Loui Eriksson to the puck and was able to clear it.
The Predators started seven defensemen since Klein was battling a bit of an illness. Teenu Laasko, who was called up before the game only played four shifts and saw 2:24 of ice time. Sergei Kostitsyn was a healthy scratch.
Weber’s big shot claimed a couple of more victims during the game. Patric Hornqvist was hit but was able to continue playing. J.P. Dumont was stuck and did not return after the 7:50 mark in the third. Dumont’s availability for Sunday’s game is unknown.
The Predators remain unbeaten in regulation as they improve to 4-0-3 on the young sesaon. Meanwhile, the Stars, who are still off to their best start in quite awhile slip to 5-2 on the year.
The Predators had a quick turn around and left immediately after the game to travel to Tampa where they will play the Lightning Sunday afternoon at 5 p.m. Central.