Rookie Girard helps Preds down Stars

(TSX / STATS) -- NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Rookie defenseman Samuel Girard scored his first NHL goal and assisted on the tie-breaking goal by Filip Forsberg less than three minutes later as the Nashville Predators stopped the Dallas Stars 4-1 on Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena.

Playing just his second NHL game, Girard bombed home a slapper from just inside the blue line at 3:27 of the second period to even the score at 1-1. The 19-year old pumped both fists as his teammates mobbed him.

Girard set up the next goal at 6:21. Although goalie Ben Bishop was able to save his one-timer from the left circle, Forsberg pounced on the rebound and roofed it into a half-open net for his fourth goal in four games. It occurred with Jason Spezza in the penalty box for tripping Forsberg and gave Nashville a 2-1 lead.

Nashville (2-2-0) made the lead stick with its best defensive effort of the young season. After allowing 13 goals in their first three games, the Predators got 30 saves from Pekka Rinne as they slowed Dallas (1-3-0) following a sluggish first period.

Viktor Arvidsson sealed the outcome with his second goal of the season at 15:09 of the third period, beating Bishop with a wrister after Forsberg stole the puck from Alexander Radulov in the neutral zone.

P.K. Subban tacked on an empty-net marker at 18:06, his first of the season.

Jamie Benn gave the Stars a 1-0 lead at 8:04 of the first period on the power play, poking a rebound off the inside of Rinne's right pad and into the net for his first goal. It occurred 42 seconds after Rinne took a minor penalty for delay of game.

But Rinne was back in playoff form after that. Twice he denied Benn at point-blank range during a sequence midway through the second period when Dallas hemmed the Predators in their defensive zone for more than a minute.

Rinne got some luck when Antoine Roussel missed an open net early in the third period, preventing the Stars from tying the score.

Bishop stopped 27 of 30 shots.

NOTES: Dallas D Dan Hamhuis (groin) missed his second straight game, with Julius Honka drawing into the lineup in his place. ... Nashville D Roman Josi (lower-body injury) sat out his second consecutive game and was replaced by 19-year old rookie Samuel Girard. ... The Stars scratched D Greg Pateryn and C Gemel Smith. ... D Anthony Bitetto and RW Miikka Salomaki were the Predators' other scratches. C Colton Sissons (lower-body injury) returned to the lineup after missing Tuesday night's contest.


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