TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - The Nashville Predators had an outstanding 24 hours.
Rookie Anders Lindback made 42 saves to help Nashville sweep a pair of weekend road games with a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday night.
Lindback made in-close saves on Vincent Lecavalier and Ryan Malone during the second and stopped Lecavalier on a third-period breakaway.
``Our goalies are awesome,' Nashville defenseman Cody Franson said. ``Our goalies have been a real backbone for us.'
Shea Weber, Sergei Kostitsyn, Franson and Colin Wilson scored for the Predators, the only NHL team (5-0-3) that hasn't lost in regulation this season. Nashville was coming off a 1-0 victory Saturday night in Dallas, where Pekka Rinne made 30 saves.
``I didn't know what to expect,' Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. ``The guys did a great job.'
The Predators arrived at their Tampa hotel around 3 a.m.
Tampa Bay got goals from Sean Bergenheim, Martin St. Louis and Adam Hall. Dan Ellis faced 26 shots and took the loss in his first game against his former team.
``We got outplayed,' St. Louis said. ``They outworked us, and that's why they came out on top.'
After Weber scored from the left circle 11:54 into the first, Kostitsyn gave the Predators 2-1 lead on an in-close rebound goal with 4:56 left in the period.
Bergenheim skated alone down the slot off a pass from Pavel Kubina and scored on Lindback's stick side as the Lightning went up 1-0 at 6:30 of the first.
Franson made it 3-1 during a breakaway with 2:05 to go in the second. The goal came after Lindback stopped Victor Hedman's shot from the slot.
``It doesn't matter how close the score is ... at least we won,' Lindback said.
Wilson extended the Predators' lead to 4-1 with 5:50 left in the third. Tampa Bay pulled to 4-3 when St. Louis (15:01) and Hall (15:58) scored 57 seconds apart.
``We never make it easier for ourselves,' Trotz said. ``It was unfortunate.'
Nashville has played seven one-goal games, going 4-0-3.
Steven Stamkos assisted on St. Louis' goal, giving him five assists and nine points during a four-game points streak. Stamkos was shaken up with 3:07 left in the third when he was checked into the end boards by Martin Erat, who received a minor penalty for cross-checking.
Stamkos returned before the game ended and said he was fine after spending around 40 minutes postgame in the trainers' room.
``I don't think he meant to do it,' Stamkos said. ``I was off balance ... he gives me a little nudge. Quick play. Things like that happen.'
It was just the 15th meeting, with seven coming in Florida, between the teams. Nashville (2-3-2-0) had won just once previously at Tampa Bay, a 3-0 victory on March 24, 1999.
NOTES: Lightning LW Simon Gagne (stiff neck) missed his second consecutive game. ... Nashville RW J-P Dumont, who left Saturday night with a lower-body injury, was in the lineup and had an assist. ... Nashville C Jerred Smithson played in his 400th NHL game and assisted on Kostitsyn's goal to stop a 19-game points drought. ... The Pittsburgh Penguins, off until Wednesday night's game with the Lightning, practiced in Tampa.
The Associated Press News Service
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