Hall’s OT goal lifts red-hot Bruins over Predators, 4-3
Taylor Hall scored off a rebound of David Pastrnak's shot 1:41 into overtime, lifting the red-hot Boston Bruins to a 4-3 win over the Western Conference-leading Nashville Predators on Saturday.
Pastrnak took a shot from the right circle and the puck slipped behind Saros, where Hall poked it in for the game-winner.
Brad Marchand, Craig Smith and Mike Reilly also scored for the Bruins, who won their fifth straight and are 8-1 since New Year's Day. Linus Ullmark made 26 saves.
"Looking back, with the COVID break, we had a little time where we could ramp back up," Smith said of Boston's 2022 start. "If anybody was in a spot where they weren't happy about their game, it was a spot where they could regroup."
Colton Sissons, Luke Kunin and Ramon Josi each had a goal for Nashville, which has only lost three times in regulation in its last 18 games (13-3-2). Juuse Saros made 40 saves for the Predators.
"I really liked our game," Nashville coach John Hynes said. "We've talked about being a tough team to play against mentally and physically."
Marchand's power-play goal - a rising wrist shot over Saros' glove into the top right corner from the right circle - had pushed Boston ahead 3-2 just 3:50 into the third period, but Josi tied it after a turnover by Pastrnak.
Marchand reached 20 goals for the ninth straight season and for the second time this week had a bloody nose and scored. On Monday, he suffered a broken nose in a win at Washington but scored twice after the injury.
In the second period on Saturday, Marchand took what appeared to be an inadvertent elbow from Josi to the nose along the boards, sending the Boston forward dazed to the ice. He had gauze stuffed up his nostrils on the bench but returned for his next shift.
"When the playoffs start, you need to have that game in your bag," Hall said. "That was a fun game to play."
Trailing 2-0, the Predators scored late in the opening period and tied it when Kunin slipped a low wrist shot by Ullmark 7:32 into the second period.
"It's not only about physical toughness, it's about mental toughness, too," Hynes said. "Being two down against one of the hottest teams in the NHL, we had a strong game against a very solid hockey team. ... I'm glad we got at least a point after that effort."
Sissons had sliced Nashville's deficit in half when he skated across from the left circle into the slot before firing a wrister into the net.
Smith gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead 3:20 into the game against his former team when he beat Saros with a wrister over the glove from the right circle.
Reilly collected a cross-ice pass from Erik Haula, cut across the crease and lifted a backhander into the net 4:17 later.
"Playing against that team, they've been playing really well. We knew it would be a hard-fought battle," Smith said. "It was a fun game. I think everybody was engaged. Everybody on the bench was lively."
IN AND OUT
Predators defenseman Mark Borowiecki returned after missing the previous game with an undisclosed lower-body injury and winger Yakov Trenin was back after missing two games in the COVID-19 protocol, but Filip Forsberg was sidelined in protocol for his fourth straight game.
For Boston, defensemen Matt Grzelcyk and Connor Clifton both remain in protocol and were out. Forwards Nick Foligno and Trent Frederic remained sidelined with undisclosed injuries, but defenseman Derek Forbort returned from protocol.
NOTES: Saros had 11 wins in the Predators' previous 17 games, the best stretch by a goalie in the league during that span. ... It was the Bruins' third game in four days, all at home. ... Boston won the other meeting between the teams this season, 2-0 at Nashville on Dec. 2. ... Smith had 162 goals and 330 points in 661 games with the Predators from 2011-20.
Predators: At St. Louis on Monday.
Bruins: Host Carolina on Tuesday.