Cam Tucker

Nashville Predators v Anaheim Ducks

Predators’ Hutton earns the shutout after giving Pekka Rinne the night off


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Backup Carter Hutton made 29 saves for his third career shutout and the Nashville Predators beat the Minnesota Wild 3-0 on Saturday night to end a five-game losing streak.

Hutton made his first home start of the season and stopped 25 shots over the first two periods before Nashville’s defense locked down Minnesota in the third. He was filling in for Pekka Rinne after the All-Star lost his last four starts.

Eric Nystrom, Roman Josi and Filip Forsberg scored for Nashville.

Minnesota lost its fourth straight. Goalie Devan Dubnyk made 22 saves on 24 shots.

Nystrom redirected Shea Weber‘s shot from the right point inside the far post 1:24 in. That was Nashville’s first shot of the game.

It was the second straight game the Predators have gotten off to a quick start. Kevin Fiala got his first NHL goal 59 seconds into a 5-4 overtime loss at Winnipeg on Thursday night.

Josi increased the Predators’ lead to 2-0 with a power-play goal at 6:14 of the third period. The All-Star defenseman roofed his own rebound into the left corner of the net over a sprawled Dubnyk for his 10th goal of the season. Minnesota defenseman Matt Dumba was in the penalty box for delay of game after knocking the Wild net off its moorings during Craig Smith‘s breakaway.

Nashville center Ryan Johansen got the primary assist for his 200th career point in his first game in Nashville after being acquired in a trade with Columbus on Jan. 6.

Johansen has two goals and five assists in his first five games with the Predators.

Forsberg added an empty-net goal with 1:26 left.

NOTES: Nashville earned a win in its first home game since returning from a four-game trip. … The Predators finished 3-1 against the Wild this season. … Minnesota, which lost to Winnipeg 1-0 Friday night for its first shutout defeat of the season, is 2-3-3 in the second game of back-to-backs. … Minnesota took eight of the first nine shots, but still trailed 1-0.

Video: Blue Jackets defeat Avalanche thanks to late Jack Johnson winner


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) In a season when the Columbus Blue Jackets have been on the wrong side of bad bounces and injuries to key players, one swing of defensemen Jack Johnson‘s stick against Colorado changed their luck – at least for one game.

Johnson scored with 1:07 left off Avalanche forward Cody McLeod‘s skate to give Columbus a 2-1 victory over Colorado on Saturday night.

“I was just trying to get it by the first forward, trying to get it down by the net for our forwards,” Johnson said. “But it went in. I’ll take it.”

Johnson fired the puck toward the net from near the blue line and it sailed through the air before McLeod redirected it past goaltender Calvin Pickard.

“You don’t expect one like mine to go in, but it’s better to be lucky than good sometimes,” Johnson said.

Brandon Dubinsky slapped a shot past Pickard 58 seconds into the first for his ninth goal of the year.

The Avalanche tied it at 6:02 of the second on rookie forward Chris Wagner‘s fourth goal of the season. He redirected a shot by Jarome Iginla that trickled under the right leg of goaltender Joonas Korpisalo.

Korpisalo made 29 saves and got his third career victory. Pickard stopped 19 shots.

“I thought (Korpisalo), the past two games has been outstanding,” Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. “He looked solid tonight. There were a lot of bodies around him, a lot of screened shots, he made a couple of great saves in the period.”

Columbus missed a chance to regain the lead 8 minutes after Wagner’s goal during a Colorado power play. The Jackets had a goal waved off when William Karlsson used his skate to push a pass from Cam Atkinson into the net. Karlsson swept his stick in an effort to touch the puck before it crossed the goal line, but the call stood upon review.

The Jackets failed to score during a third-period power play, with multiple opportunities turned away by Pickard.

Colorado’s best chance to score in the period came when Nathan MacKinnon ripped a shot off the post during a power play, after referees whistled the Jackets for too many men on the ice at 10:07.

“I thought we dominated the third period,” Wagner said. “Outshot them by a good margin, they had a pretty good bounce there at the end. (McLeod) was just trying to block the shot, it’s unfortunate. Things happen I guess.”

Colorado pulled Pickard after Johnson’s score but failed to threaten Korpisalo in the final minute.

“That’s the way this game is,” Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. “You’re going to win some that you don’t deserve to win, and sometimes you’re going to lose some that you deserve to win.”

Columbus remains in last place despite the win but has won two straight after winning at Toronto on Wednesday night. Colorado had won four of its last six to move into the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference, but what Tortorella described as Johnson’s “lucky bounce” was enough for Columbus to secure the win Saturday.

“Feels good to have one of those go our way,” Dubinsky said. “Feels like it’s been one of those years where we haven’t had many bounces or calls. It’s nice to get a bouncer like that, a seeing eye shot that finds the back of the net and get us a win.”

Columbus finished 0 for 3 on the power play. Center Boone Jenner was called for two penalties – once for interference in the first and then high sticking in the second.

NOTES: Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky dressed and backed up Korpisalo but did not play after returning from a groin injury. … Bobrovsky has not played since Dec. 8. … Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno missed his fourth straight game with an upper-body injury.

Capitals’ Holtby suffers first regulation loss since Nov. 10


For the first time in more than two months, Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby was in the net for a regulation loss.

Prior to Saturday, his last regulation loss was against the Detroit Red Wings on Nov. 10. Over that span, he had a record of 20-0-2 and worked his way into contention for the Vezina Trophy.

Against the Buffalo Sabres, however, the Capitals fell behind 4-0 by the end of the second period and Holtby was pulled in the second period after allowing three goals on 16 shots.

The Capitals, the NHL’s top team in the standings, surrendered a 4-1 loss to the Sabres.

“I knew Buffalo would come out with a much better effort,” said Capitals head coach Barry Trotz, as per

“We didn’t invest enough to win a hockey game. I thought we were really easy on them in the first period. No one touched anybody. I was a little disappointed in the investment of our group, the first half of the game for sure.”

Now, it will be interesting to see if Trotz goes back to his No. 1 in Holtby in a back-to-back situation, or if Philipp Grubauer gets that start. The Capitals host the New York Rangers on Sunday.

Video: Leafs giveaway leads to Marchand winner with 47 seconds remaining


The Boston Bruins have won two in a row, as they defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs by a final score of 3-2 on Saturday, courtesy a Brad Marchand winner with 47 seconds remaining in regulation.

Marchand didn’t waste any time. With overtime looming, he one-timed an ill-advised pass up the boards from Toronto defenseman Martin Marincin while Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier was caught below the goal line.

The Bruins are back to third in the Atlantic Division. The Maple Leafs, on the other hand, have lost five in a row.

The Marchand goal followed a strange sequence of events involving Toronto defenseman Morgan Rielly, who had his helmet knocked off, then went to the bench and couldn’t get back onto the ice.

Earlier in the period, with Tuukka Rask caught below the goal line, Boston’s Torey Krug made what could’ve been a game-saving stop right in front of his own net.

Video: Habs’ Emelin crushes Blues’ Stastny with massive hit


Did you feel that?

In what is likely to be one of the biggest hits of the NHL season, Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin absolutely crushed St. Louis Blues forward Paul Stastny with a massive check near the boards in the neutral zone.

That hit garnered an immediate reaction from the Blues and a scuffle ensued during what was a physical and heated second period.