Nashville Predators

Stamkos and Callahan lead the Bolts over the Sharks

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The Tampa Bay Lightning opened a five-game, eight-day road trip with a 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks Sunday night.

Steven Stamkos and Ryan Callahan each had a goal and an assist while Valtteri Filppula added two helpers for the Lightning, who avoided a third straight loss.

“We wanted to start this road trip on the right foot, and we did,” said Stamkos per NHL.com. “We gave them a couple of good looks but [Ben Bishop] was there, and we capitalized on our chances. [That] was a big game for [Bishop] to get his mojo back. He was terrific tonight.”

Alex Killorn, Ondrej Palat and Cedric Paquette had Tampa’s other goals. Bishop, who had been pulled in two of his last three starts, made 33 saves to improve to 28-10-3 on the season.

Logan Couture and Brent Burns had the goals for the Sharks.

Antti Niemi stopped 28 shots in the loss.

San Jose is now winless five straight at home this month. San Jose has just one win in their last five overall as well.

“This is frustrating,” Couture said. “The mistakes we make are things we work on, we practice on and watch video. When you constantly make the same mistakes every single night, you question whether you are prepared to play.

“These are things that should have been fixed in Week 2 of the season. We all go through training camp learning the system. You have to play it. I don’t care whether you’re a rookie or a veteran. Our attention to details is not where it should be. It’s the entire team. You lose when the team is not on the same page and that’s what we’re going through right now.”

Things don’t get easier for the Sharks who head to Nashville on Tuesday for a meeting with the Predators.

Tampa continues its road trip Monday against the L.A. Kings.

Video: Lehtera, Blues edge Panthers in shootout

Jori Lehtera had the shootout winner as the St. Louis Blues edged the Florida Panthers 2-1 Sunday night.

With the win the Blues have won three straight and 15 of their last 18. St. Louis is now four points back of the Nashville Predators for top spot in the Western Conference.

Jaden Schwartz’s 20th of the season was the lone Blues’ regulation goal while Brian Elliott made 40 saves in the win.

With Roberto Luongo pulled, Nick Bjugstad tied the game 1-1 at 18:47 of the third period to force overtime. With his assist on the goal, defenseman Aaron Ekblad made a little history.

The Panthers have now gone three straight without a win. However, the single point moves Florida to within three points of the Boston Bruins for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Luongo made 32 saves in the loss.

Predators waive Stalberg (again)

Big moves like David Clarkson’s terrible contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs get a lot of attention, yet there are often under-the-radar signings that are pretty lousy in their own right.

Many were excited when the Nashville Predators added Viktor Stalberg to the mix, but he just hasn’t worked out. He was placed on waivers for the second time in 2015 on Sunday, according to TVA’s Renaud Lavoie.

The Predators also reassigned Anthony Bitetto on a busy day for the organization.

In other waiver news, the New York Islanders moved bruising defenseman Matt Carkner from IR to waivers.

The last bit of minor news is that the Dallas Stars sent Travis Morin to the AHL on Sunday, the Dallas Morning News’ Mike Heika reports.

Loading up: Predators acquire Franson, Santorelli from Leafs

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The Nashville Predators opened up a healthy lead ahead of the rest of the NHL on Saturday and then threw down the gauntlet on Sunday.

In a big trade, the Predators acquired Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli from the Toronto Maple Leafs for Olli Jokinen, Brendan Leipsic and Nashville’s 2015 first-round draft pick.

One interesting twist to this move is that both Franson and Santorelli will already have some familiarity with their situation, as they both played for the Predators before.

The Predators selected Franson, 27, with the 79th pick of the 2005 NHL Draft. He showed promise in his first two seasons with Nashville before being traded to Toronto in a package that also highlighted Matthew Lombardi.

(Let’s just say the Maple Leafs came out on top in that one.)

In a shallow free agent market, Franson is one of the most desirable defensive targets. Toronto couldn’t come to terms with him, and it remains to be seen if Nashville can (or even aims to). In the interim, the Predators’ already-loaded defense adds another dangerous scoring threat.

The Predators selected Santorelli, 29, with a sixth-round pick (178th overall) in 2004. He’s bounced around the league a bit, yet his efforts stood out on a troubled Toronto team.

From Toronto’s perspective, the best parts of the trade are focused on the future. More specifically, the Predators’ first-round pick is likely the gem of this deal, even if it’s probably going to be a late selection.

Brendan Leipsic was the 89th pick of the 2012 Draft. The 20-year-old’s the other main takeway for Toronto, as he’s shown some potential with 35 points in 47 AHL games and some big WHL numbers.

Jokinen provides some veteran experience, yet he was often lost in the Nashville mix. Apparently joining the Buds hasn’t improved his mood.

To little surprise, it sounds like the Maple Leafs still have some work to do, as multiple reporters point to Daniel Winnik as another target for contenders.

It’s easy to see where both teams are coming from here, with the Leafs continuing to build for 2015-16 (and beyond) while the Predators hope for the deepest run in franchise history.

Goalie Nods: Howard returns for Detroit

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Howard returns from groin injury

Jimmy Howard will make his first start since Jan. 10 tonight when the Detroit Red Wings play host to the Winnipeg Jets. Howard missed 10 games with a groin injury. He made four saves in relief of Petr Mrazec on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. Howard is 16-7-7 with a 2.09 G.A.A. and a .920 save percentage this season.

Michael Hutchinson is expected to start for the Jets.

Elsewhere…

Maple Leafs at Canadiens: Jonathan Bernier vs. Carey Price

Blue Jackets at Islanders: Anton Forsberg vs. Jaroslav Halak

Rangers at Coyotes: Cam Talbot vs. Mike Smith

Hurricanes at Wild: Anton Khudobin vs. Devan Dubnyk

Devils at Predators: Cory Schneider vs. Pekka Rinne

Stars at Avalanche: Jhonas Enroth vs. Semyon Varlamov

Canucks at Flames: Ryan Miller vs. Karri Ramo

Capitals at Kings: Braden Holtby vs. Jonathan Quick