Slumping Habs blown out again, this time in Nashville


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Pekka Rinne made 35 saves and Nashville beat the Montreal Canadiens 5-1 on Monday night, giving the Predators their first winning streak in more than a month.

Shea Weber had a goal and two assists, and Roman Josi and Calle Jarnkrok each added a goal and an assist. Colin Wilson scored an empty-netter and had two assists as Nashville won its second straight, something the Predators hadn’t done since Nov. 14 and 17.

Alex Galchenyuk scored a power-play goal for Montreal, which lost its fourth straight. The Canadiens have dropped eight of nine.

Montreal coach Michel Therrien changed goalies, inserting Mike Condon for Dustin Tokarski after Ryan Ellis‘ goal in the third period put Nashville up 3-0 on 14 shots.

This was the second game of an eight-game road trip for Montreal around the NHL’s Christmas break, and the Canadiens took eight of the first nine shots.

Montreal outshot Nashville 36-19 but got only one goal that counted past Rinne.

The Predators had been outshooting opponents with few goals to show for their efforts in dropping 11 of 15 until beating Minnesota 3-2 on Saturday night. Nashville appeared very comfortable playing tight defense, and Weber scored on a slap shot at 8:40 of the first period to put the Predators up 1-0 on their second shot of the game.

Rinne stopped all 14 shots in the period, including a nice glove save on a shot from in front by Canadiens center David Desharnais.

Nashville forward Paul Gaustad had a short-handed chance that went across the crease, and the Predators didn’t manage a shot on goal in the second until Canadiens right wing Dale Weise was caught holding Craig Smith. Josi scored his ninth on a slap shot at 8:22 off an assist from defensive partner Weber, putting Nashville up 2-0.

The Predators made it 3-0 just after a man advantage ended, with Ellis scoring his third off an assist from Wilson at 3:08 to chase Tokarski from the Montreal net. Jarnkrok padded the lead at 8:58 with a wrister off Wilson’s second assist of the game.

Montreal thought it at least avoided a shutout when Daniel Carr scored off a rebound midway through the third, but Nashville coach Peter Laviolette won his challenge for contact with Rinne.

The Canadiens finally did prevent a shutout when Galchenyuk scored his eighth off a slap shot on a 4-on-3 at 12:08.

Wilson got his second goal this season with 2:05 left for the final margin.

NOTES: Weber has 15 points in December. … Weber and Josi both are on three-game point streaks, and Weber posted his sixth multipoint game this season. … Nashville is 10 for 36 on the power play this month. … Nashville improved to 11-1-2 when leading after two periods.