Predators Blank Stumbling Maple Leafs – Rinne Gets Shutout

NASHVILLE — Pekka Rinne shut out Toronto for the second time this season and Brian Boyle, Wayne Simmonds and Filip Forsberg scored goals to give the Nashville Predators a 3-0 win over the slumping Maple Leafs on Tuesday night.

Nashville won its third straight and Toronto lost for the fourth time in five games.

Rinne made 22 saves and Toronto goalie Frederik Andersen made 17 stops.

Pekka Rinne, John Tavares
Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne stops a shot by Toronto Maple Leafs center John Tavares (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Nashville pulled within one point of first-place Winnipeg in the Central Division. But the Predators have played two more games.

Toronto fell six points behind second-place Boston in the Atlantic Division.

Nashville also beat Toronto 4-0 on Jan. 7 when Rinne made 18 saves.

Boyle gave the Predators a 1-0 lead when he sent a one-timer from the slot past Andersen glove-side at 4:47 of the first period.

It was his 18th goal of the season and fifth since joining Nashville on Feb. 7 after a trade with New Jersey.

Ryan Johansen recorded his 48th assist, a career high, on the goal.

Nashville made it 2-0 when Simmonds poked a shot into an open net after taking a perfectly placed pass from Ryan Ellis at 9:13 of the third period.

It was his first goal as a Predator since arriving in a deal with Philadelphia minutes before the trade deadline. He has 17 goals on the season.

Forsberg added an empty-netter with 2:09 left.

Defence took over in the second period when Toronto held Nashville to two shots and the Maple Leafs managed just eight.

Rinne made a sprawling save to rob John Tavares four minutes into the third period. Tavares leads the Leafs with 40 goals.

Toronto allowed 23 goals in its previous four games as it went 1-3-0.

NOTES: Toronto RW Kasperi Kapanen returned to the lineup after missing the previous four games with a concussion. … Slumping Nashville C Kyle Turris was back in the lineup after being benched the previous two games. He played on the fourth line with LW Brian Boyle and RW Rocco Grimaldi.


Toronto: Visits Buffalo on Wednesday night.

Nashville: Hosts Pittsburgh on Thursday night.


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Chip Cirillo, The Associated Press