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Craig Smith scores in shootout as Predators top slumping Canadiens 2-1

Nashville Predators' Craig Smith (15) celebrates his game-winning goal against the Montreal Canadiens with his teammates following NHL hockey shootout action, in Montreal on Monday, Feb. 22, 2016.


Craig Smith scored the only goal of a shootout as the Nashville Predators downed the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 on Monday night.

Viktor Arvidsson scored in regulation time for the Predators (28-21-11), who are 3-0-3 in their last six games.

Brendan Gallagher scored for Montreal (28-27-5), who have points from their last five home games (4-0-1).

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Nashville outshot Montreal 29-27 in regulation time and 30-29 overall.

The Predators dominated the early minutes, leading 8-1 in shots at one point, and got the first goal at 3:16 when Arvidsson banged in James Neal's rebound with Nashville playing with six attackers on a delayed penalty.

Montreal found its rhythm late in the period and Gallagher was at the doorstep to lift Andrei Markov's rebound over Pekka Rinne at 19:49.

There was a deathly dull second period whose only highlight was a big glove save by Mike Condon on a Craig Smith laser from the slot 12 minutes in.

The red light went on behind Rinne's goal with 2:33 left in the third after a mad scramble in which defenceman Roman Josi swept the puck out of the crease with a glove, but there were so many fouls from both sides on the same play the referees called none. Video review showed the puck never crossed the goal line.

Smith was alone at the far post with a wide open net but misfired in overtime and it went to the shootout.

Notes — Canadiens winger Dale Weise, an impending free agent who has been the subject of trade rumours, sat out with a flu. Lucas Lessio moved into the lineup . . The Preds were without defenceman Barrett Jackman due to an upper body problem. That put Petter Granberg into the lineup.

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22:25ET 22-02-16

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