Mikael Granlund scores winner for Nashville with less than 10 minutes remaining
Nashville's Rocco Grimaldi, centre, celebrates his second-period goal with teammates Mattias Ekholm, left, and Calle Jarnkrok during the Predators' 3-2 win in Game 3 of their first-round series against the Dallas Stars on Monday. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) comments
Mikael Granlund scored on a wrist shot from just inside the blue line with 8:19 left and the Nashville Predators, after blowing a two-goal lead, beat the Dallas Stars 3-2 on Monday night to take a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven Western Conference playoff series.
Granlund, acquired in a trade with Minnesota in late February, got the puck from Dante Fabbro after Kyle Turris won a faceoff against Stars captain Jamie Benn.
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Rocco Grimaldi scored in his second game in a row for the Predators, and Filip Forsberg had a perfectly timed play for a goal.
Pekka Rinne made 40 saves for Nashville, including one with the goalie twisting to his left for a stop when Dallas had a 5-on-3 advantage about midway through the second period. That was one of seven shots the Stars had during their 2 1/2 consecutive minutes with an advantage, including 1:29 with two extra skaters.
After three consecutive one-goal games, Game 4 is Wednesday night in Dallas.
Tyler Seguin and Mats Zuccarello scored for the Stars, who played their first playoff home game in three years. American Airlines Center is less than 5 miles from the Cotton Bowl Stadium where they will play the Predators outside in the Winter Classic on New Year's Day next season.
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Granlund's game-winner came only about 3 1/2 minutes after the Stars got even at 2 on a goal from Tyler Seguin on a backhand pass from Benn following some interesting puck play behind the net.
Stars fans wanted a penalty when Predators defenceman P.K. Subban was on the back and reaching over Alexander Radulov in a battle for the puck. But play continued and seconds later Benn delivered a spot-on pass from the side of the net to Seguin in front.
Dallas' Jason Dickinson wears the effects of a first-period check into the boards. (Tony Gutierrez/The Associated Press)
Nashville led 1-0 when Grimaldo took a shot from the top outside the right circle, and got the puck past an unobstructed Ben Bishop, who finished with 25 saves.
Grimaldo didn't have a goal in the last 13 regular-season games after scoring Feb. 19 at Dallas. The centre was a scratch in the opener of this series scored a goal in Game 2 while filling in for Brian Boyle, who had an appendectomy after Game 1 and is considered week-to-week.
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The Predators led 2-0 when Nick Bonino flicked the puck high in the air — his pass airborne from the circle left of Rinne along the boards over both blue lines. Forsberg was at the blue line when the puck was over his head, and delayed enough to avoid going offside before gaining control and charging in for the goal.