Predators beat Stars in OT, take 3-point lead for final playoff spot with 4 games left
Erik Haula scored at 3:32 of overtime to give the Nashville Predators a 1-0 victory over the Dallas Stars on Saturday night.
Juuse Saros made 28 saves for Nashville, winners of three of four.
Anton Khudobin made 33 saves for Dallas, which has lost three in a row.
In overtime, Mattias Ekholm carried the puck into the Dallas zone on the left side. He skated around the net and threw the puck in front, where Haula was there to poke it by Khudobin,
The shutout was the third of the season for Saros and the 14th of his career.
With the win, Nashville takes a three-point lead in the race for the fourth and final Central Division playoff berth over the fifth-place Stars. Nashville has been in fourth place since March 28.
Saturday was the last head-to-head meeting of the season between the teams. Dallas has five games remaining, the Predators four. Five of the eight meetings of the season between the teams went to overtime, with three of those extending to a shootout. Nashville won all five of the games that required extra time.
With just under 12 minutes remaining in the third, Khudobin denied Matt Duchene and Haula on back-to-back opportunities to keep the Predators off of the scoreboard.
Not to be outdone, with six minutes to go, Saros stopped Esa Lindell’s attempt from the left side and then turned aside Jamie Benn’s shot off of the rebound.
Stars forward Denis Gurianov missed Saturday’s game due to an upper-body injury. Gurianov was one of just four Stars who played in the team’s first 50 games of the season prior to Saturday.
He had two goals and three assists in seven games played against Nashville this season.
Forsberg back, Arvidsson out
Predators forward Filip Forsberg returned to the Nashville lineup Saturday night after missing the last 17 games due to an upper-body injury. Forsberg has not played since Nashville’s March 25 game against Detroit.
Viktor Arvidsson missed Saturday’s game due to an upper-body injury. He played just 7:04 in Nashville’s last game, a Tuesday night home loss to the Florida Panthers.
The Predators travel to Columbus for a pair of games against the Blue Jackets Monday and Wednesday.
Dallas visits the Florida Panthers on Monday.