Iginla scores twice as Bruins beat Predators

Nashville Predators goalie Marek Mazanec (39) makes a save as Boston's David Krecji looks for a deflection during the second period of Monday night's NHL game at Bridgestone Arena. The Bruins won 6-2.
Don McPeak | USA Today Sports
Nashville Predators goalie Marek Mazanec (39) makes a save as Boston's David Krecji looks for a deflection during the second period of Monday night's NHL game at Bridgestone Arena. The Bruins won 6-2.
Posted Dec. 23, 2013, at 10:52 p.m.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Jarome Iginla scored twice and Reilly Smith and Carl Soderberg each netted one and set up two others Monday night as the Boston Bruins skated to a 6-2 NHL victory over Nashville.

Brad Marchand and Matt Fraser also scored and Ryan Spooner notched three assists for his first career three-point performance. Tuukka Rask turned aside 32 shots for the Bruins, who improved to 4-0-2 in their last six meetings with Nashville.

It was Boston’s third win in its last four games and also provided Bruins head coach Claude Julien with his 400th career coaching victory.

Craig Smith scored twice and rookie Marek Mazanec relieved Carter Hutton (two saves on four shots) and made 25 saves for the Predators, who have dropped four in a row (0-3-1).

After Craig Smith’s second tally trimmed Boston’s lead to 3-2 at 3:25 of the third period, Iginla regained the two-goal advantage 96 seconds later. With the Bruins on a 5-on-3 power play, the veteran batted an ankle-high aerial pass from David Krejci into the net and Soderberg added a power-play goal 49 seconds later after converting a centering feed from Spooner.

Boston opened the scoring 76 seconds into the first period as Iginla deflected captain Zdeno Chara’s point shot from the top of the crease. Fraser took advantage of being unmarked and pounced on loose puck following a dump-in and sent Hutton to the showers after beating him under the crossbar at 5:59.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Boston D Adam McQuaid returned following a nine-game absence with a lower-body injury. … Both of Fraser’s career goals have come at the expense of the Predators. His first came while he was playing with Dallas. … Nashville rookie D Seth Jones played in the contest, two days removed from taking a puck in the face against Montreal.

Lightning 6, Panthers 1

Captain Martin St. Louis recorded a goal and two assists while rookie J.T. Brown scored twice as visiting Tampa Bay pulled away from Florida for its fifth consecutive victory.

Valtteri Filppula collected a goal and an assist, defenseman Victor Hedman had three helpers and Nikita Kucherov added two for the Lightning. Alex Killorn and Tyler Johnson also tallied while Ben Bishop turned aside 28 shots for his 20th victory of the season.

Former Tampa Bay left wing Sean Bergenheim scored the only goal for the Panthers, who have dropped two straight after winning five in a row. Scott Clemmensen, who came in with four consecutive wins, made 30 saves as Florida fell to 0-2-1 against the Lightning this season.

Rangers 2, Maple Leafs 1

Mats Zuccarello and Derek Stepan scored in the first two rounds of the shootout and rookie Cam Talbot denied Nazem Kadri in the third as New York skated to its second straight victory to conclude its franchise-high nine-game homestand.

Zuccarello’s wrist shot sailed over the glove of Jonathan Bernier (42 saves) before Stepan’s bid beat the netminder over the blocker. Joffrey Lupul answered in the second but Talbot (25 saves) closed his pads on Kadri’s wrist shot in the third to improve to 8-2-0 this season.

J.T. Miller scored in the third period and Benoit Pouliot notched an assist to extend his point streak to five games. Chris Kreider also had an assist as the Rangers posted consecutive wins for the first time since Nov. 21-23 and finished their lengthy homestand with a 3-4-2 mark.

Kadri scored his 11th goal with 1:24 remaining in the third period for the Maple Leafs, who fell to 2-5-2 in their last nine games overall and have dropped 10 of 11 on the road (1-6-4).

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