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National Hockey League
Nashville 4, Florida 1
When: 8:00 PM ET, Monday, April 26, 2021
Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
Referees: Gord Dwyer, Justin St. Pierre
Linesmen: Ryan Daisy, Kory Nagy
Attendance: 0

Nick Cousins scored the tiebreaking goal early in the second period, Juuse Saros made 22 of his 39 saves in the period, and the Nashville Predators beat the visiting Florida Panthers 4-1 on Monday night.

Erik Haula, who assisted on Cousins' goal, scored 2:39 into the third for some insurance as the Predators (27-21-2, 56 points) won their season-high fourth straight at home. Mikael Granlund and Yakov Trenin also scored for Nashville, which remains two points up on Dallas for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division.

Sam Bennett scored his fourth goal in six games since being traded to the second-place Panthers (31-14-5, 67 points), who have dropped two of three following a 4-0-1 stretch.

Cousins broke a 1-1 tie at the 3:35 mark of the second period when he pushed a behind-the-net pass from Haula past Florida netminder Chris Driedger (14 saves), who exited with 4:55 left in the middle frame due to a lower-body injury. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 9 of 11 shots in relief of Driedger.

It was one of just five shots on goal in the period for Nashville, compared with the barrage the Panthers threw at Saros. The Predators goalie, though, stymied Florida throughout the period, and the night, while recording his career-high 18th victory.

Florida went up 1-0 amid a delayed penalty just 4:49 into the game when Anthony Duclair's shot went in off the skate of Bennett, who was positioned perfectly in front of the Predators' net. Nashville, though, answered with a power-play goal from Granlund, who was also stationed in front of the Panthers' net, at the 6:30 mark of the opening period.

Following Cousins' goal, Haula and Trenin added third-period goals for the Predators, who are 3-0-1 in the last four contests.

These teams will meet for the final time in the regular season on Tuesday night, also in Nashville.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Florida   Nashville
Sam Bennett 1 Points Erik Haula 2
Sam Bennett 1 Goals Erik Haula 1
Anthony Duclair 1 Assists Erik Haula 1
N/A Power Play Goals Mikael Granlund 1
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Chris Driedger .875 Save Percentage Juuse Saros .975
Chris Driedger 14 Saves Juuse Saros 39
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Florida 40 1 0-2 1-2 6 24
Nashville 27 4 1-2 2-2 6 29
Upcoming Games
  • Nashville will play their next game at home against Florida. The Predators have a W/L % of .538 after a win and .522 after a loss.
  • Florida will play their next game on the road against Nashville. The Panthers have a W/L % of .548 after a win and .737 after a loss.