Predators Get Money’s Worth

From Associated Press

Only one number mattered to the Nashville Predators on Saturday, and it wasn’t the difference between the league’s lowest payroll and the NHL’s biggest spenders -- the New York Rangers.

Andrew Hutchinson scored a power-play goal 3:50 into overtime, and the Predators beat the Rangers, 2-1, at Nashville for their fifth victory in six games in their chase for the 6-year-old franchise’s first playoff berth.

Nashville moved into fifth place in the Western Conference, one point ahead of the Kings. Nashville has the same number of points (73) as Dallas but one more victory.

New York, which was outshot, 43-26, didn’t have a shot in overtime.


Nashville finally got the puck past backup goalie Jussi Markkanen when Hutchinson scored his third on a one-timer from the top of the left circle off a pass from Kimmo Timonen.

Columbus 5, Colorado 4 -- David Vyborny had a goal and four assists, including one on Jaroslav Spacek’s one-timer 3:24 into overtime at Columbus, Ohio. It was the Blue Jackets’ first victory over the Avalanche after going 0-13-1.

Vancouver 2, St. Louis 0 -- Johan Hedberg stopped a penalty shot with 3.4 seconds left and made 31 saves to lift the Canucks at Vancouver, Canada.

Boston 3, Philadelphia 2 -- Glen Murray scored 1:21 into overtime and Andrew Raycroft earned his 22nd win, the most by a Boston rookie in 22 years, to lift the Bruins over the Flyers at Boston.

Toronto 3, New Jersey 0 -- Ed Belfour returned to the lineup after sitting out 11 of 12 games because of a sore back and made 17 saves to lead the Maple Leafs at Toronto.

Montreal 1, Carolina 0 -- Mike Ribeiro scored 3:38 into overtime and goaltender Jose Theodore earned his sixth shutout of the season to lead the Canadiens at Montreal.

Tampa Bay 4, Washington 2 -- Cory Stillman scored the go-ahead goal with 3:29 left in the third period and the Lightning won at Tampa, Fla.

Ottawa 7, Buffalo 1 -- Bryan Smolinski had a goal and two assists at Ottawa to help the Senators move into a tie for the points lead in the NHL.