The Nashville Predators allowed three third period goals, including one to Ilya Kovalchuk, and lost 5-2 to the New Jersey Devils on Friday at New Jersey.
Nashville took a 2-1 lead when Jordin Tootoo scored 46 seconds into the second period. It was Tootoo’s fourth goal of the season and his second in as many games. That matched the second-highest single-season total of his career.
The Devils tied it 1:44 later and went ahead to stay when Kovalchuk scored at 8:24 of the third. The first overall pick in the 2001 draft was traded by Atlanta eight days earlier. He had two assists in his first four games with New Jersey.
Kovalchuk added an assist when Zach Parise made it 4-2 with 6:52 to play. Parise also had an assist. Jamie Langenbrunner scored an empty-net goal and had two assists.
The Predators overcame an early deficit when Cal O’Reilly scored his first career power-play goal. Colin Wilson had the primary assist, his second point in as many nights.
Pekka Rinne allowed four goals on 27 shots and lost his third straight game (0-2-1). He has allowed three goals or more in six of his last seven appearances.
Nashville’s final game before the Olympic break is noon Sunday at Pittsburgh (Fox Sports-Tennessee).