Predators prospects win again, complete tournament unbeaten

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 6:54pm
Staff reports

Craig Smith scored the final two goals as the Nashville Predators prospects rallied from an early deficit for a 3-1 victory over Florida Panthers rookies Tuesday at Coral Springs, Fla.

Smith scored the game-winner 25 seconds into a 4-on-3 advantage, with an assist from 2009 first-round pick Ryan Ellis, at 9:23 of the second period. The Predators had a two-man advantage for five seconds before Taylor Beck was called for tripping.

Smith added an insurance goal 1:01 into the final period. The first-year pro out of the University of Wisconsin (he gave up his final two years of eligibility) had six goals as Nashville’s prospects won both games in the rookie tournament, which also included the Tampa Bay Lightning, held at the Panthers’ training facility.

The Predators outscored the opposition 10-4 overall.

Florida’s rookies took a 1-0 lead fewer than four minutes into the contest. Nashville finally got even when forward Josh Shalla, a fourth-round selection in June, scored with an assist from defenseman Tyler Aronson.

Goalies Atte Engren and Chet Pickard split time in the nets for the second consecutive game, this time with Engren as the starter. Pickard, a 2007 first-round choice, stopped all 20 shots he faced over the final 31.07.

Predators prospects will return to practice 1 p.m. Wednesday at Centennial Sportsplex. Veterans report for off-ice testing on Friday and practice for the first time Saturday.

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