Jerred Smithson scored an unassisted, shorthanded goal with 9:16 to play and lifted the Nashville Predators to a 4-3 victory at Minnesota in a matchup of the teams with the two worst records in the Western Conference.
Smithson’s goal, his second of the season, was the only one for either team in the third period. It was his fourth career shorthanded goal.
Shea Weber had a goal and an assist, and Steve Sullivan added two assists for Nashville (4-6-1). Weber’s goal was his fourth of the season and his second on the power play – both team highs.
The Predators led 2-0 after one period, but Minnesota (3-9-0) scored on its first three shots of the second period, all within the first 2:18.
The run started when Brent Burns scored on the power play three seconds after J.P. Dumont was sent off for tripping. The second and third came 18 seconds apart and caused Nashville coach Barry Trotz to pull starting goalie Dan Ellis.
It was the third time this season the Predators’ starting goalie was pulled. Pekka Rinne replaced Ellis and faced just 11 shots the rest of the way. He stopped them all and earned his second victory of the season.
Mike Santorelli made it 3-3 at 6:44 of the second with his first career goal.
Nashville is at home Thursday against Chciago (7 p.m., Sommet Center).
It will be the third meeting between the teams in two weeks. Chicago won the first two by a combined 5-1.