Following a quick start it was all about the Finnish.
Cal O’Reilly’s goal 42 seconds after the opening faceoff was the only one Saturday in a game otherwise dominated by goaltenders from Finland – Pekka Rinne for the Nashville Predators and Kari Lehtonen of the Dallas Stars.
The 1-0 victory snapped the Predators’ string of three straight overtime defeats and allowed them to remain the only NHL team without a regulation loss this season. It also was the second road victory in as many games as they opened a stretch of 11 of 13 away from Bridgestone Arena.
Rinne made 30 saves for his first shutout of the season and the 15th of his career. The 27-year-old has allowed one goal or fewer in three of his four starts this season. His busiest period was the second, when he stopped 13 shots.
It was similar to Tuesday night’s 1-0 loss at home to Calgary, when Rinne and countryman Miikka Kiprusoff, the Flames’ goalie, stood firm throughout the night before Nashville fell in the extra period.
In this case, Lehtonen, who is 26, gave up the early goal and nothing else.
It was the first of the season for O’Reilly, who had a team-high four assists through the first six games. Shea Weber and Steve Sullivan had the assists. For Weber, it was his fourth of the season.
Nashville is back in action 5 p.m. Sunday at Tampa Bay.
* Prior to the game the Predators recalled defenseman Teemu Laakso, who was in uniform for the game as Nashville went with seven defensemen. Laakso played just 2:43.