Predators beat Stars in OT to even series

Craig Smith scored at 5:00 of overtime in Game 2 as the Nashville Predators defeated the visiting Dallas Stars 2-1 on Saturday night.

Rocco Grimaldi also scored for the Predators, who evened the first-round Western Conference playoff series at a game apiece. Game 3 is scheduled for Monday night in Dallas. Goaltender Pekka Rinne made 22 saves.

Jamie Benn scored the lone goal for the Stars, who won 3-2 in Game 1 and were looking to return home with a two-game edge. Goalie Ben Bishop stopped 40 of 4w shots but suffered the first overtime playoff defeat of his career after five straight wins.

Smith scored the winner after Mattias Ekholm's rising shot from the point was batted down by Dallas defenseman Roman Polak before it hit him in the face. The puck dropped to the ice and Smith batted it in with a half-volley past a screened Bishop. Calle Jarnkrok also got an assist on the winner.

The teams headed to overtime tied at 1-1 despite the Predators' 37-21 advantage in shots on goal. The Stars were 0 for 6 on the power play in regulation and the Predators were 0 for 3.

The Stars' Benn opened the scoring 1:59 into the second period. Dallas forced a turnover in the Nashville end and Tyler Seguin gathered the puck at the right point and skated toward the faceoff circle. His cross-ice pass found Benn at the left post and he deflected the puck into the net.

The Predators tied it at 3:56 of the second on a goal by Grimaldi. Austin Watson skated the puck behind the net and made a backhanded pass out front. Grimaldi was able to slide away from a defender and score on a one-timer into the right side of the net from the top of the crease. Jarnkrok was also credited with an assist on the goal.

Rinne went post-to-post to stop a two-on-one break early in the third period.

The first period was scoreless, with the Predators outshooting the Stars 15-9.

--Field Level Media