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Smith's goal, Rinne's saves propel Predators past Sharks

  • Nashville Predators right wing Brandon Yip (18) takes a shot at goal past San Jose Sharks Jason Demers (5) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

SAN JOSE — Craig Smith scored the lone goal in the shootout and Pekka Rinne stopped all three San Jose attempts to help the Nashville Predators hand the Sharks their first

loss of the season, 2-1 on Saturday night.

Sergei Kostitsyn scored his first goal of the season to break a scoreless tie in the opening minute of the third period. Rinne made 26 saves through overtime and led the Predators to their second straight shootout win after they lost their first three this season.

Marty Havlat made up for a premature celebration that cost San Jose a goal by scoring the equalizer on the power play with 6:21 remaining in regulation.

But the Sharks were unable to get the next goal and missed a chance at their eighth straight victory to tie for the third longest season-opening winning streak in NHL history.

Smith beat Antti Niemi with a backhand in the second round of the shootout, ending a stretch of six straight shootout stops by Niemi. The Predators got the win when Rinne stopped Joe Pavelski on the next attempt.


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