Nashville Predators bounce back, beat Dallas Stars in home opener

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Jason Arnott scored two power-play goals and had an assist, and the Nashville Predators beat the Dallas Stars 3-1 in their home opener Saturday night.

Shea Weber had a goal, and J.P. Dumont had three assists as the Predators bounced back from an opening 5-2 loss in St. Louis less than 24 hours earlier. They outshot Dallas 32-20, and Sean Avery, the Stars' off-season addition, picked up a game misconduct and a fighting major early in the first period.

Trevor Daley scored the only goal for Dallas. The Stars came in after a 5-4 overtime loss to Columbus in their own home opener in which they had to score twice late to force overtime and at least get a point.

But the Predators came out with much more urgency.

That might have something to do with this being the second of three games in four nights is part of a stretch where Nashville will play four of the first five on the road. That includes being the visitor for home openers in Chicago on Monday night and Oct. 17 in Columbus.

Weber scored on a wrister from in front of the net 46 seconds into the game as Nashville outshot Dallas 15-6 in the first period.

Daley tied the score 76 seconds later with his own wrist shot for his second goal in as many games for Dallas.

The game almost spun out of control at 8:36 of the period when Jordin Tootoo gave a little elbow to goalie Marty Turco after the two skated from the back boards out near the right post of the goal. That started fights that led to nine combined penalties.

Tootoo only got a roughing penalty, but B.J. Crombeen and Nashville defenceman Greg de Vries got fighting majors. Then Avery and Nashville defenceman Dan Hamhuis started punching, drawing the game misconducts for being in the second fight on the ice.

Arnott put Nashville up 2-1 with a power-play goal as he beat Turco at 10:54 off a pass from Dumont.

Turco kept the Stars within 2-1 with some dazzling stops, including one nearly eight minutes into the second as he threw himself back to his left to stop a shot from Arnott. Dallas coach Dave Tippett took a timeout at 15:39 of the second, but it didn't help.

Arnott helped seal the victory when Steve Ott was penalized for high-sticking and put the Predators on the power play again. Martin Erat passed the puck to Dumont in the right circle, and he found Arnott in front of the goal. Arnott almost missed, then poked the puck past a sprawling Turco at 16:13 for the 3-1 lead.

Notes: Dallas had been 11-5-1 over the past 17 games with Nashville, and had won seven of the past 11. But the Stars went 1-3 against Nashville last season and 0-for-26 on the power play. The Stars were shut out with the man advantage Saturday night. ... Dan Ellis gave up five goals on 22 shots in St. Louis, but he is now 3-1 against his old team.



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