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Preds use two power play goals in final minute of the first to beat Stars

Just a few days removed from fans and media calling for Head Coach Barry Trotz’s head, the Nashville Predators have put together another successful performance.

In front of 16,347 at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday, Carter Hutton played his second impressive game in a row and led the Preds to a 3-1 victory over the Dallas Stars.

Hutton, who backed up rookie Marek Mazanec for nearly a month, made 33 saves to improve to 6-3-1 on the season.

In the closing minutes of the opening frame, Erik Cole collected the puck behind the Predators net, came out in front but, instead of passing, roofed a backhand over Hutton to open the scoring.

Just seconds later, however, Nashville was given a 5-on-3 power play thanks to a Shawn Horcoff high-sticking penalty and then a delay of game (clearing the puck over the glass) infraction on Brenden Dillon just seven seconds apart. The Preds wasted no time as David Legwand waited Cody Eakin to find Patric Hornqvist in the slot. The Stockholm, Sweden native snapped a laser past Kari Lehtonen to knot the score.

Still on the man advantage — this time just 5-on-4 — Roman Josi fired a shot from the point that was kicked aside by Lehtonen right to Legwand in the near face-off circle. The original Predator made no mistake as he put the puck into the empty net to make it 2-1 headed into the locker room.

In the second period, Colin Wilson found Paul Gaustad joining the rush late and delivered a beautiful cross-ice pass to him from the half wall. Gaustad, who had three points on Tuesday in New York, pulled Lehtonen out of his net and then put the puck around him to make it 3-1.

Nashville has rebounded from a stretch of 0-4-1 hockey with a two game win streak. They’ve looked extremely impressive in both victories and show no signs of letting up.

They’ll try to make it a three game win streak when the San Jose Sharks come to town on Saturday.

Puck drops at 7:00pm Central.