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Craig Smith and the Predators pushed past the Bruins on Monday night.

The Nashville Predators welcomed the Boston Bruins to Bridgestone Arena on Monday night to close out their four-game home stand. The Predators found themselves ahead 4-0 in the second period, but the Bruins made things interesting late before Nashville picked up the win by a count of 5-3.

The story entering the contest was the absence of first-line center Ryan Johansen as the team announced earlier in the day that he is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury. It was Johansen’s first regular season game missed since becoming a Predator back in January of 2016.

Not having your No. 1 center doesn’t make things easy by any means, but (for most of the night) the Predators made things look that way.

The story of the first period was Craig Smith. The 28-year-old got the scoring going just 1:26 into the game and followed that up with another goal with 17 seconds left in the period to push Nashville ahead 2-0. The goals were Smith’s 10th and 11th of the season.

The Predators continued to control play with their aggressiveness in the second period and doubled up their lead. Nick Bonino netted the third goal of the game punching in a rebound 2:15 into the period. Kevin Fiala followed that up by scoring on a partial breakaway less than two minutes later. The Bruins were however able to get one back on the power play courtesy of Charlie McAvoy.

Things ramped up in the final period. The Bruins got right back into the game with quick back-to-back goals from Zdeno Chara and David Pastrnak making it 4-3 with 14:12 still left in regulation. Just as Boston seemingly grabbed some momentum, Filip Forsberg answered just 34 seconds later to give Nashville the two-goal advantage.

When it was all said and done the Preds were out shot by the Bruins 40-25.

Three Things We Learned –>

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