Martin Erat continued his hot home start with a pair of goals and Pekka Rinne turned aside 38 shots as the Nashville Predators upended the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 Thursday night.
Erat, who missed the start of the year with an upper-body injury, now has four goals in four home games. His strong effort helped the Predators improve to 5-1-1 in the month of November, while dropping Toronto to 1-4-1 in its previous six contests.
It was also bad news on the injury front for the Maple Leafs, who were already missing four regulars coming into the game. Forward Matthew Lombardi left with an arm injury that had him wearing a sling after the game, while defenseman Mike Komisarek also suffered an undisclosed upper-body injury.
The Predators didn't register their first shot until the 5:48 mark of the opening period, but they made it count. After a Toronto turnover, Maple Leafs netminder Ben Scrivens lost track of the puck and Erat rifled it past him inside the left post.
Toronto leveled the contest on a man advantage 10:36 into the second period. With both teams making line changes, John-Michael Liles burst in on the wing and fired a shot that beat Rinne on the right side.
Nashville struck back 2:06 later, as Ryan Suter's shot from just inside the blue line beat Scrivens underneath his blocker after Toronto failed to clear the zone.
Erat added some insurance early in the third period, one-timing a Fisher backhand pass between Scrivens' glove arm and his body.
Craig Smith had a chance to increase his lead in rookie scoring with just over a minute remaining, but he lifted a puck over Toronto's empty net from the front edge of the crease. Matt Halischuk made no mistake moments later, hitting the empty cage from the other side of center ice to round out the scoring.