Predators' backup makes 21 stops, shuts out Penguins
PITTSBURGH – Connor Hutton knows he's not Pekka Rinne, so it makes no sense to even try. Instead, the Nashville Predators' backup goaltender, thrust into a starting role while Rinne recovers from a sprained knee, figures it's better to just stick with what works for him.
"I just keep it simple, play my game and control what I can," Hutton said. "The guys battle hard in front of me and try to make the first save here and try to give us a chance to win every night."
The formula worked perfectly in a 4-0 romp over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday. Hutton stopped all 21 shots he faced as the Predators won in regulation in Pittsburgh for the first time since 2004.
Gabriel Bourque, Roman Josi, Eric Nystrom and Mike Fisher scored for the Central Division leaders.
Nystrom and Bourque pounced on Pittsburgh turnovers — one of them by captain Sidney Crosby — to give Hutton all the support he needed.
•GOAL MILESTONE: Alex Ovechkin scored twice and became the fifth NHL player to start his career with 10 30-goal seasons, but the Capitals lost 4-3 to the visiting St. Louis Blues. Ovechkin has an NHL-leading 31 goals.
•A HIT IN DEBUT: Louis Domingue, who grew up near Montreal, won in his first NHL start in goal, and the Arizona Coyotes beat Montreal 3-2, ending the Canadiens' five-game winning streak. Lauri Korpikoski scored two power-play goals.