Predators acquire Franson, Santorelli
NASHVILLE – The Nashville Predators already sit atop the NHL standings, and now they have a made a big move well before the trade deadline trying to boost their roster for the playoffs.
The Predators announced a trade Sunday with Toronto that brings back defenseman Cody Franson and forward Mike Santorelli. In return, the struggling Maple Leafs receive Nashville's first-round pick in June's draft along with forwards Brendan Leipsic and Olli Jokinen, who has been a healthy scratch in recent games for the Predators.
Predators General Manager David Poile said in a statement that they wanted a veteran defenseman who could play in all situations and a forward they could put anywhere in the lineup.
"We were fortunate to do this in the same transaction with players who are in the prime of their careers more than two weeks before the trade deadline in order to give them more time to contribute and gel with their teammates," Poile said.
•BJUGSTAD SCORES 20TH IN LOSS: Jori Lehtera scored the winning goal in the fifth round of a shootout, and the Blues beat the Panthers 2-1 in Sunrise, Fla. The Panthers' Nick Bjugstad, a former Gopher from Blaine, scored his 20th goal, which tied it 1-1 with 1:13 left in the third period. Bjugstad has scored three goals in the four games.
•SHARP SHOOTER LIFTS HAWKS: Patrick Sharp scored the decisive goal in the shootout, and the Blackhawks beat the Penguins 2-1 in Chicago. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane also scored in the tiebreaker as the Blackhawks earned their second consecutive victory. They have captured six of a possible eight points through the first half of a season-high eight-game homestand.
•STAMKOS SINKS SHARKS: Steven Stamkos scored his 30th goal of the season as the Lightning beat the Sharks 5-2 in San Jose, Calif. Logan Couture and Brent Burns scored for the Sharks, who lost their fifth consecutive at home and four of five overall.