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Preds aim for rare road triumph in Philadelphia
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Nashville Predators will try to win two straight for the first time this month, as they shoot for a rare road victory against the Philadelphia Flyers in Thursday's clash at Wells Fargo Center.
The Predators closed December on a two-game winning streak, but they haven't been able to string together wins so far in 2014. Nashville is 2-3-3 in January, but the club was able to halt a three-game losing streak with Tuesday's 4-2 home win against Calgary.
Nashville, however, hasn't earned a victory in Philadelphia in over seven years, losing three straight in the City of Brotherly Love since a 3-2 win on Nov. 29, 2006. The Flyers are 5-2-1 with a tie in the eight all-time meetings in South Philadelphia and have claimed two straight and three of four overall in this series.
Philly recorded a 3-2 shootout win on Nov. 30 in Nashville, halting a five- game winless streak in the Music City.
The Predators were tied 1-1 with the Flames heading into the final 20 minutes of regulation in Tuesday's win. Ryan Ellis and Craig Smith each scored within the first 2:40 of the third period to give Nashville the lead for good.
Ellis also helped set up Viktor Stalberg's goal later in the final period to make it a 4-1 game. David Legwand finished with three assists and captain Shea Weber added a power-play tally for Nashville.
Carter Hutton made 22 saves to record the victory.
"Good effort by everybody," Nashville head coach Barry Trotz said. "Give Calgary some credit, they hung around. They're a hard kill, but the third period, obviously we got those quick goals and the puck started finding the back of the net."
The Predators added goaltender Devan Dubnyk to their roster on Wednesday, acquiring him from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for forward Matt Hendricks. Dubnyk, 27, had been struggling in his fifth season for Edmonton but the former first-round pick could help Nashville goaltending situation while No. 1 netminder Pekka Rinne continues to recover from a hip infection.
Last week the Predators said that Rinne, who hasn't played since Oct. 22, has been cleared to begin weight-bearing exercises. Nashville has been using Marek Mazanec and Hutton -- both rookies -- in net during Rinne's absence.
Dubnyk had an .894 save percentage and 3.36 goals against average in 32 games for the Oilers this season, including 29 starts. He began losing starts when Edmonton signed Ilya Bryzgalov in November.
Hendricks had two goals and four points in 44 games for the Predators this season.
The Flyers, meanwhile, were able to snap a two-game slide with a comeback win Tuesday in Buffalo. Vincent Lecavalier's goal with 14.8 seconds left in regulation capped a wild third period and sent Philadelphia to a 4-3 win over the Sabres.
Philly trailed 2-1 after Matt D'Agostini scored for Buffalo at 6:27 of the third period, but goals from Brayden Schenn and Scott Hartnell during a 2 1/2- minute span in the third period staked the Flyers to a 3-2 edge. Tyler Ennis would tie it up for Buffalo with 3:13 remaining, but Lecavalier would provide heroics in the closing seconds for Philadelphia.
On the shift prior to his game-winning goal, Lecavalier's prayer from the left wing deflected off a Sabres stick, fooled Jhonas Enroth and almost crossed the goal line. As time wound down in regulation, Matt Read fished a loose puck out of a scrum at the left post and dished back to the veteran, who ended a 13- game scoring drought with a rising shot from the bottom of the circle.
"They've been hard to come by since I came back from my injury," Lecavalier said. "I'm just getting more confidence to keep going."
Steve Mason did just enough to snag the win for the Flyers, making 16 saves.
Hartnell suffered a lower-body injury while blocking a shot on Tuesday and is questionable for tonight's tilt.
01/16 11:00:35 ET