NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — While his teammates enjoyed some time off with a bye week, Juuse Saros kept working. It paid off for the Predators on Tuesday night.
Saros made 43 saves, Kevin Fiala scored eight minutes into the third period and Nashville beat the Vegas Golden Knights 1-0.
Nashville played its first game in a week and has won three straight. The shutout was the third of the season for Saros and the fourth of his career.
During Nashville’s bye week, the Predators assigned Saros to the Milwaukee Admirals, their American Hockey League affiliate, where he played in three games, winning twice.
“It’s worked really well for this instance to keep him playing during the break, and he played extremely well down there,” Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. “We’ve got a goaltender that’s been taking shots for the week in live action and he comes back tonight and he plays terrific.”
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 26 shots for the Golden Knights, who have lost two in a row.
“I thought we played great hockey – our goaltending was great, our defense played a real solid game and our forwards had all kinds of scoring opportunities,” Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. “So, it’s tough to lose the game, but I thought we played great.”
Saros was superb, especially against Vegas forward Jonathan Marchessault, who peppered 10 shots on the Finnish netminder but was unable to get one by him.
“He’s a great player and he has a lot of nifty plays, so I was ready for them,” Saros said.
Vegas had four power plays and put 15 shots on Saros with the man advantage.
Fiala got his goal off a rebound. Fleury stopped P.K. Subban’s slap shot from the right point, but the puck came to the left side, where Fiala was there to snap a wrist shot underneath the crossbar for his 11th goal.
“It’s not always that easy when the puck is coming at you,” Fiala said. “This one came nicely and I just buried it.”
Fleury’s best save came at 4:17 of the third when he made a sprawling stop on a partial breakaway by Colton Sissons.
Predators center Ryan Johansen did not play after the second period following a hit from William Carrier with 38 seconds remaining in the period. Johansen was at center ice along the boards when Carrier hit him high. No penalty was called.
Laviolette did not have an update on Johansen after the game.
Nashville was already playing without two-thirds of its top offensive line as forwards Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson were out of the lineup. Forsberg is out 4 to 6 weeks with an upper-body injury and his Swedish countryman Arvidsson was injured in Monday’s practice and placed on injured reserve Tuesday afternoon.
NOTES: This was the third and final regular-season matchup between the teams. Vegas won the first two. … Nashville has scored a power-play goal in three straight. … Subban has assists in three consecutive games. … Fleury is 9-5-1 in his career against the Predators. … Vegas is 9-5-0 against the Central Division.
Golden Knights: At Tampa Bay on Thursday night.
Predators: Host Arizona on Thursday night.