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Predators hand Maple Leafs 10th straight loss

Feb 4, 2015 - 5:43 AM Nashville, TN ( - Colin Wilson recorded the game-winning goal with 8:42 remaining, sending the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 10th consecutive loss and giving the Nashville Predators a 4-3 come-from-behind victory.

The Predators trailed 3-2 before goals by Wilson and Mike Fisher lifted the Central Division leaders to a franchise-record ninth straight win on home ice.

"I think we've kind of showed that all year. We're never really out of games at any point," said Predators goaltender Carter Hutton. "We didn't think it was our best game. We weren't happy with our second (period), and the third didn't start the way we wanted it to. We stuck with it, and that's huge."

Fisher added a pair of assists and Wilson had one of his own in support of Hutton's 25 saves, including several tough stops with the Maple Leafs applying heavy pressure in the final minutes.

Seth Jones and Shea Weber also scored for the Predators.

Toronto overcame a 2-0 deficit after one period on goals by Daniel Winnik, Nazem Kadri and Mike Santorelli, but couldn't hold the lead in tying a club mark for consecutive defeats. The Leafs fell to 0-9-1 in their last 10 road outings as well.

Santorelli also registered an assist and Jonathan Bernier finished with 24 saves for Toronto.

Kadri and Santorelli scored 37 seconds apart early in the third period to give the Maple Leafs a 3-2 edge, but Bernier let up two goals after re-entering the contest following a brief relief effort from James Reimer.

He couldn't withstand a 3-on-2 rush in which Fisher deposited a centering pass from Wilson over his left shoulder 6:55 into the final frame. Bernier was able to turn aside a quick shot from James Neal later on, but Wilson crashed the net to jam in the rebound to send the Predators back ahead.

After failing to capitalize on a penalty to Fisher, Toronto's fate appeared sealed when Joffrey Lupul was sent off for tripping with 3:20 to go. Winnik hit the post on a short-handed attempt, however, and a diving Hutton was able to prevent Morgan Rielly's follow-up from crossing the lane with his stick seconds afterward.

"That was a great save," Wilson said of the second one. "I was out there and I saw it as it was going back. It was just a great play by (Hutton)."

The Leafs pulled Bernier to no avail with time winding down as Nashville packed its defense in front of Hutton to survive the final seconds.

The Predators dominated the opening period and grabbed a 1-0 edge when Kadri's neutral-zone giveaway on a Toronto power play turned into a breakaway chance for Jones that the young defenseman converted nearly 12 minutes in.

A slashing penalty to Phil Kessel enabled Nashville to extend the margin later in the frame courtesy of Weber's rocket blast from the point that whistled past a screened Bernier and into the top right corner of the Toronto net.

"I think that in the first period we turned the puck over too many times," Maple Leafs head coach Peter Horachek said. "We were undisciplined with that part of the game, and that hurt us."

The Maple Leafs halved the deficit on Winnik's successful one-timer off a Santorelli give with 7:49 elapsed in the session, then struck twice over the first three minutes of the third to move in front.

David Booth stole the puck from Weber and went on a short breakaway that Hutton thwarted, but Kadri skated in to put in the rebound and knot the score at 2-2. Shortly following the ensuing faceoff, Santorelli snuck a shot under Hutton's right arm after moving into the Nashville zone.

Game Notes

The Maple Leafs have lost 10 straight just once previously, from Jan. 15-Feb. 8, 1967, while their 10 consecutive road defeats are their most since a 10- game skid to begin the 1990-91 season ... Reimer made four saves over a span of 5:24 that started late in the second period with Bernier forced to exit due to being cut ... Weber had three assists in Nashville's 9-2 road rout of the Leafs on Nov. 18, when Bernier was pulled after one period when giving up three goals on 12 shots ... Nashville improved to 20-2-1 at Bridgestone Arena this season.