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Preds beat Stars 2-0 for franchise-record 9th straight win

Profile image for Teresa M. Walker
Teresa M. Walker, AP

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Nashville Predators talk about everything and shy away from nothing.

Right now, they have an awful lot to discuss.

Pekka Rinne stopped 26 shots, Ryan Hartman scored at 5:33 of the third period and the Predators beat the Stars 2-0 Tuesday night for their franchise-record ninth straight victory.

The Predators extended the NHL's longest active winning streak. The defending Western Conference champs also lead both the conference and the Central Division by six points, and Nashville topped last season's point total of 94 with 16 games left.

Only Tampa Bay has more points (96), and Nashville has a game in hand on Tampa Bay.

"We talk about putting your name on something," Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. "Those are all great opportunities for our club to fight for something. I thought they did."

Rinne recorded his seventh shutout this season, tying Tampa Bay's Andrei Vasilevskiy for most in the NHL. Rinne is 17-1-1 over his last 19 games, and this was the 50th shutout of his career. Rinne said the Predators' stats are pretty remarkable over the last 30 games.

"It's so much fun right now, nine wins in a row," Rinne said. "We're feeling good and the team is fairly healthy and clicking really good right now."

Nick Bonino scored an empty-netter with 13.6 seconds left after Stars defenseman John Klingberg caught a skate on his own net, causing him to trip and lose the puck.

The Stars, currently in the first wild card spot, lost for the second time in as many nights after falling in overtime Monday night.

"We've just going to have to move forward," Klingberg said. "We can't be frustrated. We're still right in the mix there. We've still got the wild card spot. We're just going to have to move on and find a way to score more goals."

Kari Lehtonen made 32 saves for Dallas.

Mike Fisher was in the starting lineup for his first game back in Nashville since being signed on Feb. 26. He received an ovation 10 seconds into the game during a stoppage in play while a catfish was removed from the ice.