James van Riemsdyk score shootout winner, Leafs edge Predators 3-2

Maple Leafs 3 Predators 2

TORONTO — James van Riemsdyk scored in the seventh round of the shootout and once in regulation time as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Nashville Predators 3-2 at Air Canada Centre on Wednesday.

Kasperi Kapanen also scored for the Maple Leafs (32-19-5), who picked up their sixth win in their last seven games.

Colton Sissons and Viktor Arvidsson scored for the Predators (32-12-8), who failed to move into a tie with Winnipeg (73 points) for first place in the Central Division. Nashville sits a point behind the Jets.

Frederik Andersen made 44 saves to improve to 7-1-0 all-time against Nashville. Pekka Rinne made 30 saves in defeat.

Van Riemsdyk opened the scoring in the first period after collecting a pass from Connor Brown along the side boards. Van Riemsdyk’s long-range shot went off the stick of defenceman Alexei Emelin and past Rinne at 16:06. Travis Dermott also collected an assist.

The Leafs added to their lead in the second period.

With Nashville on the power play, Kapanen stripped P.K Subban of the puck at the Predators blue line for a breakaway. Craig Smith caught up to Kapanen who initially blocked his path to the goal, but Kapanen spun around Smith and put a wrist shot through the legs of Rinne to give Toronto a 2-0 lead at 9:38. Dominic Moore and Ron Hainsey assisted on the goal.

The Predators scored their first goal of the game when Pontus Aberg’s shot hit van Riemsdyk on the way to the net. Sissons picked up the loose puck and beat an out-of-position Andersen. Ryan Ellis also collected an assist to cut Toronto’s lead to 2-1 at 18:10.

Nashville tied it 2-2 early in the third when Arvidsson picked up a rebound in front of Andersen and shot the puck through his legs just 25 seconds into the period.

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