Juuse Saros hasn't allowed the Dallas Stars to score on him since the first round of the playoffs last year (Apr. 17).
Even then, they have scored only one goal against the Predators goaltender since Feb. 7, 2019. With 37 saves, Saros recorded his second consecutive shutout this afternoon in Dallas, where Ryan Ellis scored the only goal of the game to give the Preds a 1-0 win. The shutout is Saros' fourth of the year- three of them occurring within the last 23 days.
The Preds' win this afternoon tied the season series with Dallas, 2-2. Though the score was the lowest it could possibly be, both teams put forth an enormous effort offensively and defensively. The Preds could have easily flown off the handle in the third period and allowed the Stars to score on any of their 14 shots, but they grit their teeth and played some of their best defensive hockey of the entire season.
Ellis' goal is now the Preds' fourth straight that has been scored on the power play. The team has also killed 19 of the last 20 penalties against them, dating back to the Columbus game on Feb. 22. Special teams has been the Preds' Achilles heel all season, but the continuation of this trend would be a major boost (maybe) going into the playoffs.
Two shutouts in a row reflect kindly not only on Saros, but the defense in general. Two consecutive wins over an 82-point Central Division rival is incredibly stout, but it won't really matter unless the Preds follow them up with, well, more wins. The Preds' habit of winning two games and losing the next three is simply unsustainable if they still have playoff aspirations.
With 76 points, the Preds are still dead even with Vancouver and Winnipeg in competition for a Western Conference Wild Card spot. Nashville has one game in hand over Winnipeg, but Vancouver still has one in hand over Nashville. With Minnesota's loss today, they sit just below the three teams with 75 points.
The Preds will head on the road for the next four games, beginning on Tuesday in Montreal. The Canadiens play in Florida tonight, but will be as rested as the Preds come game time on Tuesday.