DALLAS -- The Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars entered their matchup with key offensive players out of action. Pekka Rinne and the rest of the Predators defence made sure Nashville needed only a bit of scoring to win. Rinne stopped 32 shots for his NHL-leading fifth shutout of the season, and Shea Weber and Gabriel Bourque scored power-play goals to lift the Predators to a 4-0 win over the Stars on Tuesday night. Despite leading scorer Colin Wilson and top-six forward Patric Hornqvist being out because of upper body injuries, the Predators snapped a six-game, road-losing streak (0-5-1) on the first stop of a five-game trip. Nick Spaling added a goal, and Rich Clune scored on a penalty shot for the Predators. David Legwand and Craig Smith both had two assists. "Its a huge trip for us. Its obviously nice to get that first game right away, get a big win. This is what we needed," said Rinne, who has allowed one goal over his last three outings. "We scored timely goals, and our penalty kill tonight was really good. I think it was a strong game defensively." Kari Lehtonen made 17 saves for the Stars, who had scored at least three goals in 13 of 15 games. Dallas, which was shut out for the third time this season, has one goal in its last two games after totalling 19 in the previous five. "Certainly, we needed to be a little bit better in a bunch of areas," Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said. "We played soft, we didnt go to the hard areas to score, we didnt force it down their throat. We just thought, Maybe well get some fluff or get a bounce, maybe one will come to me at the back door, whatever. "Youve got to jam it down their throat, come after them." Nashville scored on two of four power plays and turned aside Dallas four advantages. The Predators are 5-for-10 on the power play in their last three games after a 1-for-14 slump in the previous six. "We need our special teams to be good, and they ended up being pretty good on both ends," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "The best penalty killer was obviously our goaltender, who was outstanding. But a lot of guys contributed. You just had a lot of people step up, a lot of the younger guys are stepping up." Although veteran forward Ray Whitney returned after missing 16 games because of a broken foot, the Stars were without top-line centre Jamie Benn (wrist) and captain Brenden Morrow, who sat out a second game (groin). The Stars began a season-high, four-game homestand as part of a stretch in which they will play nine of 11 in Dallas. They fell to 5-5-1 there. "Every game is important now, especially the home games," Stars winger Loui Eriksson said. "I thought we had some really good chances. I dont know, we just have to be better to score the goals there." With the Predators leading 2-0 midway through the second period, Clune scored on a penalty shot at 9:09, firing a wrist shot through Lehtonens pads. It was the first penalty shot for Clune, a former Stars draft pick who never played for them. "I was kind of thinking shot the whole way," said Clune, who earned the penalty shot when he was hooked by Jordie Benn on a breakaway. "The ice is a little chippy here in Dallas, so I didnt want to deke and fumble on the puck. I was thinking either low blocker or five-hole, and he was pretty far back in his net." Dallas best scoring chance came with 3:17 left in the second, when Whitney set up Trevor Daley for a one-timer from the slot. Even though he had a half-empty net, Daleys shot hit teammate Erik Cole in the skate before Rinne dived across to knock away the rebound. "It was just a scramble play, but sometimes you have to be lucky, too," Rinne said. "It was a wide open net, and he put it on the ice, and I was able to get it. I was a little bit lucky, too." An outbreak of fights erupted with 5:35 remaining in the third period during a Nashville power play after Mike Fisher crashed into Lehtonen. Stephane Robidas challenged Fisher to a fight, and two more bouts broke out elsewhere. Just 33 seconds later, Bourque scored his seventh goal. Spaling got the all-important first goal with a shot that beat Lehtonens glove at 12:16 of the first period. It was his fourth of the season. Webers fourth of the season appeared to glance off the stick of Jordie Benn in front and just inside the left post at 2:16 of the second. "We made some young errors, had some turnovers, especially with our D," Gulutzan said. "We need our big guys to step up when those situations happen, to take control, and we didnt do it." The Stars responded with considerable pressure, but Rinne made outstanding saves on Whitneys one-timer from the left circle at 3:15 and on Erikssons one-timer from the right circle at 4:38. NOTES: Predators C Paul Gaustad left the game after the second period with an upper body injury and didnt return. ... Wilson, who leads Nashville with seven goals and 19 points in 25 games, was injured Saturday against Minnesota. He is expected to be out at least through the weekend. ... The Stars honoured former RW Bill Guerin, who spent three seasons with Dallas from 2002-06, by putting him on the clubs all-time team. Guerin had 72 goals and 159 points in 216 games with them. ... The Predators are 10-0-5 this season when they score first. Dallas is 1-10-1 when its opponent strikes first. Cheap Jerseys From China
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. This time, they found a way to avoid another meltdown. Will Venable hit his second home run of the season and the Padres pounced on Tim Lincecum in a 5-3 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Monday, getting a small dose of satisfaction against the defending World Series champions.Thanks to a rare break in the NHL on TSN schedule, for the first time in...ah...ever, I took the family on a winter vacation. Since I havent written a column in...ah...almost ever, I figured Id keep a running diary to satisfy the legions of readers (ah...three) who ask me to write more of this trivial family stuff. DAY 1 - 2:45 a.m. wake-up call for 6:10 a.m. flight to St. Lucia. What drug was I on when I booked this? (Charlie Sheen?) Waking up three kids at 2:45 is like inviting that creepy Paranormal Activity spirit into their bodies for the rest of the day. There is now a solid chance one of them will melt my face off before days end. Wait, that was Raiders of the Lost Ark. Now mixing lame outdated movie metaphors...early sign of blogging dementia. - My 7-year-old daughter looks out the plane window and says, "Dad, were in outer space!" I tell her, very teacher-like, that were not quite that high, and wed have to leave the atmosphere to be in outer space. She says (direct quote): "Schools different now from when you were a kid, Dad. Trust me, were in outer space." - Arrive at Windjammer Landing Resort in St. Lucia. It is several degrees of awesome. Hillside villas set over a postcard cove and beach. And its famous for water sports and little sporting competitions between guests - young and old. Technically these are called "Fun Beach Activities." I call them "War." - Fist-bump wife for finding this place. Tell her I fully intend to dominate the competitions. She looks genuinely terrified of the public humiliation I may bring the family this week. DAY 2 - Eager to make an early statement and show my athletic prowess (which is often lost in my TV studio powder-puffed daily life), I enter Windjammer Kayak Championship.* Proceed to dominate my heat, semi-final, and final.** Win t-shirt. Hold it above head like Stanley Cup. Wife hides face under towel on nearby lounge chair. (*It should probably be noted that in the semis, I cut off my opponent - a 60-something grandmother from Boston - at the turn to win. No mercy. #Tigerblood.) (**Oh, and in the final, the guy I was racing against stopped to talk to a hot girl who was swimming, and never actually bothered to finish. Whatever. His lack of focus will never diminish the historical significance of this title. Im thinking of getting a ring made.) - My daughters are playing on the beach with a cute little blonde girl named Emma, who is staying at the resort for a month. "How did you pull off a month-long vacation, Emma?" I ask, trying to make cutesy kid conversation. "My parents have the Cha-Ching," she answers, without even looking up from her sandcastle. God I love kids. DAY 3 - Take a full-day catamaran tour around gorgeous St. Lucia. At one point, late in a perfect day, with the sun going down like a painting, and my seven-year-old and I dangling our feet over the front of the boat, she says, "Dad, I want to tell you something." This is it. One of those Hallmark moments where she says something like "I want this moment to last forever" or "I love you Daddy, Ill always be your little girl." I smile in anticipation and wrap my arm around her. "What is it honey?" "I named my butt Bryce" "Wha...uhh?" "My butt. I named it Bryce." "Oh. Thats...neat." For the rest of the week, she insists I address Bryce every time I speak to her. As in: "Gracie and Bryce, time for dinner!" Should this concern me? Psychologists, feel free to write a paper. - Still basking in glow of kayaking triumph, accept invitation to participate in resorts "Caribbean King" dance competition during evening entertainment. Pull out every move in my 80s repertoire - robot, running man, lawn mower, sprinkler (my go-to move, much like Seth Rogans dice-roll in Knocked Up) to qualify ffor final, where I lose to a large guy who takes off his shirt, jiggles his gut, and does the worm.dddddddddddd Who can answer that? I was like the dude Eminem beat in the rap contest at the end of 8 Mile. I had no answer. Just stood there. Crushing loss. Hard to even look at my kids. DAY 4 - Take 11-year-old son on his first snorkeling trip. He dives down and finds a perfect conch. When he surfaces and proudly shows me his find, I yell "He has the conch! Kill the pig! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!" They apparently havent read Lord of the Flies by Grade Six, as he just stares at me blankly. Something he learned from his mother. - Get crushed in Windjammer Horseshoe contest by...just about everyone, including a trio of English women who dont even know how to hold a horseshoe properly. Fear I may actually lose Canadian Citizenship for this. Kayaking title now a fading memory. DAY 5 - Take a family kayak trip (go back to what you know, kid) down the beach to a neighbouring resort that is home to a talking parrot. Could swear I hear parrot say: "Chara shoulda got three games." - Family Activity Day continues with ride on one of those giant inflatable bananas. The banana boat is probably the single safest roped-device-behind-speedboat sport. Your elderly great grandma...your infant...your pet bunny...they could all ride the giant inflatable banana without any fear of falling off. - Get distracted by girls passing by on Jet Ski. Fall off giant banana. Not kidding. Kids and wife think this is the funniest thing in the history of...history. - 9-year-old daughter (competitive swimmer) beats me in breaststroke race to giant inflatable iceberg. This is significant because I really tried, instead of the old Daddy-lets-em-win thing Ive doing for years. Not sure if I should be thrilled for my little girls ability, or concerned that five days of all-inclusive eating has made me barely buoyant. DAY 6 - Sweet Redemption! Daughter and I win back-to-back kids and adult bottle-fishing competition (bottle fishing involves dropping a little wired circle at the end of a fishing line on to the top of a bottle. Takes the hands of a surgeon. Its extremely compelling. There should really be a televised tour on TSN. Okay, TSN2 anyway. I would have Vic Rauter and Pierre do commentary. I would watch this. - Couple gets married at sunset on the beach in front of resort. Could not imagine a more beautiful setting. Say to wife: "I think I may have my next wedding there." She kinda chuckles. Progress. DAY 7 - My boy discovers some secret crab commune in the forest near our villa. (Just wondering...shouldnt crabs be in the ocean, or at least next to it, not 100 metres up the hill? Did my son just discover a new step in evolution? Were the crabs fed up with sea life and planning to get a condo in the city? Could someone with a marine biology background tweet me on this?) - Boy and his sisters gather 20 crabs in a large sandbox and form illegal crab-racing ring. Within 5 minutes, they have 15 resort guests wagering. Youngest daughter has named every crab, and lets betters know who they have their money on. Grown women are screaming "Cmon Bob! Get moving!" No crabs are named Bryce. That is taken. - Rent Jet Ski for half hour. Each kid gets 10 minutes. Seven-year-old gets on, only after wife makes me promise to not go faster than 10 miles an hour. Im going about 15mph when the little one yells, "Cmon, floor it grampa!" I comply, as she laughs and whoops for the entire ride. Though she later complains that Bryce is sore from the bumps. DAY 8 -Say goodbye to the staff at Windjammer, who treated us like family, and fly home. Hear "Best Vacation Everrrr!" 743 times from kids on the way, and curse the fact that TSN does not have a St. Lucia bureau. Though theyd probably give it to John Lu. Damn Lu. He gets everything. ' ' '