Anton Khudobin had won his last five starts, but he had his worst start of the season in Nashville tonight. The Bruins played a rare bad game in front of him during a 5-3 loss to the Predators.
Craig Smith scored his 10th and 11th early and late in the first period. His first goal came just 1:26 into the game as he put home a rebound of an Alexei Emelin shot.
He struck again with just 18 seconds left in the opening period by sneaking behind the defense and beating Khudobin with a forehand.
Nick Bonino scored his fifth goal of the season to give Nashville a 3-0 lead just over two minutes into the second period as he won a faceoff then drove to the front of the net to slap a loose puck into the Bruins net.
The last shot of the night Khudobin faced came less than two minutes later as he was beaten by a backhand from Kevin Fiala from the bottom of the left circle. Tuukka Rask came in to relieve Khudobin and it seemed to provide a spark.
Charlie McAvoy scored his first career NHL goal against the Bruins on opening night and he struck again midway through the second period while on the power play. Danton Heinen had the puck behind the net and found an open McAvoy at the right dot where he blasted home a one-timer.
Zdeno Chara cut the lead to 4-2 at the 4:33 mark of the third period as his bouncing wrist shot from the point found its way past Pekka Rinne. David Backes picked up the 500th point of his career with the primary assist on the play.
The Bruins made things interesting as David Pastrnak cut the lead to a single goal just over a minute later as he took a feed from Brad Marchand in the left circle and wired a blistering wrist shot past Rinne. Patrice Bergeron had the secondary assist on Pastrnak’s team leading 14th goal of the year.
Unfortunately, the Predators had a quick response as Filip Forsberg scored on a breakaway just 34 seconds later to kill the Bruins momentum and cap off the scoring on the night.
The Bruins will return home to host the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night.