NASHVILLE — Their mothers would have loved them regardless of the result, but the Bruins made sure they walked away happy.
The Bruins got goals from their top line, their power play, and lines 3 and 4. Three defensemen hit the scoresheet. Their netminder was excellent, and he even recorded an assist. Their structure was solid, their decisions smart.
It added up to a 6-2 win over the Predators at Bridgestone Arena, with 22 player moms watching from a luxury box, invited by the team.
The Bruins (25-8-11) snapped a three-game slide, earning their first win of 2020.
David Pastrnak, Danton Heinen, Patrice Bergeron, and Chris Wagner put the Bruins up big, before the visitors tacked on a pair of goals in the final minute: a 170-foot empty-netter by David Krejci and Charlie Coyle’s tuck with the Predators playing sloppy in the final minute. Tuukka Rask earned an assist on the final goal.
Rask made 34 stops, including 15 in the second period and 11 on the penalty kill. Some of his best work came in the final 10 minutes. He made a diving glove grab of a deflected puck Viktor Arvidsson chopped toward an open side of the net, and stifled a five on three for 1:56.
The Predators (19-16-7), trying to impress newly installed coach John Hynes, extended their misery to 1-4-1 in their last six. They fell behind, 4-1, and made it a two-goal game when Mikael Granlund pushed in the puck on the power play with 1:53 left.
The Bruins went 5 for 7 on the penalty kill, breaking a streak of 24 straight kills. The Bruins hadn’t allowed two power-play goals in a game since Dec. 12 against Tampa Bay.
■ Too often of late the Bruins have failed to get or extend a lead. They did both on Tuesday, boosted by Pastrnak’s rocket in the first period and two more (Heinen, Bergeron) in the second. They had the Predators in a precarious spot entering the third, suppressing any boost the Predators got from their coaching change.
■ The fourth line got into the mix at 2:51 of the third, finishing for a 4-1 lead. After a slick pass from Torey Krug, Par Lindholm’s shot deflected off Wagner, who was bothering netminder Pekka Rinne in front. It was the first time in five games that the Bruins led by three goals.
■ Another night, another goalie roasted for Pastrnak. In the four on four, the league’s leading goal scorer (32) stepped around Calle Jarnkrok as he entered the zone, got into the circle, and unleashed a cannon of a slapper from the top of the right circle — the same spot from which he beat Montreal’s Carey Price on Dec. 1. That one went far side, blocker high, but Tuesday’s identical snipe, 1:36 in, was short side, low glove. Rinne whiffed on it.
■ Good stuff from the middle six. Heinen, who went eight games without a goal and was scratched for another game, roofed a shot from the slot at 8:21 of the second. Credit defenseman Matt Grzelcyk for holding at the point and finding Heinen, and linemates Coyle and Brett Ritchie for the heavy stuff down low to create the chance. Ritchie was back in after two games in the press box. Heinen landed four shots through 40 minutes.
■ Jake DeBrusk, riding with Anders Bjork and David Krejci on the second line, made a spinning setup on the power play for Bergeron’s goal at 17:42 of the second. DeBrusk was active all night, and the line seemed to funnel pucks to the net, despite Natural Stat Trick saying they were outshot, 7-2, at five on five through two periods.
■ The Predators believed they had the tying goal at 1:02 of the second. Officials told them they did. But they did not. It was a bizarre sequence. Nashville’s Rocco Grimaldi upended Charlie McAvoy on a rush down the slot, and McAvoy took out the net after sliding into the left post. Predators center Nick Bonino batted the puck into the net, which slid at about a 35-degree angle off the goal line. Referees Chris Lee and Tom Chmieliewski made no call on the ice, immediately going to review. Chmieliewski went to center ice to call it a goal, reasoning that McAvoy knocked the net off himself. Then after more review, he returned to deem it no goal, correctly stating that Grimaldi knocked down McAvoy before the puck was batted in.
■ The Bruins gave the Predators chances via the power play (3 for 4 on the penalty kill through 40 minutes). Filip Forsberg converted on a five on three at 10:54 of the second, but the temperature began rising early.
■ Just 14 seconds into the night, Brad Marchand hit the penalty box after cross-checking Arvidsson after the whistle. Arvidsson, who hit the deck, earned an embellishment penalty. Later in the first, Marchand extended the little-guy battle by giving the Swedish winger another hack near the benches. In the Bruins’ moms’ luxury box, Lynn Marchand must have been shaking her head. Bradley Kevin!
■ The Predators didn’t stop acting after Arvidsson’s early diving penalty. After Arvidsson drew a trip on Brandon Carlo, Craig Smith jerked back his head when Grzelcyk’s stick caught him in the chest. That was the five on three that cut the lead to one.
■ Overall, the Bruins played smart and structurally sound, not allowing quality or quantity in the way of scoring chances.
■ Rinne, 37, is struggling through his 14th season. The 2017-18 Vezina winner is on track for the worst save percentage (.896) and goals-against average (2.98) of his stellar career. Backup Juuse Saros is no better (.892 and 3.25). The Predators’ save percentage (.889) is fourth-worst in the league.
■ New coach John Hynes and interim assistant coach Rob Scuderi received a warm welcome from Predators fans during a first-period videoboard introduction. Hynes acknowledged the fans with a wave.
■ A rare sight: Zdeno Chara taking a right cross to the chin. In the third period, Nashville forward Yakov Trenin, a 6-foot-2-inch, 201-pound rookie winger, answered for his steamrolling hit on McAvoy by dropping the gloves with the Boston captain. He landed body blows on the big man, some 20 years his senior, and snuck in a shot to the face. Chara appeared none the worse for wear. It was Chara’s third fighting major in 43 games this season, and the first of Trenin’s nine-game career.