Rinne shuts out Bruins on 36th birthday, Predators win 1-0


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Pekka Rinne has a suggestion for how Nashville could handle his future contracts after the veteran goaltender celebrated his second extension with yet another shutout.

On his birthday no less.

“I should just sign one-year deals,” he said with a smile.

Rinne celebrated his 36th birthday and the two-year extension Saturday night by shutting out the Boston Bruins in the Predators’ 1-0 victory.

He stopped 26 shots for his second shutout this season and No. 53 of his standout career. The Predators announced before the game they had signed the Vezina Trophy winner to an extension worth $10 million that runs through the 2020-21 season, and Rinne went out and earned his 316th victory.

It’s the second time Rinne has notched a shutout on his birthday after signing a contract extension. He made 35 saves in a 3-0 win at Arizona on Nov. 3, 2011, after signing a seven-year, $49 million deal.

Being at home, fans sang “Happy Birthday” to him in the third period.

“It’s been awesome, awesome day. Huge win,” Rinne said. “Just very happy. So proud that I can stay with this organization that gave me a chance a long time ago, and you know still have that opportunity to chase my dream. So very fortunate.”

Roman Josi scored for Nashville, which won its third straight to stay atop the league standings. Nashville’s captain called Rinne’s deal amazing.

“He’s such a big part of this locker room, and he’s our leader,” Josi said. “I mean he’s been here for so long he’s such a great guy and obviously best goaltender in the league. To keep a guy like him around, it’s awesome for us.”

Rinne improved to 3-1-1 on his birthday in his career.

“He has been and continues to be the backbone of this organization and this team, probably the guy who’s had the biggest impact on this organization,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “He’s really happy. We’re really happy. It’s a good day for us.”

Boston lost for the second time in three games after managing only six shots in the third period. Rinne stopped Brad Marchand’s wrister with 44 seconds left. Boston coach Bruce Cassidy took his timeout with 12 seconds left, but the Bruins didn’t get another shot off until the final horn sounded.

Jaroslav Halak made 39 saves in his fifth start in seven games for Boston. The Bruins went 0 for 4 with the man advantage.

“Clearly, you can see if our power play and our top line don’t score, we have a tough time,” Cassidy said. “Our goaltender kept us in the game.”

Nashville was even worse, shut out on five power plays. That included a double-minor on Marchand at the end of the first period for high-sticking and unsportsmanlike conduct.

“Well, I mean he bit on an embellishment, and that’s a tough penalty to call with a second left in the period in a game like that,” Marchand said. “So yeah it was frustrating.”

Josi posted his 300th career point. He got the puck near the blue line and then skated up the right side before cutting back across the ice, beating Halak with a wrister at 14:49 of the first period.

NOTES: A native of Kempele, Finland, Rinne is 28th in NHL history with 316 wins and just four shy of passing Miikka Kiprusoff for most by a Finnish-born goalie. His 53 shutouts rank 23rd in NHL history, one behind Bernie Parent and Ed Giacomin for 21st. Rinne is one of seven goalies with three 40-win seasons and one of 18 with at least 300 wins and 50 shutouts. … Nashville improved to 9-1-0 when leading after two periods this season. … Josi already had a season-high seven shots on goal through two periods and finished by tying the franchise record for shots by a defenseman with 10. … Bruins defenseman Torey Krug played his 400th NHL game. … Boston RW David Backs played his first game since being hurt Oct. 18.

UP NEXT

Bruins: Host Dallas on Monday night to start a four-game homestand.

Predators: Start a five-game road swing at Colorado on Wednesday night.

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