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Legwand starts scoring to lead Preds past Stars

DALLAS (AP) -- Nashville needed time to regroup after a couple of leaky defensive outings the past week.

The Predators hit the practice ice Thursday and Friday, and then made the necessary changes in their 3-1 victory over the Dallas Stars on Saturday night.

Nashville had allowed 14 goals the past two games, but it shored up defensively.

"We worked on a little bit of responsibility in every area," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "Our mind-set wasn't right. There was not enough detail in our game. We needed a couple of days of good practice."

David Legwand broke a scoreless tie early in the third period, and Nashville added two more goals in less than a minute as the Predators ended a three-game losing streak.

Jordin Tootoo and J.P. Dumont scored, and Dan Ellis made 24 saves for the Predators, who came in tied with Colorado for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

"It was a huge win for us," said Ellis, who also shut out the Stars on Dec. 31. "The Dallas Stars are probably the best team in the league. Coming in here and getting a huge win shows we can beat anybody."

Mike Ribeiro scored for the Pacific Division-leading Stars, who lost for just the third time in 16 games and saw their four-game winning streak end. They remained three points behind Detroit for the top spot in the Western Conference.

The Stars were coming off an emotional 7-4 victory over Chicago in which Brad Richards had five assists in his debut after being traded from Tampa Bay. But Saturday's game was very different from their offensive production against the Blackhawks.

"We got a little sloppy in the third and had a little letdown compared to the other night," Richards said. "It's been an up and down week."

It has also been a week of highs and lows for Nashville, who rebounded after giving up a franchise-high eight goals Wednesday night to Buffalo.

"It was definitely a better defensive effort," Predators center Jason Arnott said. "Luckily, we were able to capitalize on what they gave us."

The game was scoreless after two periods before the offenses heated up in the third.

Ville Koistinen passed the puck to Legwand, who lined up a shot past Marty Turco from the right circle 48 seconds into the third.

The teams then combined to score three goals in a span of 53 seconds.

The Predators extended their lead to 2-0 when Tootoo beat Turco from the right circle at 7:53.

Ribeiro's 27th goal brought the Stars within one 30 seconds later, but Nashville stretched its advantage to 3-1 when Dumont added his 24th goal at 8:46.

Turco, 10-2 in his last 12 outings, made 25 saves.

"It was a tight game," Turco said. "Anytime pucks go through, you need to tighten up. We need to do the little things and have good habits."

Both teams had scoring opportunities the first two periods, but came away empty.

Turco made a nice glove save on a hard wrister from Martin Erat midway through the first. Turco added a sprawling stop on Shea Weber's shot early in the second.

The Stars had three power plays in the first 11 minutes and also failed to score when they had a two-man advantage for 43 seconds late in the second period.

Game notes
Ribeiro briefly left the game after he was shaken up trying to check Tootoo along the boards early in the second period. Ribeiro skated off the ice and went into the dressing room, but returned a few minutes later and was back in for a Stars power play. ... This was the second contest of Nashville's season-long six-game road trip. ... Arnott had an assist and has recorded eight points in his last five games.