NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Malcolm Subban peered over to the Predators’ bench, eager to see if his older brother, P.K., was next in line during the shootout.
“I was wondering if he was coming out,” Malcolm said.
So were most of the 17,125 in attendance at Bridgestone Arena on Friday.
But P.K. Subban was not one of Nashville’s shooters and had to watch as Malcolm stopped all six attempts in the shootout to boost the Golden Knights to a 4-3 victory.
Reilly Smith scored the lone goal in the shootout after teammate Erik Haula tied the game with 39.9 seconds left.
The Knights (18-9-1) carry a three-game winning streak into Saturday’s 5 p.m. game at Dallas.
“They’re huge points for our team, especially coming into a place like Nashville, one of the better teams in the league, and staying with them most of the night,” Knights coach Gerard Gallant said. “It’s definitely a test when you’re playing teams like this on the road. Our team battled hard. Any time you win against a team like Nashville, it’s a confidence booster for you.”
The Subban brothers met on the ice prior to the game and posed for pictures with their father, Karl, who was at the game for the Knights’ Dad’s Trip.
P.K. and Malcolm are the 10th pair of brothers to play against each other in an NHL game when one is a skater and the other a goalie, according to the league.
“It was pretty cool,” Malcolm Subban said. “Obviously it’s a great experience being out there with my dad and my brother. It brought back old memories, so it was pretty cool.”
Subban finished with 41 saves in regulation and overtime before he denied Kyle Turris, Kevin Fiala, Filip Forsberg, Craig Smith, Viktor Arvidsson and Nick Bonino in the shootout.
Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne stopped the first five tries by the Knights before Reilly Smith’s decisive wrister.
The Knights are 7-1 in overtime/shootouts, including three wins this week over Arizona, Anaheim and the reigning Western Conference champion Predators.
“I think we competed,” Reilly Smith said. “They definitely had a lot of chances. Subban played a great game for us, but we’ve been resilient the last few games and being able to pick up those two points, that’s what really matters.”
The Knights led 2-1 entering the third period before Nashville (18-8-3) took the lead on goals from Arvidsson and Bonino.
Haula, who scored the tying goal with less than five minutes remaining Tuesday against Anaheim, sent the game to overtime when he ripped a cross-ice pass from Colin Miller past Rinne for his 10th goal.
“We kind of dug ourselves into that hole, being down 3-2,” Haula said. “There’s some mistakes we made, but it’s a good feeling winning the game at the end of the day.”
William Karlsson had his team-high 15th goal when he one-timed a feed from Alex Tuch 6:55 into the first period.
James Neal put the Knights up 2-0 in the second period with his 14th goal. Luca Sbisa’s shot from the point was blocked, but the puck bounced to Neal at the right faceoff circle and left Rinne stranded.
Neal, who spent the past three seasons with the Predators, received a huge ovation during warmups and again in the first period when a “Thank You James Neal” video played on the scoreboard.
“It was very nice of them,” Neal said. “It was weird. It was tough playing against them, but it’s fun. It happens in this game. It was a nice tribute. It means a lot.”
1. Perron returns. Forward David Perron, who missed the past six games with an upper-body injury, was activated from the injured-reserve list Friday. That bumped Oscar Lindberg to the line with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Tomas Nosek, while Stefan Matteau was scratched.
2. Workhorse. Defenseman Nate Schmidt put in a yeoman’s effort against the Predators, logging a season-high 28:08 minutes on 35 shifts. He added two assists and also blocked two shots, including one that helped kill off a 5-on-3 in the first period.
3. Slumpbuster. William Karlsson’s goal in the first period was the Golden Knights’ first on the power play since Nov. 25, ending an 0-for-16 skid.