Nashville, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Jonathan Bernier stopped 36 shots to notch his first shutout of the season, while Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk combined for a pair of second-period goals that lifted the Toronto Maple Leafs over the Nashville Predators, 4-0, on Thursday at Bridgestone Arena.
"He stood tall in the net and he didn't give up a lot of second opportunities," Toronto head coach Randy Carlyle said.
Kessel lit the lamp 13:41 into the second stanza before assisting on van Riemsdyk's third goal of the season late in the period that gave Bernier more than enough breathing room.
Tyler Bozak and Joffrey Lupul each added a power-play marker late in the third for the Leafs, who bounced back from Tuesday's 2-1 setback to Colorado.
Pekka Rinne was tagged for all four goals on 26 shots in the loss for Nashville, which was coming off a 3-2 win over Minnesota in its home opener.
After a scoreless first period, Nashville outshot the Leafs, 17-9, in the second, but Toronto tallied the only two goals in the frame to grab control.
Van Riemsdyk got to a loose puck in the right corner off a faceoff and slid a no-look, backhand feed to the front of the net, where Kessel pounded in the one-timer to get the Leafs on the board.
Kessel helped set up Toronto's next goal, as he charged down the right wing and rifled a shot that hit the outside of the post and ricocheted off the end boards.
The disc trickled back toward Rinne, who tried to cover it, but van Riemsdyk got there first and skated around the net before stuffing in a wraparound from the low left side to make it 2-0 with under 10 seconds left in the period.
"With 9 seconds to go, they score. If we get through that period 1-0, I think we might get a point," Nashville head coach Barry Trotz said.
The visitors tacked on two more goals late in the third period after Nashville's Mike Fisher was given a five-minute boarding major and a game misconduct for sending Toronto's Cody Franson head-first into the glass partition at the end of the bench.
Bozak banked in a pass off a Toronto defender to make it 3-0 at 16:18 before Lupul followed 41 seconds with his third of the season to account for the final margin.
Bernier recorded his seventh career shutout and improved to 8-1-0 in nine meetings with Nashville ... Franson left the game and did not return after taking the hit from Fisher ... Nashville finished 0-for-3 on the power play.