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Predators centre Jerred Smithson (25) scores against Atlanta goaltender Johan Hedberg. ((Mark Humphrey/Associated Press))

Dan Ellis stopped 20 shots for his first career shutout, helping the Nashville Predators snap a six-game losing streak by beating the visiting Atlanta Thrashers 3-0 Thursday night.

Jordin Tootoo and Jerred Smithson scored for Nashville, which was one loss away from tying a franchise-record losing streak.

It was Ellis' second NHL start, and first this season after Chris Mason got the first eight for Nashville. Ellis was playing his fourth game with the Predators.

David Legwand fired a slapshot from above the left circle that slipped through the legs of Atlanta goaltender Johan Hedberg. The puck was still in the crease as Smithson skated in and shot it into the net before Hedberg could turn around at 12:51 of the first period.

At the 5:40 mark of the second, Kevin Klein scooted in and out of traffic down the slot drawing Hedberg to his left where Tootoo fired a one-timer into the wide side of the net.

Scott Nichol scored an empty-net goal with 31 seconds left to play.

The Predators outshot Atlanta 16-5 in the first period and 34-20 for the game.