Shanahan signed with the club last Thursday after sitting out the first half of the season. He was originally drafted by the Devils in 1987 and last played with the team in 1991. He has since recorded eight All-Star game appearances and three Stanley Cup championships, all with the Detroit Red Wings.
David Clarkson also scored for the Devils, who have won four in a row and finished a six-game road trip 5-1-0. Scott Clemmensen made 33 saves to take the victory and vault New Jersey into first place in the Atlantic Division, with 59 total points.
Jason Arnott provided the only goal for the Predators, who have lost three straight and four of five. Pekka Rinne allowed two goals on 34 shots in the loss.
Clemmensen made 14 saves in the first period to keep Nashville off the board, and Rinne was just as good, stopping all eight shots he faced to keep the game scoreless.
Shanahan got the first goal of the game on a power play. After a rebound, he picked up the puck, faked a shot and maneuvered around a defender. He was able to get the puck past Rinne out in front of the crease just under two minutes into the second.
The Devils made it 2-0 shortly thereafter, as Clarkson tipped in a Brian Rolston shot from the point at the 3:21 mark.
Nashville made it a one-goal game late in the third on the power play. Arnott took a slapshot from the point, and it hit a defenseman in the stomach and trickled past Clemmensen with 5:48 left in the game.
Rinne was pulled in the final minute in an attempt to help the Preds net the equalizer, but Zach Parise netted an empty-net goal to seal the victory for New Jersey.