Not even a four-goal second period by the opposition could stop Roman Josi on Monday night.
The Nashville Predators' defenseman scored twice – including the game-winner 28 seconds into overtime – and added two assists to lead his club to a thrilling 5-4 win against the Dallas Stars at Bridgestone Arena.
"I just tried to get it to the net," Josi said. "I think the d-man tipped it."
Josi, 22, had three points through his first 19 appearances this season. His only multi-point game of the 2011-12 season came exactly 365 days ago, when he had two assists against the San Jose Sharks on Feb. 25, 2012.
"That must be in juniors – I didn't have one in my pro career yet," Josi said when asked if he could remember his last four-point performance. "It's great to get one."
"The last couple of games, he's played with a lot of jump," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said of Josi. "I think he's finding himself as a player in this League. He's very comfortable and he's playing in all situations and he's becoming a very important part of our team."
Mike Fisher, Craig Smith and Patric Hornqvist also scored goals for Nashville, which snapped a two-game skid and had dropped four of its past five. The last two losses had been shutouts, and the Predators ended a scoring drought at 133:43 after threatening the franchise-worst drought that reached 176:18 on Feb. 13 in an overtime win against the Sharks.
Matt Fraser and Reilly Smith scored 25 seconds apart within the first two minutes of the second, and Vernon Fiddler and Loui Eriksson added a power-play goal apiece for the Stars, who have lost three of their past four games. Michael Ryder had three assists.
Fisher tied it at 8:22 of the third when he got the puck as he skated into the Nashville zone, split a pair of Stars and beat Cristopher Nilstorp with a backhander. Nashville wound up outshooting the Stars 31-24, including 11-4 in the third.
"We just didn't have a good feel for the game after we were up 4-2," Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said. "We needed to stay disciplined after the double minor for high sticking (on Fisher). They are going to look for something on you. You can't give up a 5-on-3. You can't take that penalty. We just didn't have game feel. We let them in, and got them excited. We just needed to make sure we closed them out."
Smith ended Nashville's scoring drought when he snapped a shot from in front in a relatively quiet first period.
Dallas had scored at least three goals the previous nine straight games, and the Stars took a 2-1 lead as the rookie Fraser scored the first career goal on a slap shot from the left circle at 1:20.
Then Smith tipped the puck over goalie Pekka Rinne's left leg at 1:45 for a 2-1 lead.
"You dream about playing in the NHL, your first game and this was my second game," Fraser said. "I found the back of the net. I was really happy. It kind of puts a damper on the overall celebration since we lost the game, but hopefully there will be more to come."
Trotz immediately took his timeout, and the Predators responded when Josi tied it 2-2 with his slap shot near the blue line at 3:05.
The Predators were trying to kill a holding penalty on Martin Erat when the Stars drew a delayed penalty off a high-sticking by Fisher, and Fiddler, coming on as the extra attacker, scored on a slap shot at 7:29.
With Fisher drawing a double minor, the Stars' man advantage continued, and Erikkson scored with the puck redirected past Rinne by Josi at 9:21.
"It was just two missed blown coverages back-to-back," Trotz said. "It was a great response by the guys right after that. We got a goal right away and (then) we got it tied up."
The Predators trimmed the lead when they got 1:21 of a 5-on-3 after Eric Nystrom went to the box for fighting with a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. Then Fiddler got his own double minor for unsportsmanlike conduct and roughing. Nashville had only two seconds left when Hornqivst lifted a backhander over Nilstorp at 13:43 to pull the Predators within 4-3.
"We got a couple of big momentum goals and then in the third, Fish got it going," Hornqvist said. "We found a way to win. That's what a good team does."
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.
|Back to top|