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Predators score three in third, defeat Stars

Filip Forsberg, James Neal, Ryan Johansen each get goal, assist

by Robby Stanley / NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Filip Forsberg, James Neal and Ryan Johansen each scored a goal and had an assist and the Nashville Predators defeated the Dallas Stars 5-2 at Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday.

Forsberg gave the Predators a 1-0 lead at 14:52 of the first period on a wrist shot from below the left faceoff circle. Defenseman P.K. Subban delivered a pass from the point to Forsberg, and he shot it past Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen for his second goal.

"[Subban] has proven himself to be one of the best defensemen in the League," Forsberg said. "That's the type of plays that he can make. Whenever you're out there, you've got to expect the unexpected I guess and just be ready for anything."

 

WATCH: All Stars vs. Predators highlights

 

Mike Fisher made it 2-0 at 16:06 of the second period on a wraparound. Fisher took the original shot and followed his rebound behind the net. He collected the puck and beat Lehtonen for his fourth goal.

Stars forward Patrick Sharp scored shorthanded to make it 2-1 at 5:32 of the third period on a wrist shot from the slot. Forward Lauri Korpikoski got the puck and Sharp beat Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne for his first goal.

Johansen gave the Predators a 3-1 lead 37 seconds later on the power play on a one-timer from just outside the goal crease. Neal took the puck wide and made the pass to the middle of the ice, and Johansen directed the puck past Lehtonen for his second goal.

"That was a big goal, a huge goal on the power play," Fisher said. "It ended up being the winner, and that was huge to jump back like that and get one."

Video: DAL@NSH: Fisher scores with slick wraparound

Neal recorded his 200th assist on the play.

Craig Smith made it 4-1 at 11:09 on a one-timer from the side of the net. The Predators created a turnover, Forsberg got the puck to Smith on the transition and Smith one-timed it for his sixth goal.

Stars forward Brett Ritchie scored to make it 4-2 at 18:44, but Neal scored an empty-net goal with 16 seconds to play.

"You build off a lot of good stuff we did in the game, and there was a lot of good stuff in the game," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "Our energy was good. I thought from the second period on, our breakouts coming out of our own end [were] good. We just need to clean up a few mistakes."

Video: DAL@NSH: Sharp nets long-range wrister for SHG

 

Goal of the game

Johansen's goal after the Stars had scored shorthanded to make it 2-1. Johansen redirected a pass from Neal to quickly restore a two-goal lead.

Video: DAL@NSH: Johansen chips the puck in up high for PPG

 

Save of the game

Rinne made a save on Stars forward Patrick Eaves from the slot on the power play in the second period. Eaves was left alone and got a clean look at the goal, but Rinne was able to get in position to preserve a 1-0 lead.

 

Unsung moment of the game

Subban's pass through traffic to Forsberg on Nashville's first goal. Subban had the puck at the point and drifted to the right. He caught the Dallas defense also moving to the right and sent a pass back to the left that Forsberg was able to corral and shoot past Lehtonen.

Video: DAL@NSH: Subban's nifty pass sets up Forsberg's goal

 
Highlight of the game

Smith's goal was the result of a tic-tac-toe passing play from Mike Ribeiro and Forsberg. Ribeiro got the puck at the top of the slot to start the play. He passed to Smith, who passed it to Forsberg, and Forsberg gave it back to Smith for the one-timer to give the Predators a 4-1 lead.

Video: DAL@NSH: Smith scores off beautiful passing play

 

They said it

"I think that we had a rocky start. It wasn't bad by any means, but we weren't playing our hockey and our game the way we wanted to play it. I think as the game went on we got an early goal, which helped, which built our confidence. We knew that even after the first period we weren't playing our best. We were up 1-0 and we just tried to build off of that. I think we had moments where we controlled the game well, but they played a pretty good game as well. I think the difference in today's game was [Rinne]." -- Predators defenseman P.K. Subban

 

Need to know

Sharp finished with five shots on goal and got his first goal of the season in his seventh game. … Stars defenseman John Klingberg returned after being a healthy scratch for one game for being late to a team meeting. … The Predators improved to 7-1-1 at home. … Rinne has a 7-1-2 record with a 1.39 goals-against average and a .952 save percentage in November.

 

What's next

Stars: Host the Vancouver Canucks on Friday (8:30 p.m. ET; SNP, FS-SW+, NHL.TV)

Predators: Host the Winnipeg Jets on Friday (6 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, TSN3, FS-TN, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Forsberg, Rinne push Predators past Stars in 5-2 win

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