NASHVILLE - Filip Forsberg picked the right time to continue his hot streak for the Nashville Predators and is helping them play their best hockey of the season.
Forsberg had his second natural hat trick in three games on Saturday in a 5-0 win against the St. Louis Blues. He also scored three goals in a 3-2 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday.
Forsberg got off to a slow start offensively this season, scoring two goals in his first 21 games. He has 26 goals this season, including 12 in his past 11 games. Forsberg also became the first player in Predators history to have multiple hat tricks in one season.
"I'm just trying to get open for [Predators forward Mike Ribeiro] and [Predators forward Craig Smith]," Forsberg said after the win Saturday. "They've been doing a really good job trying to find me. I'm just trying to put it between the red pipes."
Even though he wasn't getting the results at the beginning of the season, Forsberg's teammates believe he's been playing consistently all season long. Now is he is being rewarded on the score sheet for his strong play.
Video: STL@NSH: Forsberg blasts third goal of game in 2nd
"It's just like that with every goal scorer, I think, in this League," Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm said. "You can't be scoring goals in two, three bunches every game. It doesn't happen in this League. You just bear with it. I think he's been working hard. He's obviously a skilled player that can shoot the puck really well. Right now they're just bouncing in for him. It's tough to describe, but he's been playing lights out lately."
Forsberg got off to a strong start to his rookie season in 2014-15, but fell off toward the end of the season. His production and the Predators' success seemed to go hand-in-hand: Nashville went from being the best team in the NHL to finishing the season with six wins in 21 games (6-12-3).
"I didn't play my best hockey [at the end of last season]," Forsberg said. "I was kind of the opposite than last year now, having a little slow start, but I think our line of me, [Ribeiro] and [Smith] have really been stepping up lately. It's always good to help the team win games."
The Predators and Forsberg seem to be doing the opposite this season. Forsberg and his line is heating up at the right time, which will be a key factor in the stretch run for the Predators.
"It's certainly up there with some of the best hockey that he's played," Laviolette said. "He's consistent right now. When he plays at a pace and he does things fast with the puck, he becomes really difficult to defend. He plays the off wing so he moves in and out of the ice surface and just creates things, gets his shot off, makes a play to somebody else. He's got a lot of confidence. He's in a stretch right now where he's playing really good hockey."
Video: Predators cruise past Blues, 5-0