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Forsberg makes debut with Nashville Predators

NHL.com @NHL

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -Peter Forsberg was greeted with a standing ovation and chants of "Welcome Forsberg" in his Nashville Predators debut Saturday night.

Two days after being acquired from Philadelphia, last in the NHL with 40 points, Forsberg was in the starting lineup for the Predators against the Minnesota Wild.

Forsberg wanted to join Nashville for what the team has as well as what it has not done.

"This is a team that is a young team and not a whole lot of guys have won the Cup," Forsberg said Saturday morning after he skated with the Predators for the first time. "They've got the hunger, I think. So I really wanted to come here."

Nashville won 39 of its first 60 games and has the best record in the Western Conference (one point behind Buffalo for the NHL's best record) entering Saturday.

When he was acquired in a trade Thursday, the veteran center doubled the number of current Predators who have won a Stanley Cup. Center Jason Arnott had been the only one.

Forsberg said he also recognized that same desire in veteran left wing Paul Kariya when the two played together in Colorado (2003-04).

Injuries limited Kariya to just 51 games and a career-low 36 points and the Avalanche lost in the second round of the playoffs.

"He came to Colorado and played for kind of no money to try to win and that's why I felt kind of wanted to come here and try to play with him again and try to win," Forsberg said.

General manager David Poile called the trade for Forsberg, in which Nashville gave up two former first-round draft picks and two selections in the upcoming draft, the most significant deal the franchise has made.

Forsberg considered it an opportunity for a fresh start. He missed 17 games this season with a foot injury while with the Philadelphia Flyers, who have the worst record in the league.

He has 40 points in 40 games this season, but has three goals and eight assists in his past seven games.

"I've never been traded at the deadline before, but you go from the team with the least amount of points to the one with the most amount of points, definitely I feel good about that," he said.

"It's going to be a fun run for the final 20-plus games and of the regular season and into the playoffs."

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