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Josi's late goal leads Predators past Hurricanes

by Robby Stanley /

NASHVILLE-- Defenseman Roman Josi’s goal with 4:43 remaining gave the Nashville Predators a 3-2 win against the Carolina Hurricanes at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday.

The goal was his seventh, and Nashville improved to 15-2-1 at home. They have not lost back-to-back games this season.

"I think [Nashville coach Peter Laviolette] really wants the defense to jump up in the play and join the rush," Josi said. "He wants us to shoot the puck, and I think that's what we all do. All defensemen try to get as many pucks to the net as possible, and that's how you create goals."

Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne made a highlight-reel save in the first period to keep the game scoreless on a shot by Hurricanes forward Nathan Gerbe. Rinne's back was to the puck, but he was able to extend a pad to make a big save for his team.

"We were just kind of looking at each other on the bench saying, 'Did that just happen?'" Josi said. "I mean, that guy surprises you every game and you think there's not much more that he can do, but he does something new every game."

Carolina took a 1-0 lead at 17:25 of the first period on a power play goal by forward Eric Staal. It was his 300th career goal and his fourth in the past five games.

Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis tied the game 1-1 at 4:43 of the third period from a tough angle on a shot that banked off of Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward and into the net.

"We've talked all year about just getting pucks at the net," Ellis said. "You never know what happens, whether it's a good bounce for us, a goal or a rebound. It was kind of the mentality, just start throwing pucks at the net, and obviously it paid off."

Defenseman Justin Faulk gave the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead on the power play at 8:14 of the third period on a one-timer from the point for his seventh goal. Faulk took a feed from Victor Rask and shot it through traffic past Rinne.

"I think they played hard during the course of the game," Laviolette said. "We had our hands full when we went into Carolina (a 2-1 Carolina win on Dec. 2). I don't think we played a great game, but I think they played a very good game in Carolina and we knew what we were in for."

Nashville forward Mike Fisher tied the game 2-2 at 10:29 of the third period on the rebound of a shot by Colin Wilson. Forward Filip Forsberg got a secondary assist on the play to set Nashville's rookie record for points in a season (38). The previous record was held by forward Alexander Radulov, who had 37 points in the 2006-07 season.

"It proves that I've done something right thus far, especially with that point tonight," Forsberg said. "I just tried to get it to [Colin Wilson] and he took a shot, and Mike buried the rebound. Obviously it was a huge goal for the team, and that’s all that matters."

Josi scored with 4:43 remaining in the third period on a slap shot from the point that beat Ward high on the glove side to give the Predators a 3-2 lead. Forward Viktor Stalberg brought the puck in the zone and passed to Josi, who was trailing on the play, to set up the goal.

"That was a great pass," Josi said. "I think you saw it today with the speed he has, defenseman respect that and they kind of back off because you can’t really challenge him because he’s got so much speed. He made a great, heads-up play. Great screen in front too. I don’t think [Ward] saw a lot."

Carolina forward Jeff Skinner nearly tied the game when his shot hit the crossbar with less than a minute remaining in regulation.

Hurricanes forward Jordan Staal saw the power play, which went 2-for-3, that as a positive.

"It was just some good bodies in front and shots from the point," Staal said. "[Faulk] just hammered that one home. It's not too often that the goalie is going to stop those. That was nice. Eric [Staal] made a good play just to grind one in there. It was good to get the power play going, and we are going to need that down the stretch."

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