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game recap

Predators rally to defeat Devils for Hynes

Tie game twice in third, use shootout to give coach win against former team

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

Poile sets record for GM wins

NSH@NJD: Duchene nets winner, Rinne makes save

Matt Duchene buries the shootout winner, Pekka Rinne makes one more save, and David Poile sets the record for most wins by a general manager

  • 01:01 •

NEWARK, N.J. -- The Nashville Predators tied it twice in the third period before using the shootout to give coach John Hynes a 6-5 win in his first game against his former team, the New Jersey Devils, at Prudential Center on Thursday.

Filip Forsberg scored twice for the Predators (24-19-7), who won 5-4 at the Washington Capitals on Wednesday. Forsberg and Matt Duchene scored in the shootout.

"You kind of hit rock bottom and now we're coming on the way up and I know our best is yet to come," Duchene said. "We're working and we should feel great about these past two wins and bring that enthusiasm, that confidence and that swagger into Saturday (against the Vegas Golden Knights)."

 

[WATCH: All Predators vs. Devils highlights]

 

Pavel Zacha had two goals and an assist for the Devils (18-24-8), who led by one goal three times.

"It was my first time playing against someone who coached me in the NHL," Zacha said. "It was a challenge as it is every game. But this was a little special and you could see it was a high-paced game."

Duchene scored on a wrist shot from the left circle 33 seconds into the third period for a 4-4 tie. John Hayden scored to give the Devils a 5-4 lead at 6:37, and Forsberg made it 5-5 with a power-play goal at 9:57.

"The effort is what stuck out to me the past two wins," Forsberg said. "There are times when we've been down a couple of goals going into the third and we just quit playing. I think that's the biggest thing ... just our mentality. The belief is back, a little bit, and it's showing."

Video: NSH@NJD: Duchene rips wrist shot by Blackwood

Hynes was 150-159-45 in five seasons as Devils coach before being fired Dec. 3. He is 5-4-0 with the Predators, who hired him Jan. 7 to replace Peter Laviolette.

"I came into a team that was good and well-coached, so maybe you make slight tweaks," Hynes said. "The biggest trend that I do like moving forward is our fortitude, toughness, belief and stick-to-itiveness."

Mattias Ekholm gave the Predators a 1-0 lead on a slap shot from the right point 42 seconds into the first period. Zacha scored shorthanded for a 1-1 tie at 4:54. Forsberg made it 2-1 when he controlled a deflection off the skate of Kyle Turris in the slot and scored on a wrist shot at 8:17.

Video: NSH@NJD: Forsberg puts home loose puck

Zacha scored a power-play goal on a snapshot from the left point for a 2-2 tie at 8:44 of the second period. Nikita Gusev gave the Devils a 3-2 lead on a power-play goal from along the goal line in the right-wing corner at 10:26. Nick Bonino made it 3-3 on a wrist shot at 12:48, and Jesper Bratt scored to give the Devils a 4-3 lead at 17:24.

"It was a weird game; they scored, we scored, we scored, they scored," New Jersey center Nico Hischier said. "There were a lot of emotions, up and down. They battled hard and we battled hard and at the end it could have gone both sides and they just won. One shootout goal was the difference."

Video: NSH@NJD: Zacha scores second goal on power play

Gusev scored in the first round of the shootout before Pekka Rinne made saves against Jack Hughes and Kyle Palmieri.

Rinne made 27 saves for Nashville; Mackenzie Blackwood made 25 for New Jersey.

"Pekka was great when we needed him," Duchene said. "Obviously you don't want to give up five goals but the fact we're scoring five is great. We need more of that. These were two huge wins and puts us in a great position."

 

They said it

"It's never going to be perfect this time of the year, especially playing against a team that is loose and can go up and down the ice, and obviously we're a team fighting for everything right now. These games are sometimes the hardest this time of year, but I thought we did a great job sticking with it." -- Predators forward Matt Duchene

"I was looking forward to [the game] all day. What would I feel like over on the other bench? After the national anthem and the drop of the puck, we looked at each other and that was it from there. You just try to focus on the game and what you have to do to help your team win." -- Devils coach Alain Nasreddine, who was an assistant under John Hynes before replacing him

 

Need to know

Predators general manager David Poile became the GM with the most wins in NHL history (regular season and playoffs) with 1,507, breaking a tie with Glen Sather. ... Forsberg has nine points (four goals, five assists) in his past nine games. ... Duchene has 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists) in 19 games against the Devils. ... Predators defenseman Roman Josi had two assists and needs one point for 400 in the NHL. ... Zacha had his second three-point game in the NHL. He had one goal and two assists against the Florida Panthers on Oct. 14.

 

What's next

Predators: Host the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; FS-TN, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV)

Devils: Host the Dallas Stars on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; MSG+, FS-SW+, NHL.TV)

Video: Predators top Devils in shootout

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