Skip to Main Content
game recap

Predators end road losing streak at 10, defeat Capitals

Earn first win away from home since Nov. 10; Ovechkin remains at 29 goals

by Harvey Valentine / NHL.com Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- The Nashville Predators scored five unanswered goals to rally for a 6-3 win against the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena on Monday, ending their season-high six-game losing streak.

Ryan Johansen had a goal and two assists, and Viktor Arvidsson and Rocco Grimaldi each had a goal and an assist for Nashville (23-15-2), which was 0-5-1 in its past six games and ended a 10-game losing streak on the road (0-8-2). The Predators, who began the season with eight straight road wins, hadn't won away from home since Nov. 10 at the Dallas Stars.

"It was a great win by our team, especially going down 3-1," Grimaldi said. "We could have hung our heads and thought, 'Oh it's one of those games again, we just can't get out of the slump,' but the boys stuck together. I think every line chipped in and we had a huge win against the Stanley Cup champs."

 

[WATCH: All Predators vs. Capitals highlights]

 

Miikka Salomaki, Frederick Gaudreau and Ryan Ellis scored, and Pekka Rinne made 22 saves for Nashville. Mattias Ekholm had two assists.

Video: NSH@WSH: Grimaldi chips home goal with mom in stands

Michal Kempny, Jakub Vrana, and Chandler Stephenson scored for Washington (24-11-3), which had won four straight. Braden Holtby allowed six goals on 34 shots.

"Their urgency level, [the] desperation from them was at a high tonight," Capitals coach Todd Reirden said of the Predators. "We knew it was going to be. They're too good of a team to be losing six in a row so we knew they would come hard."

Nashville scored three times in the second period after falling behind 3-1. Salomaki ended a 26-game goal drought when he scored on a rebound to make it 3-2 at 9:57.

Johansen knocked in a rebound at 11:59 to make it 3-3, and Gaudreau gave the Predators a 4-3 lead at 14:30.

"You're preaching something and you're looking for some results to build some confidence off what you're asking the players to do," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "Tonight, I think we got that with the pucks at the net. There were some rebounds. We were able to get second opportunities off of it so that was a good thing."

Ellis made it 5-3 at 10:35 of the third period on shot from the left circle, and Arvidsson's power play goal with 2:00 remaining made it 6-3.

Video: NSH@WSH: Ellis buries wrister from the circle

Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin did not score for a sixth straight game. He leads the NHL with 29 goals and is trying to join Mike Gartner as the only players to begin their NHL career with 14 straight 30-goal seasons.

"We get the lead, 3-1, and I think we give them a little room to breathe, don't put pressure, and I don't think we played our game at all today," Ovechkin said.

Kempny scored on a wrist shot from the point at 4:33 of the first period to give the Capitals a 1-0 lead.

Vrana made it 2-0 at 8:45 converting on a pass from John Carlson.  

Nashville got within 2-1 23 seconds later when Grimaldi deflected a centering attempt from Zac Rinaldo at 9:08.

"They had all the momentum at that time. Their building was pumped up," Johansen said. "So, to get that goal I thought was huge. It gave us some life and it just kept on shift after shift."

Holtby's long pass during a Predators line change led to a 2-on-0 break and Stephenson scored his third goal in five games on a pass from Devante Smith-Pelly at 8:22 of the second period for a 3-1 lead.

Video: NSH@WSH: Stephenson capitalizes on Preds' line change

 

They said it

"We didn't really like 2018 that much. Today we just wanted to focus on finishing on a good note, leaving it behind us and focus on 2019. That's what we're going to do." -- Predators forward Ryan Johansen

 

"They were pushing really hard, pucks leaked through a little bit. It's a tough one today but we're going to forget this quick and [are] already focusing on the next game." -- Capitals forward Jakub Vrana

 

Need to know

The Predators have won five straight against the Capitals. Their last loss was March 18, 2016 (4-1) … Johansen has two goals and six assists in his past seven games. … Washington defenseman Brooks Orpik played 17:16 in his return after missing 27 games because of a right-knee injury. … Kuznetsov had an assist and has 299 NHL points (87 goals, 212 assists). ... Ovechkin's NHL career-long goal drought is 10 games (Feb. 22-March 12, 2017).

 

What's next

Predators: Host the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday (8:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, SNE, SNW, SNP, FS-TN, NBCSP, NHL.TV)

Capitals: At the St. Louis Blues on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; SN360, SNE, FS-MW, NBCSWA, NHL.TV)

Video: Preds score five straight goals to down Caps, 6-3

View More

The NHL has updated its Privacy Policy effective January 16, 2020. We encourage you to review it carefully.

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.