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Power play pushes Predators past Flyers

by Robby Stanley

NASHVILLE -- Power-play goals from Filip Forsberg, Mike Fisher and Colin Wilson pushed the Nashville Predators to a 4-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday.

Nashville was 2-of-48 (4.2 percent) at home on the power play, which was the worst in the NHL. It went 3-for-5 against Philadelphia.

"It's nice to get that going and get some confidence going in our team and in our power play," Wilson said. "It's huge to get it going. That's not a good statistic, only having two, so hopefully it'll get us rolling."

Nashville (23-9-2) has not lost back-to-back games this season and is 13-2-1 at home. Coach Peter Laviolette won his first meeting against the Flyers since he was fired by them three games into last season.

"It's always a little bit weird, but it moves on," Laviolette said. "They've got a good team, and they played well tonight. I think that's just part of it."

Forsberg gave the Predators a 1-0 lead at 9:42 of the first period. His wrist shot from the faceoff circle beat Flyers goaltender Ray Emery on the glove side for his 14th goal of the season.

"I thought they had too much zone time tonight," Flyers coach Craig Berube said. "We didn't make some clears when we should have. A couple times up ice we just made the wrong read, and they entered the zone too easily. They had too much zone time. We didn't break enough plays up."

Philadelphia (14-15-6) began the second period with 58 seconds of a two-man advantage but was unable to score.

"Our guys did a real good job, I thought," Laviolette said. "A couple of big blocks and defended it pretty well to come back and score some power-play goals after that. I thought it was real important. That's a swing. In the game, that's where things can change from one way to the other."

Flyers forward Claude Giroux tied the game 1-1 at 6:50 of the period on a wrist shot that beat Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne. Giroux caught the puck out of midair and chose to shoot on the 2-on-1 rush.

"I thought we had a good 5-on-5 game," Berube said. "We had good jump, we had good energy out there. We didn't generate enough. We let them block too many shots. I look at it like we need to do a better job of getting pucks by them."

Nashville had a two-man advantage in the second period, and Fisher gave the Predators a 2-1 lead at 13:57. He was able to find the puck in a scrum in front of Emery and push it past the goal line.

"There [were] a lot of attempts tonight," Laviolette said. "Guys are really shooting the puck. It looked like we had good attack from the top, a good attack off the flanks, we had traffic in front. Ray made some big saves in there for them on the power play, but we were able to catch a few."

Wilson gave Nashville a 3-1 lead at 14:35 on a wrist shot from the faceoff circle. It was Wilson's ninth goal of the season and third in the past three games. He scored an empty-net goal with 3:18 remaining in the third period.

"He's such a strong player 1-on-1," Laviolette said. "He hangs on to the puck, great vision. His strength on the puck is amazing, and he's really done a nice job, I think, of controlling the play in the offensive zone. Tonight was no different. Not only the shot on the power play, but just 5-on-5 cycling the puck, generating offense. If it's not him, it's his linemate."

Wilson credits the system change in Nashville this season for allowing him to find more consistency in his game. He has 10 goals in 32 games after scoring 11 in 81 games last season.

"The system with [Laviolette] really emphasizing pucks at the net, it really kind of struck home with me this year that this is what I need to do to play," Wilson said. "Last year I was just checking up, trying to make good plays, as opposed to just get the puck and get it to the net. I think the way that we play and the style allows me to kind of change my game a little bit this year."

Rinne is 23-6-1 and has won six of his past seven games; he leads the NHL in wins. Predators forward Mike Ribeiro missed the morning skate because of illness but was able to play and had his 20th assist of the season.

Philadelphia will play at the Arizona Coyotes on Monday for the fifth game of an eight-game road trip; Nashville will play at the Chicago Blackhawks.

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