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game recap

Predators handle Penguins despite illnesses

Score four in second period without key players to defeat defending champions

by Robby Stanley / NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Viktor Arvidsson and Kevin Fiala each scored two goals to help the Nashville Predators to a 5-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday.

The Predators were without captain Mike Fisher, forwards Colton Sissons and Craig Smith and goaltender Pekka Rinne because of food poisoning. 

Arvidsson tied the game 1-1 in the first period on the power play. Defenseman P.K. Subban took the original shot and the rebound went to Arvidsson in the slot. He shot the puck past Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.  

"I think we got the puck behind them and we played with speed and threw pucks to the net and went to the net," Arvidsson said. "I think that's a big part. We battled and we scored goals."

Video: PIT@NSH: Fiala rips a shot past Fleury stick side

Fiala gave the Predators a 2-1 lead at 2:26 of the second on a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle. Defenseman Matt Carle hit Fiala with a pass and he shot the puck past Fleury low on the blocker side for his first goal.

The Predators took a 4-1 lead on Fiala's second goal at 11:32 of the second on a shot off of a rebound. Forward Filip Forsberg shot the puck and Fiala slid the rebound past Fleury on the far side.

Arvidsson gave the Predators a 5-1 lead with 35.9 seconds remaining in the second. Forward Mike Ribeiro made a cross-ice pass that Arvidsson was able to redirect past Fleury for his third goal of the season.

Video: PIT@NSH: Arvidsson buries a rebound for PPG

Scott Wilson gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead 52 seconds into the first period on a breakaway. Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm misplayed the puck in the neutral zone and Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist fed Rust, who was able to beat Predators goaltender Juuse Saros.

"You've got to make the right decisions out there," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "It's a big part of playing this game and controlling momentum and not giving teams an opportunity to get the types of scoring chances that they got. We have to become a more difficult team to play against. It starts with our decision making, but it's more than just that at this point."

Calle Jarnkrok gave the Predators a 3-1 lead at 10:36 of the second period on a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle. Jarnkrok took a pass from forward Colin Wilson and his shot beat Fleury. 

Saros was an emergency call-up from Milwaukee of the American Hockey League and made 34 saves for his first NHL win in his second career start. Forwards Austin Watson, Frederick Gaudreau, Trevor Smith and Harry Zolnierczyk were also called up from Milwaukee.

Fleury was replaced by goaltender Mike Condon to start the third period.

Penguins forward Matt Cullen played in his 1,300th NHL game.

Video: PIT@NSH: Fiala bangs home his second goal of the game

 

Goal of the game

Arvidsson scored on a drive to the net. Ribeiro hit him with a cross-ice saucer pass and Arvidsson was able to redirect it past Fleury.

Video: PIT@NSH: Arvidsson tips home his second of the game

 

Save of the game

Saros made a glove save on Penguins forward Nick Bonino in the second period from the right faceoff circle to preserve a 2-1 lead. Bonino was uncovered on his wrist shot and Saros was able to get across the crease and make the save.

Video: PIT@NSH: Saros snatches Bonino's wrister

 

Unsung moment of the game

Saros made a breakaway save against Penguins forward Phil Kessel in the first period to keep the score 1-0. Kessel got behind the Predators defense and Saros was able to cut off his angle to make the save.

Video: PIT@NSH: Saros turns away Kessel on a breakaway

 

Highlight of the game

Jarnkrok took a pass from Wilson and led a 2-on-1 rush in the Penguins zone. He elected to shoot and beat Fleury on the glove side with a wrist shot.

Video: PIT@NSH: Jarnkrok lights the lamp with slick wrister

 

They said it

"We could've [gone] out there and hoped our way through the game or waited for lucky bounces or whatever, but every guy in this room, we went out there and we attacked the game. We won it full force, especially with them scoring a goal like that early on as well. We kept our composure, and [Saros] was phenomenal, our backbone back there definitely tonight. And we just attacked, and we went out there and we tried to win a game." -- Predators forward Ryan Johansen

 

"It wasn't just our blue line. It's a collective effort out there. We didn't put their defense under pressure enough. We made poor decisions on when we were going to pinch. Sometimes you've got to live to fight another day, and we were getting caught in between." -- Penguins coach Mike Sullivan on the performance of the defense

 

Video: PIT@NSH: Wilson beats Saros five-hole on a breakaway

 

Need to know

Sullivan said Penguins captain Sidney Crosby skated Saturday and that the team would see how he responded. Crosby has missed the first six games of the season with a concussion.

 

What's next?

Penguins: Host the Florida Panthers on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; FS-F, ROOT, NHL.TV).

Predators: At the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday (10:30 p.m. ET; FS-TN, PRIME, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Arvidsson, Fiala help Predators top Penguins, 5-1

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