The Dallas Stars found out the hard way on Saturday night that Mike Fisher is healthy again.
Fisher, slowed by a nagging upper-body injury, and David Legwand each scored twice to help the Nashville Predators win their sixth straight game by beating the Stars 4-2 at Bridgestone Arena.
"Fisher has been banged up for a long time," coach Barry Trotz said. "He is finally getting healthier and you can see it in his play. He let it out of the bag that he is healthy now.
"He has gotten through it. He doesn't complain. He goes out and plays every game. He has played when other guys probably wouldn't have played."
Fisher, who has 17 goals for the season, played his first game for Nashville on Feb. 12 after being acquired from Ottawa. He scored what had been his only goal for the Predators on Feb. 17 against Vancouver.
"It felt good to get a couple," Fisher said. "That was a pretty big monkey to get off of my back. It has been a tough slide here for me lately. Obviously, the win is the most important thing, but it felt good to help out."
While Fisher felt good to be back on the scoresheet, defenseman Ryan Suter stressed that Fisher's game is more than how many goals he can score.
"Everyone thinks he is just an offensive guru, but if he can just keep chipping in and helping out by playing good on both ends of the ice like he has been that is great," Suter said. "When he scores it is just a bonus for us."
Trotz agreed with that assessment -- and added that he was glad to see Fisher find the net again.
"Mike does so many other good things," Trotz said. "He was snake-bit and frustrated that he wasn't scoring. He had been a little bit dry here. It is probably a big weight off of his back."
Alex Goligoski and Brenden Morrow scored for Dallas, which has 86 points, two behind eighth-place Chicago.
Fisher gave the Predators a 3-2 lead at 9:57 of the second period. Suter's shot was blocked by goalie Kari Lehtonen. Fisher backhanded the rebound from the space between the left circle and the crease to beat Lehtonen to his stick side. Legwand hit the empty net with 4 seconds left for a shorthanded goal.
The Predators spent the last 2 minutes of the game on the penalty kill after Suter was called for hooking. Shane O'Brien blocked Jamie Benn's point-blank shot with 8 seconds left on the power play to help seal the win.
"That was huge," Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne said. "That would have been a one-timer from the middle. Shane sacrificed his body. It is hard to say if it would have been in or not, but it would have been an extremely dangerous shot."
Goligoski opened the scoring on a power play at 8:49 of the first. Loui Eriksson passed the puck from the left circle to Goligoski, who took a wrist shot from low in the right circle that beat Rinne.
Legwand answered at 14:26. Martin Erat skated from behind the net and attempted a backhanded shot. Lehtonen blocked the attempt, but Legwand put home the rebound.
The Predators took a 2-1 lead when Fisher took a slap shot from the far edge of the right circle that beat Lehtonen to the far side of the net at 2:33 of the second period. Morrow got the Stars even at 4:07 with a fluke goal -- his wrist shot from behind the net went over the top of the goal and bounced off Rinne's head and over the goal line.
"It happened so quickly," Rinne said. "I felt it hit the back of my mask and I knew right away it was in. Obviously, it was back luck, but that's part of the game."
Dallas coach Marc Crawford thought his team battled, but the Predators refused to give an inch in the final period.
"I thought we made some great plays at the end," Crawford said. "Nashville made a couple of good blocks. It was a one goal game and that is exactly what we thought it was going to be. We just ended up on the wrong side of it."
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report