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Predators break out, beat Lightning 5-3

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The Nashville Predators are glad to have Mike Fisher back in the lineup.

Fisher, playing only his second game after offseason shoulder surgery, scored twice and added an assist Thursday night as the Predators gave their fans an unexpected offensive treat by beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3.

"It definitely feels good," said Fisher, who has four points in two games after missing Nashville's first seven contests. "I've been out for a long time, but fortunately I have been able to skate a lot and get my legs going. I've been the recipient of some great plays too and that helps a lot."

The Predators won at Bridgestone Arena for the first time this season -- and scored more than two goals for just the third time this season and the first since Oct. 8. Sergei Kostitsyn, Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling also scored for Nashville. Pekka Rinne stopped 29 shots for his 99th career win.

Steven Stamkos had a pair of goals for the Lightning, who had their three-game winning streak snapped. Teddy Purcell had the other goal.

Kostitsyn and Fisher gave the Predators a quick two-goal lead, but Stamkos and Purcell answered to even the game at 2-2 after 20 minutes. Purcell's power-play goal came with 27 seconds remaining in the period and left Nashville coach Barry Trotz unhappy.

"We got 2-0, and then we turned a couple of pucks over and got them a lot of chances," Trotz said. "At 2-2, you sort of test your resiliency there."

But the Predators took the lead for good at 7:43 of the second period when Hornqvist scored his first of the season on a tap-in. Spaling and Fisher then scored 50 seconds apart midway through the second.

“We really did a good job of using our speed to get pucks out and into their zone,” Fisher said.

Fisher's goal knocked out goaltender Mathieu Garon, who stopped just 12 of 17 shots before being relieved by Dwayne Roloson.

"I've got to make some saves." Garon said. "If I make a couple of more saves, it's a different game. I've got to be better than that."

Stamkos added his second of the night with 2:57 left, but it wasn't nearly enough to overcome Nashville's big second period.

“They’re physical, they work hard, and we knew that if we started late like we did last game it was going to hurt us,” Lightning coach Guy Boucher said.

Kostitsyn left the game late in the second period when he was hit by Tampa Bay's Brett Connolly in the right corner of the Nashville zone and fell awkwardly into the end boards, with his left leg twisting as he fell. He didn't return, but Trotz said that the injury is not believed to be serious and optimistic Kostitsyn he would be available for Saturday's game against Anaheim.

Material from team media was used in this report
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