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Predators rally in third period to top Coyotes

by Robby Stanley

NASHVILLE -- Filip Forsberg scored two of the Nashville Predators' four goals in the third period of a come-from-behind 5-2 win against the Arizona Coyotes at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday.

Forsberg broke a 2-2 tie at 4:49 of the third period on a snap shot from the slot. He retrieved the puck from behind the net, skated up left wing and curled into the slot before beating Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith.

"It's kind of part of my job to score goals for the team," Forsberg said. "It's been frustrating, especially when we haven't been winning. As long as we win it doesn't really matter, but obviously it's always good to help the team get a win, especially here at home."

Forsberg scored again at 17:01, finishing off a 3-on-1 rush for his fifth goal of the season. He took a pass from center Mike Ribeiro and one-timed it past Smith from the left circle. James Neal added an empty-net goal with 50 seconds remaining and Pekka Rinne made 13 saves for Nashville (13-7-4), which improved to 8-2-2 at home.

"I think we played pretty good during the first two periods too, obviously creating a lot of chances, but it's all about scoring goals," Forsberg said. "It was good for us to get a few goals and get the [win] there in the third."

It seems like Forsberg is rediscovering his scoring touch; after scoring twice in his first 21 games, he has three in the past three games.

"There's games where we were just snakebit," Predators coach Peter Laviolette. "Filip's been one of those guys. He'd walk out of there with eight, six shots on net and 11 attempts and not get anything to bounce for him. Tonight, he was real strong with his game. Things dropped for us in the third period."

Smith finished with 36 saves for Arizona (13-10-1), which had its three-game winning streak snapped and dropped to 7-6-1 on the road.

"[Smith] kept us in it for a long time, but you can't keep giving them Grade A chances off turnovers and expect to win," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said.

Ribeiro tied the game 2-2 at 2:33 of the third period when he intercepted a pass by Arizona defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and beat Smith with a wrist shot for his third goal.

"I think [Predators forward Cody Hodgson] grabbed it and touched it a little bit, and then I had a chance to grab it," Ribeiro said. "I wasn't sure what I was going to do. I think I fanned on it. I like to throw some of those changeups. It usually works against a goalie."

Kyle Chipchura put the Coyotes up 2-1 at 17:09 of the second period on a wrist shot from in front of the net. Forward Boyd Gordon delivered the pass from behind the net, and Chipchura was able to direct the puck past Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne for his third goal and 100th career point.

Ekman-Larsson gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead at 17:20 of the first period. With the Coyotes on a power play, Ekman-Larsson took a pass from Max Domi and fired a wrist shot from the right point that went through traffic and past Rinne for his sixth goal.

"I don't think we played well enough to win tonight, that's for sure," Domi said. "Tonight we definitely a learning experience, and we're going to have to build off of it. We have to get ready to go up against a good Detroit Red Wings team."

The Coyotes continue a five-game trip at Detroit on Thursday.

Predators forward Calle Jarnkrok tied the game 1-1 at 12:32 of the second period, also on the power play. Jarnkrok was in the slot and redirected a pass from defenseman Shea Weber past Smith for his fifth goal.

"I think [Jarnkrok's] been playing well all year," defenseman Roman Josi said. "It doesn't matter if he's playing on the third line or second line or first line, he jumps in and makes an impact. He's one of those guys who's always in position. Speaking for us defensemen, it's always easy. You know [Jarnkrok] is going to be there, he's going to be in the middle, he's going to support you. He's been great all year."

Predators forward Mike Fisher left the game midway through the second period with a lower-body injury and did not return. There was no update in his status after the game.

Nashville forward Colin Wilson missed the game with a lower-body injury. Cody Bass was recalled from Milwaukee of the American Hockey League to take his place.

Arizona captain Shane Doan missed his fourth consecutive game with a lower-body injury.

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