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game recap

Predators defeat Capitals for fifth win in row

Fiala, Ekholm each has goal, assist for Nashville

by Robby Stanley / NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Filip Forsberg scored his 100th NHL goal, and Nick Bonino scored in his return to the lineup for the Nashville Predators in a 6-3 win against the Washington Capitals at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday.

Kevin Fiala and Mattias Ekholm each had a goal and an assist for the Predators (10-5-2), who have won five consecutive games.

 

[WATCH: All Capitals vs. Predators highlights]

 

"Well, we know how skilled they are," Bonino said. "We played probably one of the best periods you can play against them. We gave them a few shots on the power play at the end of the first, but for the most part didn't give them much."

T.J. Oshie scored two goals for the Capitals (10-8-1), who lost for the first time in three games.

"We didn't deserve to win," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "We weren't ready to go. In the first period, they won every puck battle, every puck race. They got back to the front of our net really quick. They were getting tips. They were just more determined than us in the first period. It was ugly."

Forsberg gave Nashville a 3-2 lead at 6:45 of the second period on a turnaround shot from the left circle. It was his ninth goal of the season.

"It's obviously a great achievement," Forsberg said. "When you came into the League, you were obviously dreaming about getting there. It wasn't the prettiest one, but we'll take it."

Craig Smith gave the Predators a 1-0 lead at 11:48 of the first period on a redirection from the slot. It was his sixth goal.

Video: WSH@NSH: Smith tips in the game's opening goal

Bonino made it 2-0 at 17:43. Defenseman Roman Josi took a shot and Bonino redirected it past Capitals goalie Braden Holtby for his second goal. Bonino missed the past 11 games with a lower-body injury.

"It wasn't the cleanest game," Bonino said. "I thought our line was trying to get in their zone the whole time. Just caught them on the rush and was able to get my stick on it. Sometimes you need those."

Oshie (on the power play at 4:29) and Alex Chiasson (6:28) scored in the second period when Washington tied the game 2-2.

Fiala gave the Predators a 4-2 lead at 9:04 on a redirection for his first goal, but Oshie made it 4-3 17 seconds later on an odd-man rush.

Video: WSH@NSH: Fiala deflects a shot home from in front

Miikka Salomaki gave the Predators a 5-3 lead at 14:06 on a wrist shot on the rush. It was his second goal.

Ekholm made it 6-3 at 18:00 on a one-timer from the point on the power play. It was his second goal.

"The confidence that we got last year from the run that we had is starting to come back," Ekholm said. "The way we played last year, it's looking more like it. It's a good feeling.

Obviously five in a row, and we're just looking to keep it going on Thursday."

Holtby made 19 saves on 25 shots. He was replaced by Philipp Grubauer (six saves) after the second period.

Capitals defenseman Christian Djoos left with an upper-body injury in the second period. There was no update on his status after the game.

Video: WSH@NSH: Oshie sends home Stephenson's great dish

 

Goal of the game

Forsberg's goal at 6:45 of the second period.

Video: WSH@NSH: Forsberg banks in his 100th NHL goal

 

Save of the game

Rinne's blocker save on Evgeny Kuznetsov at 1:24 of the third period.

Video: WSH@NSH: Rinne stones Kuznetsov with blocker save

 

Highlight of the game

Bonino's goal at 17:43 of the first period.

Video: WSH@NSH: Bonino deflects home goal from in front

 

They said it

"They're a good hockey team, no question. They jumped on us early. We didn't show up in the first. We showed up in the second, and in the second we needed a couple saves. We didn't get them, and it put us really out of reach there." -- Capitals coach Barry Trotz

 

"I looked at the shot clock at one time and I think it was 18-1 or 18-0, and that's obviously pretty big momentum for us with the way we played with that start in the first period. But we know the game is more than 20 minutes. I think they came back in the second, but we stuck with it. We stayed with it. We didn't get too high, too low, and we were able to come back again and score some key goals." -- Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm

Video: WSH@NSH: Ekholm scorches a PPG from the point

 

Need to know

Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin had eight shots on goal and 11 shot attempts. … Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen returned after missing 13 games with an upper-body injury. He had four shots on goal. … The Predators did not win five games in a row at any point in the 2016-17 season. … Predators forward Calle Jarnkrok had an assist to extend his point streak to four games (two goals, three assists). … Pekka Rinne made 26 saves for the Predators.

 

What's next

Capitals: At the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSWA, ALT, NHL.TV)

Predators: At the Minnesota Wild on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; FS-TN, FS-N, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Offense carries Preds to 6-3 victory against Caps

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