Two goals in the first 45 seconds of the third period usually does the trick.
That outburst, featuring one of Calle Jarnkrok's two goals, helped the Nashville Predators to a 4-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night at Nationwide Arena. The result snaps Nashville's two-game skid and gives them their seventh win of the season - and in arguably their best effort too.
The Preds outshot the Jackets by a 45-23 count - a season-high shot total for Nashville - and Pekka Rinne made 21 saves to collect his fourth victory of the campaign.
Nashville didn't get the result they were looking for in Thursday's 3-0 loss to Columbus, but the effort was there. After a spirited practice on Friday full of pace, energy and positivity, the Preds carried that vibe into Saturday's outing, it showed, and they got rewarded.
Video: Forsberg, Jarnkrok credit team effort in win
"This is probably our best game of the season," Jarnkrok said. "We had a little dip there in the second, but other than that, we played great. I feel like we played hockey again, so it was nice… We had a good practice [Friday], worked on some stuff, and had an even better game today. We can still get better, and we've got to keep working and got to keep winning games."
Video: Coach Hynes happy to see players rewarded for effort
"I'm really happy for the guys," Preds Head Coach John Hynes said. "There's been some things we've worked on throughout the road trip...and [the players have] been attentive and they've been working… The style of game that we played tonight, we played fast, we were extremely competitive on the puck, I thought our puck poise was good in all three zones and that allowed us to be able to get to our game and be on the attack."
Video: NSH@CBJ: Jarnkrok buries loose puck on the power play
Nashville scored the game's first goal when Jarnkrok put home a loose puck in front on the power play, and Colton Sissons extended the lead to two when he finished off a passing play with Yakov Trenin and Luke Kunin late in the opening period. The multi-goal lead held by the Preds after 20 minutes was their first such accolade since Jan. 16, the second game of the season.
Video: NSH@CBJ: Sissons re-directs the puck past Merzlikins
Columbus tallied two of their own in the second stanza, with goals from Boone Jenner and Gabriel Carlsson, but the Predators continued to push for the remainder of the period, and they broke through to start the third.
Video: NSH@CBJ: Jarnkrok fires a shot and gets his 2nd goal
Jarnkrok wired his second of the night past Elvis Merzlikins just 16 seconds into the final frame, and Filip Forsberg scored his team-leading eighth of the season 29 seconds later to give the Predators all the cushion they needed to fend off the Jackets.
Video: NSH@CBJ: Forsberg cashes in on a forced turnover
"We came out great at first, and our D were playing phenomenal back there moving the puck up," Forsberg said. "Once we got to the offensive zone, we were able to hem them in. Obviously they got two goals in the second, but it didn't really change our game at all. I think we played basically the same way through 60 minutes and got rewarded with a big win."
Saturday's win was undoubtedly satisfying for a Predators team that has been frustrated at the end of a strange week, to say the least. They know there is still plenty of work to do, but they have to continue to find positives as they look to build momentum and get back into the thick of the Central Division.
Two games against Detroit next week will offer another pair of opportunities to do just that, and the Preds would love nothing more than to duplicate their best effort of the season a few more times.
"It's a good way to end [this portion of the] road trip," Hynes said. "Certainly, a game I think we can build off, some things that we did really well, and that's how we want to play. It's nice we were able to put together 60 minutes of that, and now we get a good day off tomorrow and practice and travel Monday, so we should be ready to go for Detroit."
"It's a tough League, and every win is really hard fought," Forsberg said. "It's been a little bit of a tough skid for our team, but I thought we've been doing better. I thought last game against Columbus, even though we couldn't find anything on the scoreboard, I thought we were playing better… and this was definitely another step in the right direction. So, it's up to us in the room to keep building on that."
Video: Jarnkrok scores twice in win over Blue Jackets
Pekka Rinne earned his 22nd career regular-season win against Columbus and surpassed Evgeni Nabokov (21) for the most against the Blue Jackets in NHL history.
Defenseman Ben Harpur made his Predators debut on Saturday night and recorded three shots and one hit in 16:23 of ice time.
Forward Yakov Trenin was back in the Nashville lineup on Saturday, and defenseman Jarred Tinordi was the lone scratch for the Preds.
Nashville will return home for a day off on Sunday before practicing Monday and then heading to Detroit for the first time this season to face the Red Wings on Tuesday and Thursday.