Six different Predators found the back of the net as Nashville defeated the Washington Capitals by a 6-3 final on Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena. The result pushes Nashville's win streak to five games, the first time they've done so since the 2015-16 season, and sees them tie their highest goal output of the campaign.
After a nearly perfect first period, with two goals, Nashville potted four more in the second and then Pekka Rinne and Co. locked it down for the final 20 minutes, another solid effort over one of the East's top teams.
"I think our guys were ready to play and the second period became a lot more competitive," Nashville Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. "We knew they were going to come out strong because they're a good team. It did go back and forth, they brought themselves right into it. I thought the response was good from us."
Nashville took a 2-0 lead in the first period, courtesy of goals from Craig Smith and Nick Bonino, while the Predators held Washington to just four shots through the first 20 minutes, all of them coming in the final two minutes of the period. Then things got wild.
The Preds and Caps combined for seven goals in the middle frame, four from the home team, to see Nashville carry a 6-3 lead after two. Most notably, Filip Forsberg recorded his 100th career goal, and it came fittingly against the team that originally drafted the Swede.
"I think it is always going to be a little bit more special," Forsberg said of scoring against the Capitals.
Video: WSH@NSH: Forsberg banks in his 100th NHL goal
Then it was Kevin Fiala, who finally potted his first of the season, followed by Miikka Salomaki and Mattias Ekholm finding the twine before the second stanza was out.
A scoreless third period brought about Rinne's ninth win of the season and his team's 10th, having scored a total of 23 goals during their five-game streak.
"We have been playing well," Forsberg said. "At the same time, we want to keep winning. We have to work hard. Nothing is going to come easy - it doesn't matter if you are healthy or winning five in a row, it's all about the next game."
Video: Offense carries Preds to 6-3 victory against Caps
You Get a Point, You Get a Point:
Just about everyone got in on the act against the Caps
Twelve different Predators players recorded at least a point, including six different goal-scorers on the night, and just about every goal came with some added significance.
There was Craig Smith with his third in four games. Nick Bonino tallied in his first game back after missing the previous 11 due to injury.
Filip Forsberg was next, scoring his 100th career goal to give him 10 points (6g-4a) in seven career games against the team that originally drafted him in 2012. Then, Kevin Fiala, after coming close on so many occasions, recorded his first of the season, followed by the second of the campaign from a surging Miikka Salomaki, who has a career-high four game point streak of his own.
Video: WSH@NSH: Fiala deflects a shot home from in front
Mattias Ekholm put one home on the power play for good measure, an encouraging sign as Nashville continues to find their offensive prowess as they near the 20-game mark.
"I think it's been coming, even when it wasn't there," Laviolette said. "The chances are going to go at some point… The chances were there, if you continue to push through [missed opportunities]. I think the contributions helps build the guys' confidence. When you score some goals, you can build something off of that."
It's been building for a while now, and although every team goes through ups and downs over the course of a season, what Nashville is experiencing right now can only be classified as a positive.
"I think a lot of the guys got a lot of experience last year with the playoff run that we had and they are feeling a lot more comfortable now," Ekholm said. "When we have guys sitting out, they get to come in and it looks like they have been playing all year. That's obviously a nice thing to have for us; injuries are a part of the game, but all of the guys managed it well tonight, especially the couple we had coming back, so kudos to them."
Video: HFC guest Andie Owen drops ceremonial puck
The Preds have won three straight over the Caps and have taken five of the last six meetings between the two teams at home.
Prior to Tuesday's game, Nashville placed forward Scott Hartnell and defenseman Yannick Weber on Injured Reserve with lower-body injuries. Weber is expected to miss 2-4 weeks; Hartnell will be out 3-5 weeks.
The Preds take a quick trip up to Minnesota for a meeting with the Wild on Thursday night, and then it is right back to Nashville for a three-game home stand, beginning on Saturday night against Colorado.