Predators break scoring slump and down Stars in OT
Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - Pekka Rinne had an off night for the Nashville Predators. Fortunately, his team managed to break out of its scoring slump.
Roman Josi recorded a career-high two goals, including a power-play tally 28 seconds into overtime, as the Predators halted a two-game skid with a 5-4 come-from-behind triumph over the Dallas Stars at Bridgestone Arena.
After being shut out in their two most recent setbacks during a stretch of four defeats in five games, Nashville received a four-point night out of Josi and rallied from a 4-2 second-period deficit to offset a sluggish performance by the usually reliable Rinne, who let up four goals in the middle session and made just 20 saves.
"We let them in and got them excited. We just needed to make sure we closed them out," Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan said.
Mike Fisher tied the contest with 8:22 left in regulation with his 200th career goal, with Craig Smith and Patric Hornqvist also lighting the lamp for a Nashville squad that entered the contest as the NHL's lowest-scoring team.
Matt Fraser netted his first career NHL marker and Loui Eriksson had a goal and an assist for Dallas, which suffered its third loss in four games despite three assists from Michael Ryder.
Christopher Nilstorp finished with 26 saves for the Stars.
After Eriksson capped Dallas' four-goal second-period barrage by beating Rinne glove-side with a power-play wrister from the left circle 9:21 into the frame for a 4-2 lead, Patric Hornqvist began Nashville's comeback with his team holding a 5-on-3 advantage thanks to a pair of Stars penalties within a 39- second span.
Alone on the right side of the net after receiving the puck from Martin Erat, Hornqvist lifted the puck over a sliding Nilstorp to make it a one-goal game with 6:17 left before the second intermission.
The Predators then controlled the action in the third period, outshooting Dallas by a 12-5 count and drawing even when Fisher split a pair of Stars defenders before placing a shot underneath Nilstorp's pads.
With the game nearing overtime, another Stars infraction -- this one for too many men on ice with 46 seconds remaining in regulation -- would lead to their undoing.
Josi skated up the ice early in extra time before launching a rocket from 40- plus feet out that whistled past Nilstorp's glove for the young defenseman's first-ever two-goal effort.
"I think he's finding himself as a player in this league," Nashville head coach Barry Trotz said. "He's very comfortable and he's playing in all situations and he's becoming a very important part of our team."
Down 1-0 after one period, the Stars struck quickly in the second by coming through with a pair of goals a mere 25 seconds apart.
Fraser's one-timer off Eriksson's backhand pass from behind the net knotted the score just 1:20 into the session, and Reilly Smith put the Stars ahead by crashing the net and connecting on a pinpoint feed from Ryder after Dallas was able to keep the puck in the Predators' zone.
Nashville answered quickly, however, with Josi blasting a shot from the left point through traffic to tie the contest at 2-2 with only 3:05 elapsed in the action-packed second period.
The deadlock wouldn't last long, though. With Fisher in the box for a double- minor high-sticking call and Nilstorp pulled on a delayed penalty, Fiddler came on the ice and rifled a shot home from the left circle to put Dallas ahead 3-2 at the 7:29 mark.
Craig Smith ended Nashville's lengthy scoring drought with the lone goal of the first period, an in-close backhander with 6:17 remaining in the frame that was set up by Richard Clune's pass from the left corner.
Dallas has now scored three goals or more in 10 straight games, the franchise's longest streak since 2001 and the lengthiest in the NHL this season ... The Predators have now gone to overtime or a shootout in a league- high 10 of their 20 games ... Ryder has amassed two goals and six assists during a six-game point streak ... The Stars had been 6-0-0 all-time against Nashville when Eriksson scores a goal ... Stars defenseman Trevor Daley returned to the lineup after a two-game absence caused by a neck injury, though fellow blueliners Aaron Rome (foot) and Philip Larsen (undisclosed) were out for Dallas ... Predators defenseman Hal Gill was scratched due to a lower-body injury ... Clune recorded his first NHL assist since collecting his only two previous ones in his second career game, which came against Colorado on Feb. 13, 2010 while with Los Angeles ... Nashville captain Shea Weber, participated in his 500th career NHL game.
02/26 01:16:01 ET