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Forsberg scores game-winner against Stars in Predators' victory

Nashville Predators celebrate Nashville Predators celebrate - The Canadian Press

DALLAS (AP) — Filip Forsberg had a goal and an assist in the third period as the Nashville Predators beat Dallas 6-3 on Friday night to spoil the return of Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger.

Ryan O’Reilly had a goal and two assists, and Jeremy Lauzon, Tommy Novak, Gustav Nyquist and Juuso Parssinen also scored for Nashville. Roman Josi added three assists.

“It was a great 20-man effort,” Predators coach Andrew Brunette said. “Everybody was pulling their own.”

Nashville took a 2-0 lead into the third period on goals by Lauzon and Novak before the teams combined for seven more scores — two into Dallas’ empty net late. But the Predators never relinquished the lead.

“Going into that third period, we stuck with it,” O’Reilly said. “It was positive. We just kept working to get a huge win like that.”

Oettinger, sidelined since Dec. 15 with a groin injury, made 32 saves.

“I thought Jake was fine,” Stars coach Pete DeBoer said. “The No. 1 priority tonight was to get him through and healthy and not have any setbacks. He wasn’t at fault.”

Oettinger said the four-week absence, during which Dallas went 8-3-2, felt like missing an entire season. While he was out, he was selected an All-Star.

“There are some things I can definitely be better at, some good stuff I did,” Oettinger said. “Just move on and take the good and the bad.”

It was Forsberg’s second winner for backup goalie Kevin Lankinen at Dallas in seven days. Forsberg scored in overtime last Saturday in Nashville’s 4-3 victory.

The Predators are 6-0-1 in their last seven road games. Forsberg leads the team with 22 goals and 47 points. He’s tied for third in the NHL in game-winners with six.

Matt Duchene had a goal and an assist, and Jani Hakanpaa and Wyatt Johnston also scored for Dallas.

Hakanpaa pulled the Stars within 2-1 with a goal 1:09 into the third for his second of the season, but O’Reilly answered about 2 1/2 minutes later by jamming home a rebound.

Johnston pulled Dallas to 3-2 at 9:11 of the third by scoring during a delayed penalty, but Forsberg’s goal 19 seconds into a power play at 10:08 put the Predators back ahead by two. About 3 1/2 minutes later, Duchene, who played his previous four seasons with Nashville, fired home a power-play goal to make it 4-3.

Nyquist and Parssinen scored empty-netters at 17:27 and 19:29, respectively.

Lankinen stopped 19 shots. He’s 6-3-0 this season playing behind Juuse Saros, who is second in the NHL with 32 starts, and 6-2-1 in his career against the Stars.

Lauzon, the NHL leader in hits, scored his career-best fourth goal of the season and his 12th career goal in six seasons.

Hakanpaa’s other goal this season was the game-winner at Nashville with four seconds left on Dec. 23 as the Stars became the first team in league history to score the tying and winning goals in the final 15 seconds.

It was Johnston’s second goal in 22 games and his 11th of the season after tying for the rookie lead last season with 24.

Nyquist’s late goal extended his point streak to 10 games (seven goals, seven assists).


Predators: Host the New York Islanders on Saturday night.

Stars: At the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night.