Forsberg scores two in third period as Predators beat Stars
Gustav Nyquist had a goal and an assist, and Luke Evangelista also scored for the Predators, who are 5-0-1 in their last six road games and pulled within four points of third-place Dallas in the Central Division. Kevin Lankinen finished with 26 saves in his eighth start in place of Juuse Saros, who’s second in the NHL with 31 starts.
“He’s definitely not a backup goalie,” Forsberg said of Lankinen. “We just happen to have another guy that’s pretty good.”
Jason Robertson had a goal and an assist, and Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn also scored for the Stars, who finished 2-2-1 on a five-game homestand — including three consecutive losses. Scott Wedgewood made 18 saves.
Tied 2-2 after two periods, Forsberg slipped a backhander behind Wedgewood 2:42 into the third to put Nashville ahead, and came around the back of the net and curled a shot off Wedgewood’s right skate into the net at 7:30 for a two-goal lead.
“That’s what Fil does,” Nyquist said. “Two big goals in the third when we needed them the most.”
Robertson pulled Dallas within one just past the midpoint of the period.
The Predators gained a measure of revenge after the Stars pulled out a 3-2 win at Nashville on Dec. 23 by becoming the first NHL team to score the tying and winning goals in the final 15 seconds.
“It felt like there were a lot more than six seconds left at the end (following the final faceoff),” Forsberg said. “But we played great. I think defensively they didn’t have any chances there at the end.
“We obviously learned from that. We’ve got to play all the way through.”
Nashville lost its five previous games against Dallas.
Lankinen, appearing in his 100th NHL game, gloved Mason Marchment’s penalty shot almost three minutes into the second period.
Forsberg, headed to his second All-Star Game, has team highs of 21 goals and 45 points. It's his eighth season of at least 20 goals.
Wedgewood made his 10th consecutive start and 11th straight appearance since taking over early in Dallas’ Dec. 15 game for All-Star Jake Oettinger, who was sidelined with a lower-body injury.
“He’s probably running out of a little bit of gas,” Stars coach Pete DeBoer said of Wedgewood. “We’ve asked a lot of him.”
The Predators built a 2-0 lead on Nyquist’s score at 11:26 of the first period and Evangelista’s goal at 7:22 of the second.
A goal by Dallas’ Sam Steel almost six minutes into the second period was disallowed for being offside following a Predators challenge.
Seguin scored at 9:28 of the second and Benn tied the score at 2-all with a deflection with 45.4 seconds left in the period —- 5 seconds into a power play.
Ten of Dallas’ last 11 games have been decided by one goal (5-3-2),
Predators: Host Anaheim on Tuesday night.
Stars: At Minnesota on Monday night to begin a home-and-home set.
AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl