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Predators shake off losing streak, take aim at Caps next

Sportsnaut
Oct 22, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi (59) skates with the puck during the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

With their losing streak behind them, the Nashville Predators will look to keep moving in the right direction when they host the Washington Capitals Saturday night.

The Predators ended a five-game skid (0-4-1) with a 6-2 win over the St. Louis Blues Thursday night, scoring five straight goals after falling behind 2-1 early in the second period.

Roman Josi, who entered the game with one point (an assist) in seven games, had a goal and two assists. The defenseman led Nashville with 96 points (23 goals, 73 assists) last season.

“Sometimes it’s funny in hockey. Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t,” Josi said. “And I thought my game has gotten better over the last couple of games and I think you saw it tonight. My first goal was kind of a lucky bounce, but I think that just happens. You’ve got to focus on playing well and focus on the process and the rest will follow.”

Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene each notched three assists. Juuse Saros made 33 saves to earn his second win of the 2022-23 season, snapping a four-game stretch where he had allowed three or more goals.

The Predators had struggled since winning their first two games against the San Jose Sharks in Prague.

“It’s hard coming out of a five-game losing streak like that, (to) face a great Blues team in our division,” forward Michael McCarron said. “I think we responded the right way. Obviously, some emotion comes out in a divisional game and it’s great to get the win tonight. Hopefully we can build off this.”

Washington, playing the third in a stretch of four road games, enters off a 2-0 shutout loss in Dallas on Thursday. They had not been shut out since a 1-0 loss to Vegas in January.

The Capitals averaged more than four goals per game in their previous five, but were unable to solve Dallas goalie Jake Oettinger, who made 27 saves.

“We’re still believers that if you can’t see the puck, you’re not going to save it,” Capitals forward Anthony Mantha said. “We’ve got to keep working on the relationship of guys getting to the net, taking the goalie’s eyes away, but at the same time (you) have to keep getting pucks to the net.”

Washington found itself in a 1-0 hole for the sixth time in eight games. In several of those games, they’ve responded with second and third period outbursts, but not against Dallas.

“We came out a little slow in the first,” defenseman Nick Jensen said. “We are just having trouble putting 60 minutes together.”

Washington had a power-play chance midway through the third period, but Dallas netted a short-handed goal to make it 2-0.

Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov caught Mason Marchment with an elbow to the face in the second period. Marchment went down but stayed in the game. No penalty was called, and Orlov was not contacted by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.

Two Capitals are approaching milestones. Defenseman John Carlson has 599 career points, and forward Alex Ovechkin has 783 NHL goals and is three shy of tying Gordie Howe (786 for the Red Wings) for the most with one team.

–Field Level Media