Nashville Predators 6, Minnesota Wild 2: Forsberg, Josi have big nights

Forsberg and Duchene are now tied for the team goal-scoring lead at 31, but Matt Benning was injured in the win.

The Nashville Predators went on the road to play the second game in two days, this one against the Minnesota Wild.

The teams traded chances early, before a fight broke out between Marcus Foligno and Luke Kunin about five minutes into the period. A minute or so after that, Ryan Johansen committed a slashing penalty, sending the Preds to the penalty kill, but the Preds’ penalty kill held firm.

Moments later, Filip Forsberg drew first blood, scoring his 30th of the season. The Preds responded well, going back on the attack, but when the Wild got hold of the puck a lucky shot to the corner of David Rittich’s net allowed Matt Boldy to score and tie the game.

The Preds got a power play of their own and a chance to tie it up just after that, but although the power play started off looking good, with some lively passing that discombobulated the Wild’s defense badly, they were unable to convert, and the second unit wasn’t as coordinated as the first.

From there, the Wild picked up the pace.

A scramble in front of the Preds’ net with seconds left in the period led to some commotion. Boldy hit a post—trying for a second goal the same way as the first, perhaps—and the crowd thought that was a goal, or perhaps that the rebound Boldy fired at the net was a goal. The goalhorn operator hit the button as well. Upon review, the referees determined that there had been no goal and the period was over, which did not meet with joy.

The Wild came out strong to start the second, but Boldy taking a penalty gave the Preds a break. Their second power play was no more successful than the first, and it ended with Rittich successfully making a play way out of his net to get the puck moving back up ice.

A good shift by the fourth line set up Roman Josi for an easy goal, and he took the opportunity, giving the Preds a 2-1 lead a little less than halfway through the second.

However, just after that, Matt Benning went down to the ice awkwardly after a scuffle behind the Preds’ net. Play was stopped and a trainer came out to the ice, but Benning eventually was able to get up and skate off on his own, though he immediately went down the tunnel.

Moments later, Jordan Greenway scored to tie the game, but Philip Tomasino responded almost immediately to give the Preds a 3-2 lead. A few more minutes of back-and-forth play led to Colton Sissons getting called for a stick infraction and the Wild going back onto the power play. The Preds’ penalty kill held firm, and the score stayed the same.

With 12 seconds left in the period, Jared Spurgeon interrupted a big push by the Wild by slashing Mikael Granlund’s stick in half. The Preds were unable to score during the remaining twelve seconds of the second, but Josi scored in the third to make the Preds’ lead 4-2 and give them another checkmark on the power play.

Josi had a chance for some more heroics later, when Mattias Ekholm was called for tripping Kevin Fiala. A block from Josi helped to set up a shorthanded chance by Yakov Trenin that ended up forcing the Wild to ice the puck. The Wild continued to press, eventually pulling Kaapo Kahkonen with three minutes remaining in the period.

Filip Forsberg took advantage of the empty net, scoring his 31st of the season and giving the Preds a 5-2 lead. The Wild pulled Kahkonen again, and Cousins scored a second empty-netter for the Preds. Time ran out, and the road team secured a win.