Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images
The Nashville Predators blasted the Washington Capitals 6-3 Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena. The loss dropped the Capitals record to 10-8-1, 21 points for the season. The Capitals next travel to Denver to face the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night. Puck drop is 9:00pm.
Pekke Rinne (8-2-2) got the start between the pipes for Nashville.
Capitals Defenseman Matt Niskanen returned to the lineup after missing 13 games with a left thumb injury.
Nathan Walker, Taylor Chorney and Aaron Ness were the healthy scratches for the game.
The Capitals were tested early and often, having to kill two penalties in the first eight minutes of the opening frame, but the Preds were initially unable to capitalize. The Preds lead in shots on goal 7-0 through the first nine minutes of play.
Nashville would finally find the back of the net during a 6-on-5 with a deflected goal by Craig Smith at the 11:48 mark. Shots on goal were 12-0 at the time of the first tally.
The Predators would stretch the lead to 2-0 with shot from the top of the left circle by Roman Josi, that was deflected in by Nick Bonino at 17:43.
The period would end with the Predators leading 2-0. The Capitals registered their first shot on goal with just over two minutes left in the period, and were outshot 19-3 for the opening frame.
The Capitals would cut the Predators lead in half with a power play goal by T.J. Oshie 4:29 into the middle frame. Oshie would deflect a blistering shot by John Carlson from the point.
Moments later the Capitals would tie the game with a goal by Alex Chiasson 6:28 into the second period.
Unfortunately the Predators would retake the lead just 17 seconds later with a goal by Filip Forsberg at 6:45 of the middle frame.
The Predators would regain their two-goal lead with a tally by Kevin Fiala at 9:04, making it 4-2.
However, T.J. Oshie would again cut the lead to one with a goal just 17 seconds later, making it 4-3.
The Predators would again regain their two goal lead with a tally by Miikka Salomaki at 14:06 of the second period.
Nashville would make it 6-3 on a goal by Mattias Ekholm at 18:00 of the second period.
The second period would end with the Predators leading 6-3. The Capitals outshot Nashvile 14-7 for the middle frame. The Predators led 25-17 through two periods of play.
The Capitals replaced Braden Holtby with Philipp Grubauer to start the third period. A relatively quiet start to the final frame, with end-to-end action, but no damages done to the scoreboard.
The third period would see no additional scoring as the Predators would take this one 6-3.
By Jon Sorensen
SCENES FROM SMASHVILLE