Forsberg leads Predators past Blackhawks 4-3

Friday, January 4, 2019, Vol. 43, No. 1

CHICAGO (AP) — Nashville's top line is back together again, and that's a big deal for the surging Predators.

Filip Forsberg scored twice, including a timely drive in overtime, and Nashville beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 on Wednesday night for its third consecutive victory.

Colton Sissons and Viktor Arvidsson also scored to help the Predators improve to 3-0-1 on a six-game trip. Ryan Johansen and Mattias Ekholm each had two assists, and Pekka Rinne made 28 saves.

Forsberg just returned to Nashville's lineup on Monday after missing 17 games with a hand injury. Arvidsson was activated from injured reserve on Dec. 27 after missing 21 games with a broken thumb.

Reunited with Johansen on one of the NHL's most dangerous lines, Forsberg and Arvidsson are beginning to round into form. Arvidsson also scored Saturday night in a 4-1 victory at Montreal.

"Arv and Fil were out for a long time, so they're probably going to shake off a little bit of rust, but the more they play, the better they're going to feel," coach Peter Laviolette said. "They had a big impact in the game tonight, all three of them."

Nashville had a 3-2 lead before Patrick Kane flipped a pass into the middle to Artem Anisimov, who slid a shot under Rinne with 2:21 left in regulation. Anisimov stopped a seven-game drought with his eighth of the season.

But Forsberg stepped up a minute into overtime, going to the net and flipping a shot over Collin Delia's left shoulder for his 16th of the season.

"Once I got close, it was pretty open short side, so I just tried to lift it," Forsberg said.

Chicago lost for the fourth time in five games. Alex DeBrincat and Jonathan Toews also scored for the Blackhawks, and Kane had two assists. Delia finished with 33 stops.

"We're playing well, we're in games," Toews said. "You get to overtime, you get the feeling you can get the two points. It's unfortunate we haven't gotten it done in our building."

Nashville jumped in front on Sissons' ninth of the season, but Predators defenseman Dan Hamhuis was sent off for hooking 17:03 into the first and the Blackhawks capitalized on the power-play opportunity. DeBrincat extended his goal-scoring streak to three games when he drove a cross-ice pass from Kane under Rinne's stick for No. 21 on the year.

The tie lasted all of eight seconds. Arvidsson got a stretch pass from P.K. Subban, avoided Delia's stick and stuffed home a backhand to make it 2-1 Predators with 2:01 left in the period.

Nashville increased its lead to 3-1 after Chicago defenseman Connor Murphy was penalized for hooking in the second. Forsberg beat Delia with a wrist shot at 16:26 for his first goal since Nov. 21.

"There are some things that obviously are a little rusty, passes that I missed and obviously stuff like that, but I'm just trying to work hard," Forsberg said. "I mean a lot of things worked."

The Predators got another power-play chance after David Kampf was whistled for tripping late in the period. But Toews got a nice pass from Marcus Kruger and sent a shot by Rinne on the stick side for just the fourth short-handed goal of the season for the Blackhawks.

"Things really got dark there for a few minutes and then they go out there and make a couple great plays and (Toews) finishes," Chicago coach Jeremy Colliton said, "so that really changed the game, put us in the situation to come back."

NOTES: Sissons matched his career high for goals. He also scored nine times in 81 games last season. ... Blackhawks D Brent Seabrook was scratched because of an illness. ... Blackhawks D Gustav Forsling was placed on injured reserve with an upper-torso injury. The move was made retroactive to Saturday.


Predators: Visit the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.

Blackhawks: Host the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday night.


Jay Cohen can be reached at


More AP NHL: and