Forsberg scores in OT to lift Predators past Canadiens

Robby Stanley  - Correspondent | Wednesday, 03.25.2015 / 12:13 AM

NASHVILLE -- Filip Forsberg's goal 1:54 into overtime gave the Nashville Predators a 3-2 win against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday at Bridgestone Arena.

Forsberg took a pass from center Mike Ribeiro and one-timed it past Canadiens goaltender Carey Price for his 22nd goal.

"Obviously [Ribeiro] made a really nice play," Forsberg said. "I just tapped it in. I think we had a couple of good looks working it up top with [Shea Weber] and [Roman Josi] there and just tried to draw a couple of guys up there, and then it was just a 2-on-1 down low. [Ribeiro] made a really nice pass."

Nashville (45-21-8), which trails the St. Louis Blues by one point for first place in the Central Division, is 28-7-2 at home and has won two games in a row. They finished 13-3-0 against Eastern Conference opponents at home.

"I think it was probably one of the best hockey games we've played all year," Forsberg said. "They played really good, we played really good, so it was a really good hockey game overall. I think the fans really enjoyed it."

Montreal (46-20-8) lost for the first time in three games, but with the point for the overtime loss, it leads the race for the Presidents' Trophy after becoming the first NHL team to reach 100 points.

"We've got eight games left, so we're trying to get better with every game and get into the playoff mode before it comes here," Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty said. "We liked the effort in the game played tonight, but not the result. We're looking on to Winnipeg now."

The game was billed as a battle between two of the top goaltenders in the League, and Price and Nashville's Pekka Rinne did not disappoint. Price made 28 saves, and Rinne 29 in his 39th win.

"I think they both made some unreal saves with their backs against the pipes a couple times," Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm said. "They're obviously probably the two best goalies in the League, and they showed it again tonight, I think. They were just playing awesome."

Ekholm gave the Predators a 1-0 lead at 9:10 of the first period on a wrist shot that he took from his knees. Ekholm split two defenders, got tripped and still took a shot that beat Price for his sixth goal.

"That was amazing," Josi said. "That was a great goal. First, he kind of chipped it for himself and he fell. That was sick, but we shouldn't tell him too much. His head is probably a little high right now."

Montreal forward Brendan Gallagher tied the game 1-1 at 2:28 of the second period on a wrist shot from the slot that beat Rinne. Nashville failed to clear the puck out of the slot, and Gallagher capitalized by scoring his 22nd goal.

"We had some key opportunities, and they had some chances too," Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban said. "I thought we played well enough to win the game, that's for sure, but what are you going to do? They're a good team over there, so they're going to get some bounces as well, and they got them today."

David Desharnais gave Montreal a 2-1 lead at 12:42 of the second period on a one-timer in front of the net. PA Parenteau made the pass to Desharnais, who was left alone in front of Rinne for his 13th goal.

"It's a huge win for us, especially after being down in the second period and coming back and winning the game," Josi said. "It's a huge win. They're a great team, they're one of the best in the League. They play really well defensively, and obviously Price is a big goaltender, so it's tough to get a goal on them. We did a good job."

Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis tied the game 2-2 at 7:56 of the third period on a wrist shot from the point. Ellis' shot took a hop off of the ice and bounced over Price's shoulder for his seventh goal.

"That's the kind of bounces we got in the start [of the season], I guess," Forsberg said. "Obviously the bounces have kind of been going against us lately, so it was a huge goal for us."

Nashville forward Kevin Fiala made his NHL debut after being recalled under emergency conditions Tuesday. Forward Viktor Stalberg left the morning skate early because of an apparent injury.

Fiala was Nashville's first-round pick (No. 11) at the 2014 NHL Draft.

"He was good," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "Things happen when he's on the ice. He's a player that when he gets the puck on his stick, you saw some of the things that he did off the rush and in the offensive-zone play. The puck sticks to him a little bit, and that's a good thing when you're an offensive player."

The Predators set a record with their 26th sellout this season.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
09:10NSH Mattias Ekholm (6) ASST: NONE 1 - 0 NSH
2nd Period
02:28MTL Brendan Gallagher (22) ASST: NONE 1 - 1 Tie
12:42MTL David Desharnais (13) ASST: PA Parenteau (12), Max Pacioretty (29) 2 - 1 MTL
3rd Period
07:56NSH Ryan Ellis (7) ASST: Mike Ribeiro (42), Colin Wilson (21) 2 - 2 Tie
OT Period
01:54NSH PPG - Filip Forsberg (22) ASST: Mike Ribeiro (43), Roman Josi (38) 3 - 2 NSH
Three Stars of the Game
Filip Forsberg
Filip Forsberg
G: 1Shots: 2
A: 0Hits: 3
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 20:21
Pekka Rinne
Pekka Rinne
SA: 29TOI: 61:54
GA: 2EV: 26-28
PIM: 0PP: 1-1
SV%: .931SH: 0-0
Carey Price
Carey Price
SA: 31TOI: 61:54
GA: 3EV: 23-25
PIM: 0PP: 5-6
SV%: .903SH: 0-0
Penalty Summary
1st Period
02:45MTL P.K. Subban  Holding against  Colin Wilson
09:42MTL Alex Galchenyuk  Too many men/ice - bench
2nd Period
09:19NSH Shea Weber  Slashing against  Brendan Gallagher
3rd Period
10:38MTL Greg Pateryn  Holding against  Roman Josi
OT Period
01:09MTL P.K. Subban  Tripping against  Filip Forsberg
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays0/11/4
Faceoff Wins2538
Blocked Shots1422
Penalty Minutes82
8B. PrustL0000014:41
11B. GallagherR1005016:07
14T. PlekanecC0003017:12
15P. ParenteauR0113015:57
17T. MitchellC0001013:40
21D. Smith-PellyR00-11013:50
22D. WeiseR000007:54
25J. De La RoseL00-10011:48
26J. PetryD00-11020:36
27A. GalchenyukC0002013:52
28N. BeaulieuD0022014:03
51D. DesharnaisC1011019:10
64G. PaterynD0021214:19
67M. PaciorettyL0112019:19
74A. EmelinD00-10022:47
76P. SubbanD00-13425:26
79A. MarkovD00-12026:13
81L. EllerC00-12013:57
31C. Price2831.90361:54
3S. JonesD0001022:42
4R. EllisD1014018:44
6S. WeberD00-16225:25
9F. ForsbergL1012020:21
10M. SantorelliC0011012:21
12M. FisherC00-11019:35
14M. EkholmD1002017:58
15C. SmithR00-10017:38
19C. JarnkrokC00-10011:08
28P. GaustadC0011012:07
33C. WilsonL0111018:25
38V. ArvidssonL00-13010:52
41T. BeckL0010013:21
44C. FransonD0011014:13
56K. FialaL00-13011:25
57G. BourqueR00-11014:12
59R. JosiD01-12024:49
63M. RibeiroC0212020:20
35P. Rinne2729.93161:54