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Predators vs. Hurricanes Plus/Minus: Forsberg Clutch Again, D-zone Miscues

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Photo of Roman Josi, left, and Dante Fabbro by John Russell/Nashville Predators

For the second consecutive game, and the third time this season, Filip Forsberg scored an overtime game-winner, punctuating a 6-5 Nashville Predators win over the Carolina Hurricanes Friday night at PNC Arena.

Forsberg also scored overtime winners against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Nov. 28.

With every game you take the good with the bad, so here’s a look at what went right and what didn’t in the Predators’ win Friday night.

(+) Forsberg continues to be money in OT

Nashville is one of just three teams in the league without an overtime loss, and Forsberg is a big reason why. Just three days after passing David Legwand as the Predators all-time leader in overtime goals (10), Forsberg scored his third OT winner, tying him with both Matt Duchene (2021-22) for the franchise’s single-season record and Montreal’s Cole Caufield for the NHL lead.

The 29-year-old forward also became just the fourth player in NHL history to score OT goals in the opening minute in back-to-back games and score three OT goals in the opening minute in a single season. (14 seconds, 18 seconds and 33 seconds).

(-) Defensive-zone play

Two of the Hurricanes’ goals were a direct result of bad defensive-zone turnovers by Tommy Novak and Alex Carrier, respectively. On the first one (see below) it appears Novak simply misplays the puck, however, his lack of urgency to gain back control allowed Brent Burns to poke check it back to Stefan Noesen, allowing him, Seth Jarvis and Sebastian Aho to put on a passing clinic before Aho buried it backdoor past Kevin Lankinen.

 

The second time, Carrier tried to pass the puck from behind the net to Juuso Parssinen. The problem, though, was his pass had a little too much on it and zipped right past Parssinen and right onto the stick of Martin Necas who was waiting right in front of the crease.

 

(+) Roman Josi is back to doing Roman Josi things

Josi has been a near point-per-game player each of the last four years, (253 in 264 games), so when he had just one goal and six points through the first month of the season, some began to worry.

But Josi has really hit his stride since the beginning of November, tallying five goals and 17 points in his last 21 games. He’s been in position to use his offensive skillset a lot more recently than he was the first month of the season, as evidenced by his warp-around goal in the second period.

After receiving the puck in the middle of the offensive zone, Josi skated wide toward the right face-off dot. He kept Jordan Staal skating with him on his right side just long enough to draw Jordan Martinook backward, colliding with Staal and leaving Josi free to cut around the back of the net uncontested for an easy goal.

 

(-) Surrendering two goals less than two minutes apart, twice

Noesen and Tony DeAngelo scored goals within 1:50 of each other in the first period, erasing a 1-0 Predators lead. It got worse in the second period as Jalen Chatfield and Aho scored goals just 19 seconds apart, breaking a 2-2 tie and giving Carolina its first multi-goal lead of the game.

Both times, the Hurricanes’ two-goal bursts came on the heels of a Predators goal and quickly swung momentum back in their favor. If there’s one thing the Predators need to work on moving forward it’s controlling the opposition from getting those key momentum swings.

(+) Overcoming multiple deficits

Despite allowing goals in bunches, the Predators overcame plenty of adversity on Friday. After falling behind 4-2, Ryan O’Reilly notched his eighth power-play goal of the year (second-most in the NHL) to trim Carolina’s lead to one and injecting some life into the Nashville bench. However, a quick follow-up goal from Necas 25 seconds later took the wind out of the Predators’ sails

But three unanswered goals across the second, third and overtime periods from Tyson Barrie, Jeremy Lauzon and Forsberg not only sealed Nashville’s 12th win in its last 15 games, they gave the Predators just their second win all year when trailing after two periods. Nashville has had its share of blown two-goal leads this season, so to be on the other side of one is surely a nice moment of vindication.

Follow Michael Gallagher on X/Twitter @MGsports_

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