TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Filip Forsbeg had two goals and an assist to lead the Nashville Predators to a 4-1 victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday night.
Forsberg returned to the Predators’ lineup after being held out of Saturday’s loss to Buffalo for maintenance. Craig Smith and Ryan Johansen also scored to help Nashville move closer to clinching the Presidents’ Trophy with the league’s best record. Juuse Saros finished with 29 saves.
Tampa Bay, which went 0 for 5 on the power play, played the final two periods without captain Steven Stamkos, who left the game with an undisclosed lower-body injury.
Ondrej Palat scored for the Lightning, and Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with 21 saves while lost his third consecutive game.
The Lightning fell to 5-6-0 in the past 11 games and sit two points behind Boston for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
Nashville, coming off a lopsided loss to Buffalo on Saturday, opened up the scoring as Johansen led a 2-on-1 rush and pulled the puck back before beating Vasilevskiy with a wrist shot 7:50 into the game.
The Predators doubled their leadearly in the second at the tail end of a power play as Forsberg’s shot deflected off the stick of Tampa Bay defenseman Anton Stralman and trickled through Vasilevskiy’s pads at 2:46.
Palat pulled the Lightning within a goal at 7:32 as he was open in the slot to take a pass from Stralman and fired a shot from between the circles for his 10th.
Forsberg scored his second of the night, skating around Dan Girardi to get to the top of the crease and sip the puck under Vasilevskiy at 6:24 to make it 3-1. Smith put the game away, taking a long pass from Mattias Ekholm and skating in alone to put a shot off the inside of the far post at 9:29.
NOTES: Tampa Bay RW Ryan Callahan returned to the lineup after missing five games with an upper-body injury. … Nashville leading goal-scorer LW Viktor Arvidsson missed the game with an undisclosed lower-body injury. … The Lightning have allowed the opening goal in five consecutive games. … Forsberg is the second player in franchise history to reach 60 points three different times, joining J.P. Dumont. … Saros improved to 8-0-2 this season when starting on the second night of a back-to-back games for the Predators
Lightning: Host Boston on Tuesday night.
Predators: At Florida on Tuesday night.