Joel Ward was at the top of his game last night. Ward scored the eventual game winner with just under 7 minutes left in the second period on a nifty deke of goaltender Peter Budaj. Ward, who also received a helper on Shea Weber’s goal that opened the scoring in the first period, has scored in three consecutive games.
Other scorers for Nashville were Matt Halischuk, and Martin Erat, who hit the empty net with 10 seconds left.
Jordan Tootoo fought Ryan Wilson in an epic battle with 17 seconds left in the second. The fight went back and forth for nearly a minute, with both sides exchanging blows. There was no clear winner, although Tootoo’s fist pumping reaction suggests how he felt.
The win boosts Nashville to one point behind the Calgary Flames, and the Phoenix Coyotes, who face each other on Tuesday.
Nashville can gain some much needed ground by beating the 4th place Los Angles Kings Tuesday.
The Predators are in the middle of a 5 game home stand in which they need to take at least 7 points to continue to push for the playoffs. Nashville has won the crucial first and second games, and only needs 3 points in the final three against the L.A. Kings, the Boston Bruins, and the Detroit Red Wings.