WASHINGTON (AP) — Viktor Arvidsson scored 1:05 into overtime and the Nashville Predators bucked their season-long trend of OT struggles by beating the Washington Capitals 2-1 on Thursday night.
Arvidsson’s goal improved the Predators to 4-7 in the 3-on-3 period this season and 7-19 over the past two years. Pekka Rinne made 22 saves but didn’t face a shot in overtime from the Capitals, who lost for just the eighth time in 36 home games.
James Neal also scored his 21st goal for Nashville, which extended its winning streak to three and its point streak to five.
Brett Connolly scored the Capitals’ regulation goal, and Braden Holtby stopped 22 of the 24 shots he faced. Washington fell to 7-3 in overtime this season.
In front of a lackluster crowd that might’ve been more focused on March Madness than mid-March hockey, the teams got off to a sloppy start full of turnovers. One of them by Nashville turned into a goal when Kevin Fiala’s giveaway led to Connolly’s 15th of the season 11:41 into the first period.
Fiala helped make up for that blunder by assisting on Neal’s tying goal at 18:56 of the second period. Neal’s wrist shot seemed to fool Holtby, who waved at the puck as it went by his glove and into the net.
The Capitals and Predators exchanged some pushes and shoves throughout the game, and tensions escalated in the third period when Nashville forward Austin Watson took exception to Tom Wilson’s high hit on Colton Sissons. It was Wilson’s second fight in two games.
NOTES: Predators F Colin Wilson missed the game because of an undisclosed lower-body injury, and Fiala replaced him in the lineup. … Capitals D Kevin Shattenkirk returned from a two-game suspension for charging and pushed Nate Schmidt out of the lineup after he scored a goal Tuesday. … Rinne played his 500th NHL game.
Predators: Try to make it four in a row at the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday in the second leg of a brief, two-game Eastern Conference road trip.
Capitals: Visit the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are trying to mount a late playoff push and could get captain Steven Stamkos back from a long-term knee injury.
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