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Predators beat Stars in OT in wild game

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Blood oozed down Predators captain Shea Weber's face after a high stick clipped him close to his nose, though officials didn't call a penalty.

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So his teammates helped him take out his pain on the Dallas Stars.

Roman Josi scored his second goal 28 seconds into overtime and the Predators rallied from a 4-2 deficit to beat the Stars 5-4 Monday night in a wild game featuring several fights, six goals and Weber's bloodied face - all in the second period.

``There was a lot of blood,'' Nashville coach Barry Trotz said.

Dallas had just gone up 4-2 nearly midway through the second when Weber was caught with a high stick. Replays made it tough to tell if it was Predators forward Martin Erat's stick or Stars right wing Jaromir Jagr's stick inflicting the damage. Trotz hadn't seen a replay, but he said his players thought it was a Dallas stick that did the damage.

``They turned that sort of negative energy into real positive energy, and we fed off of that,'' Trotz said.

Weber finished with two assists, including on Josi's slap shot in overtime that helped Nashville end a two-game skid. Josi also had two assists as the Predators played their 10th OT game this season - an NHL high. They have earned a point in 14 of the 15 games they've scored a goal.

``I just tried to get it to the net,'' Josi said of his winner. ``I saw three guys joined already so I tried to be the safety guy and back up a little. Sergei (Kostitsyn) made a great play to me and tried to get it to the net, and I think the Dallas defenseman tipped it.''

Mike Fisher, Craig Smith and Patric Hornqvist each scored for Nashville. The last two losses had been shutouts, and the Predators ended a scoring drought at 133:43 after threatening the franchise-worst drought that reached 176:18 on Feb. 13 in an overtime win over San Jose.

Rookie Matt Fraser and Reilly Smith scored 25 seconds apart within the first 2 minutes of the second, and Vern Fiddler and Eriksson each added a power-play goal as the Stars matched their season high within the first 9:21 of the period. Michael Ryder had three assists.

Nashville had lost four of its past five and needed a win before hitting the road for a three-game swing on the West Coast.

Fisher tied it at 8:22 of the third when he got the puck as he skated into the Nashville zone, split a pair of Stars and beat Cristopher Nilstorp with a backhander. Nashville wound up outshooting the Stars 31-24, including 11-4 in the third.

``There were some emotions and some good hits and a lot of energy,'' Fisher said. ``It was a great game.''

Smith ended Nashville's scoring drought at 133:43 when he snapped a shot from in front in a relatively quiet first period.

The action cranked up in the second with six goals combined, fights, and that high stick leaving Weber with blood dripping down the left side of his face in his 500th career game. The blow dropped Weber to the ice, and he lost his stick. But he wound up checking Stars forward Matt Fraser at the boards before heading to the bench.

``Emotionally that sometimes can be very good,'' Trotz said.

Dallas had scored at least three goals the previous nine straight games, and the Stars took a 2-1 lead as Fraser got his first career goal on a slap shot from the left circle at 1:20. Then Reilly Smith tipped the puck over goalie Pekka Rinne's left leg at 1:45 for a 2-1 lead.

Trotz immediately took his timeout, and the Predators responded when Josi tied it at 2 with his slap shot near the blue line at 3:05.

The Predators were trying to kill a holding penalty on Erat when the Stars drew a delayed penalty off a high-stick by Fisher, and Fiddler, coming on as the extra attacker, scored on a slap shot at 7:29.

With Fisher drawing a double minor, the Stars' man advantage continued, and Erikkson scored with the puck redirected past Rinne by Josi at 9:21.

``It's never over with these guys,'' Stars forward Stephane Robidas said.

The Predators trimmed the lead when they went 1:21 with of a 5-on-3 after Eric Nystrom went to the box for fighting with a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. Then Fiddler got his own double minor for unsportsmanlike conduct and roughing. Nashville had only 2 seconds left when Hornqivst lifted a backhander over Nilstorp at 13:43 to pull the Predators within 4-3.

Dallas coach Glen Gulutzan wasn't happy with how his Stars reacted to being up 4-2.

``We needed to stay disciplined,'' Gulutzan said. ``After the double minor for high sticking, they are going to look for something on you and you can't give up a 5-on-3. You can't take that penalty. We just didn't have a game feel. We let them in, and we got them excited. We needed to make sure we closed them out.''

Notes: Weber is the sixth to play 500 games for the Predators. He joined David Legwand Martin Erat, Kimmo Timonen (now in Philadelphia) and Ryan Suter (Minnesota). ... Fisher's goal was the 200th of his career. ... Kostitsyn now has five points in his last six games (1 goal, 4 assists). ... With D Aaron Rome out with a foot injury, the Stars brought back 6-foot-7 rookie Jamie Oleksiak from the AHL's Texas Stars. ... Nashville now is 8-0-5 when scoring first.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
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