Predators Beat Flyers 6-5

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Filip Forsberg scored his second goal with 35.6 seconds left and the Nashville Predators rallied by scoring twice in the final 1:17 to beat the Philadelphia Flyers 6-5 on Tuesday night.

On the night they raised their Western Conference championship banner, the Predators blew a 3-0 lead as the Flyers scored five straight goals.

But then Forsberg scored his first goal of the game 50 seconds after the Flyers took a 5-3 lead, and Scott Hartnell scored his second goal on a 5-on-3 with 1:17 left to tie it. When Philadelphia coach Dave Hakstol challenged for offside and lost, the Predators had the man advantage, and Forsberg scored the winning goal.

Craig Smith and Nick Bonino also scored, and P.K. Subban had three assists for Nashville. Forsberg also had an assist on Hartnell’s tying goal as Nashville won its fifth straight home opener.

Valtteri Filppula scored twice for the Flyers, and Andrew McDonald, Nolan Patrick and Travis Konecny each added a goal. Philadelphia finished its first four-game road trip to open a season since 1971 by going 2-2.

The Predators, losers at Boston and Pittsburgh, raised the banner 19 years to the day of the first game in franchise history.

Mike Fisher, the captain who retired in August, joined current captain Roman Josi in unveiling the banner before it was raised to the rafters. Then country star Trace Adkins performed the national anthem, and Nashville’s mayor came out to wave a towel as the Predators continued their playoff tradition for at least the home opener.

Then the Predators gave their fans reason to keep cheering, with Smith scoring a power-play goal with a wrister past Brian Elliott at 4:17 of the first period. That gave Nashville its first lead this season, and the Predators took eight of the first 10 shots.

Nashville scored first in the second period, too. Hartnell beat Elliott with a slap shot off the rebound of teammate Pontus Aberg’s shot at 3:08 for a 2-0 lead. Mattias Ekholm skated across the crease, and his backhand shot went off Elliott to Bonino, who easily tapped the puck in for a 3-0 lead and his first goal since leaving Pittsburgh for Nashville this offseason.

Then the Flyers turned the celebration into a game. McDonald scored his first goal on a slap shot at 10:19, and Patrick, the second overall pick in the June draft, got his first career goal 16 seconds later on a wrister. Philadelphia took advantage of its third power play in the period when Filppula scored on a wrister at 15:05, tying it at 3.

Konecny scored on a breakaway at 5:03 followed by Filppula’s power-play goal for a 5-3 lead that seemed safe until Forsberg pulled Nashville within a goal 50 seconds later to set up the thrilling finish.

The Flyers picked up two penalties on the same play with 2:41 left, giving Nashville a 5-on-3 advantage. Hakstol lost his challenge for offside, and the delay-of-game penalty gave Nashville the man advantage.

NOTES: The Flyers were 4-0-1 in their previous five games against Nashville. … Predators goalie Pekka Rinne came in needing only three saves for 13,000 in his career. He reached that mark in the first period, making nine saves. … Josi and Colton Sissons were scratched by Nashville with lower-body injuries and are day to day. … Nashville defenseman Samuel Girard, 19, made his NHL debut with Josi out and got the secondary assist on Forsberg’s first goal.

UP NEXT

Flyers: Host the Washington Capitals in their home opener Saturday night.

Predators: Host the Dallas Stars on Thursday night.

 

(Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

 

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