Patric Hornqvist and Mike Fisher not only remained tied for the team lead in goals they put the Nashville Predators ahead — briefly — of the reigning Stanley Cup champions, the Boston Bruins, when they scored just less than seven minutes apart in the third period Saturday.
The advantage lasted just 2:25, though, and the Predators lost their third straight, 4-3 in a shootout at Boston. The first of those defeats also was in a shootout, Tuesday at home against the Vancouver Canucks, who lost to Boston in last season’s Stanley Cup finals.
"We had two points [for a victory] in our grasp," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "And we let a point slip away. You can’t have that. You don’t know what the margin of ... a point here or there can make it."
Milan Lucic tied the game and forced overtime when he scored with 1:07 to play in regulation.
Tyler Seguin and Patrice Begeron both converted in the shootout for Boston while Nashville’s only two shooters, Sergei Kostitsyn and Martin Erat, were stopped by Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, who faced just 22 shots during regulation and overtime. Nashville’s Pekka Rinne made 38 saves on 41 shots prior to the shootout.
"We don’t have the skill in here that’s going to go out and tic-tac-toe, players run and gun with this team," defenseman Ryan Suter, who had an assist, said. "Everyone has to work hard every night and contribute."
Hornqvist’s goal at 9:33 of the final period tied it 2-2 and brought the Predators from behind for a second time Shea Weber’s power-play goal in the second period matched Bergeron’s shorthanded tally in the first.
Fisher then gave Nashville its only lead when he scored with 3:32 remaining in regulation.
"It was hard fought game I thought," Bergeron said. "They scored on their chances and we had a lot of chances and we kept buzzing and we didn’t, I guess, stop. I think we found a way."
Hornqvist, who also had an assist (he was the only player for either team with multiple points), and Fisher each have 17 goals for the season.
The Predators will try to end their longest losing streak since late November when they host Chicago, their closest pursuer in the Western Conference standings, Tuesday.
"They dominated us and we’re very fortunate to get one point," Suter said. "We could have actually won the game because of our goalie. So, it’s too bad we gave it away there at the end."