There’s no telling who will finish the season as the Nashville Predators’ leading goal scorer.
Yet at a time when there are two serious possibilities, even more offense might be on the way.
Patric Hornqvist and Mike Fisher remained tied for the team lead when each scored in the third period Sunday and lifted the Predators to a 3-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks at Anaheim.
During the contest, there were reports out of Russia that forward Alexander Radulov had negotiated his release from the Kontinental Hockey League team for which he played the last four seasons and was prepared to rejoin Nashville as early as this week. Those reports were not confirmed by the Predators or North American media.
Radulov set the franchise record for goals by a rookie with 18 in 2006-07 and had 95 points in 155 games before he unexpectedly signed to play in the KHL prior to the 2008-09 season.
Sunday's triumph moved Nashville ahead of Detroit and into fourth place in the Western Conference standings. The Predators and Red Wings ended the night tied with 92 points, but Nashville was considered the leader by virtue of more wins prior to shootouts (regulation and overtime).
With 10 games remaining in the regular season, Radulov will not have time to catch Hornqvist and Fisher. Each scored his 23rd 9:08 apart, beginning with Hornqvist’s 79 seconds into the period, after Nashville had been held scoreless and outshot 22-16 through the first 40 minutes. For Fisher, that matched the second-highest total of his career, and for Hornqvist it was his 75th all-time.
Likewise, there’s no chance he runs down Martin Erat, the leader in points with 56 (one short of his career-high), who extended his current streak to four games with at least a goal or an assist when he had an assist on Fisher’s goal.
David Legwand capped the scoring with an empty-net goal. Anders Lindback made a season-high 30 saves and won for the first time since Dec. 1.