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Johansen, Josi, Saros Lead Preds to Comeback Win Over Stars

NASHVILLE PREDATORS

Ryan Johansen tied it, and Roman Josi won it.

Nashville’s captain tallied with less than two minutes to play in regulation as the Predators came back to beat the Dallas Stars by a 2-1 final on Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena. The result gives the Preds three wins in four tries over Dallas to conclude the season series – and more importantly, Nashville is now one point ahead of the Stars in the Central Division standings.

The Predators needed most of the night to find the back of the net, but they got two before the contest was out, and in what was arguably Nashville’s most important game of the season to date, they simply found a way.

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The first two periods on Tuesday night passed by without either club able to find the back of the net, but just 32 seconds into the final frame, John Klingberg’s point shot deflected off of Eeli Tolvanen and past Juuse Saros to give Dallas the night’s first lead.

That was all the visitors could muster, however, and later in the period – just seconds after Saros stoned Michael Raffl on a breakaway – the Preds countered as Johansen scooped up a loose puck in the slot and deked to the backhand to beat Jake Oettinger and even the score at 1-1 at 13:08.

Then, with just 82 seconds remaining in regulation, Josi’s point shot went past Oettinger and into the twine to send the Bridgestone Arena crowd into a frenzy as the Preds took the only lead they’d need.

Saros and his teammates fended off one last push from the Stars, and the Predators earned points 67 and 68 of the season to jump over Dallas and into the Western Conference’s first Wild Card spot.

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Tuesday Storyline:

A Tuesday night in March doesn’t get much bigger, and in a game that felt much greater than just another outing on the schedule, the Nashville Predators showed what they’re capable of when it matters most.

In a tilt against Dallas that already had a postseason feel – and could end up carrying massive playoff implications by the end of the campaign – the Preds prevailed by simply doing what they do best – sticking with the game plan and pouncing when the opportunity arrived.

“It was a huge win for us,” Josi said. “Obviously, we were playing a team that’s one point ahead of us in our division. It was a tough game and kind of the way you can expect every game against Dallas – low-scoring, good defense, good goaltending and not a lot of room out there. But it was great, and we found a way. They obviously got the goal early, but we never gave up and found a way to win.”

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