Ekholm's late goal leads Predators over Capitals, 6-5

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) In a game dominated by offense, a defenseman scored the game-winner.

Mattias Ekholm scored with 4:40 remaining to cap a wild third period and lead the Nashville Predators to a 6-5 victory over the Washington Capitals on Thursday night.

Ryan Johansen scored twice and Filip Forsberg, Matt Duchene and Nick Bonino added goals for Nashville, which finished 3-1 on a season-opening, four-game homestand.

Alex Ovechkin scored a pair of power-play goals and Lars Eller, Tom Wilson and T.J. Oshie also scored for Washington. John Carlson had three assists for the Capitals, who lost in regulation for the first time this season.

''There's too many turnovers that are ending up as good scoring chances for one, and then for two, that are ending up in our net,'' Washington coach Todd Reirden said.

Ekholm netted the winner on a slap shot from the middle of the blue line through traffic 28 seconds after Bonino tied the game at 5.

''I saw the guy go down in front of me and that I kind of had a little lane,'' Ekholm said. ''When I saw it went by him, I thought it was going to have a good chance of going in. There were a lot of bodies in front. Nice feeling to see it go in.''

Nashville trailed by two entering the third.

''Going into the third period, I don't think there was any thought that we couldn't win a hockey game. We just had to go out and do the right things,'' Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. ''Guys certainly played well enough to do it.''

Ovechkin's goals were scored in nearly identical fashion coming from the left circle, a familiar spot for the Russian winger on the Washington power play.

His first came at 4:46 of the second from the top of the left circle. Ovechkin took a pass from Carlson and beat Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne with a one-timer, his first career goal against Rinne.

''It's a hard loss,'' Ovechkin said. ''I think we deserved at least a point.''

Rinne finished made 21 saves.

Late in the second, Ovechkin struck again off a feed from Carlson.

Eller scored the game's first goal at 9:17 of the opening period and Forsberg tied it 1:22 later.

From the left side just inside the blue line, Duchene slipped a pass to Forsberg skating through the slot, sending him in alone against Washington goaltender Braden Holtby. Forsberg made a quick move before lifting a wrist shot over the fallen goaltender.

Holtby finished with 32 saves.

Forsberg, originally a Capitals draft pick, has a goal in each of Nashville's first four games, the first player in Predators history to do so.

''It is a little special, I'm not going to lie,'' Forsberg said of playing against the Capitals. ''Obviously nothing is really the same, management and stuff like that. It's fun. It's a lot of fun.''

Johansen tied it again at 7:37 of the second, but Washington went ahead 3-2 at 12:28 on Wilson's short-handed goal.

Notes: Rinne is 6-1-0 in his career against Washington. ... Nashville RW Rocco Grimaldi missed his first game of the season due to a lower-body injury. ... Capitals C Nicklas Backstrom played his 900th career NHL game. ... Ovechkin has now scored against 135 different goaltenders in his NHL career.

UP NEXT:

Capitals: Visit Dallas Stars Saturday.

Predators: Visit Los Angeles Kings Saturday.

---

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Copyright 2019 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

123T
1315
1146
STARS OF THE GAME
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
N. Backstrom C01-228/9020:410
J. Carlson D03010/0227:300
L. Eller C10039/8013:520
R. Gudas D00220/0213:592
C. Hagelin LW00020/0015:070
G. Hathaway RW01110/1211:381
N. Jensen D00-210/0020:550
E. Kuznetsov C01-135/7216:540
B. Leipsic LW00-110/1011:342
T. Lewington D00000/0010:250
D. Orlov D01-330/0019:431
T. Oshie RW10-213/2018:540
A. Ovechkin LW20-120/0019:452
R. Panik LW00002/1011:501
J. Siegenthaler D00-110/0022:421
C. Stephenson LW01107/6011:580
J. Vrana LW00-110/1011:150
T. Wilson RW10-121/0016:022
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
V. Arvidsson RW02210/0019:490
N. Bonino C10015/2014:190
D. Carr RW00010/1010:501
M. Duchene C11158/15018:360
M. Ekholm D10140/0023:341
R. Ellis D00130/0223:360
D. Fabbro D00220/0021:590
F. Forsberg LW11120/0018:300
M. Granlund LW02040/0017:172
M. Irwin D00-100/0008:360
C. Jarnkrok LW02200/0014:250
R. Johansen C20229/10017:581
R. Josi D01250/0225:040
C. Sissons C01019/3212:501
C. Smith RW00-110/0212:370
K. Turris C00-235/4013:330
A. Watson RW01020/0012:442
Y. Weber D00010/0010:290
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
B. Holtby (L)3863258:28
GOALIESSA
B. Holtby (L)38
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
P. Rinne (W)2652160:00
GOALIESSA
P. Rinne (W)26
Evgeny Kuznetsov shot on goal (Slap shot)
LEGEND:GoalsShotsGoalsShots
Full Play By Play
GOALS
  • 3RD PERIOD
    • NSH
      15:20GOAL Mattias Ekholm (Slap shot), Assist: Calle Jarnkrok
    • NSH
      14:52GOAL Nick Bonino (Wrist shot), Assists: Colton Sissons and Austin Watson
    • WAS
      10:09GOAL T.J. Oshie (Wrist shot), Assist: Dmitry Orlov
    • NSH
      06:13GOAL Matt Duchene (Wrist shot), Assists: Filip Forsberg and Mikael Granlund
    • NSH
      05:03(PP) GOAL Ryan Johansen (Wrist shot), Assists: Viktor Arvidsson and Roman Josi
  • 2ND PERIOD
    • WAS
      17:36(PP) GOAL Alex Ovechkin (Slap shot), Assists: John Carlson and Nicklas Backstrom
    • WAS
      12:28(SH) GOAL Tom Wilson (Wrist shot), Assist: Chandler Stephenson
    • NSH
      07:37GOAL Ryan Johansen (Wrist shot), Assists: Viktor Arvidsson and Calle Jarnkrok
    • WAS
      04:46(PP) GOAL Alex Ovechkin (Slap shot), Assists: John Carlson and Evgeny Kuznetsov
  • 1ST PERIOD
    • NSH
      10:39GOAL Filip Forsberg (Wrist shot), Assists: Matt Duchene and Mikael Granlund
    • WAS
      09:17GOAL Lars Eller (Wrist shot), Assists: Garnet Hathaway and John Carlson
PENALTIES
  • 3RD PERIOD
    • NSH
      19:43Ryan Ellis penalty Slashing - 2 min.
    • WAS
      04:15John Carlson penalty Hooking - 2 min.
  • 2ND PERIOD
    • NSH
      17:11Roman Josi penalty Tripping - 2 min.
    • WAS
      11:03Garnet Hathaway penalty Interference - 2 min.
    • NSH
      04:14Colton Sissons penalty High Sticking - 2 min.
  • 1ST PERIOD
    • WAS
      17:53Evgeny Kuznetsov penalty Slashing - 2 min.
    • WAS
      14:15Radko Gudas penalty Tripping - 2 min.
    • NSH
      11:09Craig Smith penalty Tripping - 2 min.
TEAM STATS
WAS
NSH
Shots on Goal2638
Goals in Power Play21
Faceoff Wins3536
Penalties44
Major Penalties00
Minor Penalties44
Misconducts00
TEAM STATS
WAS
Shots on Goal26
Goals in Power Play2
Faceoff Wins35
Penalties4
Major Penalties0
Minor Penalties4
Misconducts0
123T
1315
1146
STARS OF THE GAME
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
N. Backstrom C01-228/9020:410
J. Carlson D03010/0227:300
L. Eller C10039/8013:520
R. Gudas D00220/0213:592
C. Hagelin LW00020/0015:070
G. Hathaway RW01110/1211:381
N. Jensen D00-210/0020:550
E. Kuznetsov C01-135/7216:540
B. Leipsic LW00-110/1011:342
T. Lewington D00000/0010:250
D. Orlov D01-330/0019:431
T. Oshie RW10-213/2018:540
A. Ovechkin LW20-120/0019:452
R. Panik LW00002/1011:501
J. Siegenthaler D00-110/0022:421
C. Stephenson LW01107/6011:580
J. Vrana LW00-110/1011:150
T. Wilson RW10-121/0016:022
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
V. Arvidsson RW02210/0019:490
N. Bonino C10015/2014:190
D. Carr RW00010/1010:501
M. Duchene C11158/15018:360
M. Ekholm D10140/0023:341
R. Ellis D00130/0223:360
D. Fabbro D00220/0021:590
F. Forsberg LW11120/0018:300
M. Granlund LW02040/0017:172
M. Irwin D00-100/0008:360
C. Jarnkrok LW02200/0014:250
R. Johansen C20229/10017:581
R. Josi D01250/0225:040
C. Sissons C01019/3212:501
C. Smith RW00-110/0212:370
K. Turris C00-235/4013:330
A. Watson RW01020/0012:442
Y. Weber D00010/0010:290
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
B. Holtby (L)3863258:28
GOALIESSA
B. Holtby (L)38
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
P. Rinne (W)2652160:00
GOALIESSA
P. Rinne (W)26
STARS OF THE GAME
123T
1315
1146
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
N. Backstrom C01-228/9020:410
J. Carlson D03010/0227:300
L. Eller C10039/8013:520
R. Gudas D00220/0213:592
C. Hagelin LW00020/0015:070
G. Hathaway RW01110/1211:381
N. Jensen D00-210/0020:550
E. Kuznetsov C01-135/7216:540
B. Leipsic LW00-110/1011:342
T. Lewington D00000/0010:250
D. Orlov D01-330/0019:431
T. Oshie RW10-213/2018:540
A. Ovechkin LW20-120/0019:452
R. Panik LW00002/1011:501
J. Siegenthaler D00-110/0022:421
C. Stephenson LW01107/6011:580
J. Vrana LW00-110/1011:150
T. Wilson RW10-121/0016:022
Total5802635/368-12
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
V. Arvidsson RW02210/0019:490
N. Bonino C10015/2014:190
D. Carr RW00010/1010:501
M. Duchene C11158/15018:360
M. Ekholm D10140/0023:341
R. Ellis D00130/0223:360
D. Fabbro D00220/0021:590
F. Forsberg LW11120/0018:300
M. Granlund LW02040/0017:172
M. Irwin D00-100/0008:360
C. Jarnkrok LW02200/0014:250
R. Johansen C20229/10017:581
R. Josi D01250/0225:040
C. Sissons C01019/3212:501
C. Smith RW00-110/0212:370
K. Turris C00-235/4013:330
A. Watson RW01020/0012:442
Y. Weber D00010/0010:290
Total61103836/358-8
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
B. Holtby (L)3863258:28
GOALIESSA
B. Holtby (L)38
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
P. Rinne (W)2652160:00
GOALIESSA
P. Rinne (W)26
GOALS
  • 3RD PERIOD
  • 2ND PERIOD
  • 1ST PERIOD
PENALTIES
  • 3RD PERIOD
  • 2ND PERIOD
  • 1ST PERIOD
  • 3RD PERIOD
  • 2ND PERIOD
  • 1ST PERIOD

123T
1315
1146
All times are US/Eastern.