NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – After losing three straight, the Nashville Predators got a balanced effort to get back on the winning track.
Kevin Fiala and Viktor Arvidsson scored two goals each as five Predators players came through with their first points of the season to lead illness-depleted Nashville to a 5-1 victory over the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.
Calle Jarnkrok also scored, P.K. Subban and Filip Forsberg each added two assistse, and Juuse Saros stopped 34 shots for his first NHL victory.
“It is part of Juuse’s growing process and how he is evolving through this organization,” Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. “He has been off to a terrific start in (AHL) Milwaukee with three one-goal games and he has one-goal game here. He really bailed us out.”
Saros was one of the five players recalled from Milwaukee to fill in for several Predators players still suffering from food poisoning. The problem has been attributed by team officials to chicken soup as part of the pregame meal in Detroit on Friday night.
“We were much less sick for this game,” Laviolette said. “But they didn’t get a chance to eat much. They couldn’t keep anything down.”
Scott Wilson scored in the opening minute of the game for Pittsburgh. Marc-Andre Fleury gave up the five goals on 23 shots through the first two periods before being replaced by Mike Condon, who stopped all seven shots he faced in the third.
“We have to become a more difficult team to play against,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. “It starts with our decision making but it’s beyond that at this point.
“We show signs when we have our game together and we are hard to play against and we show other signs where we don’t make the right decisions.”
Arvidsson tied the score on the power play at 3:08 of the first period, and Fiala beat Fleury with a wrister to start a four-goal second with his first of the season at 2:26.