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Josi scores late in third period to lift Predators to 3-2 win over Hurricanes

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NASHVILLE, Tennessee — After playing two games in Southern California during the weekend, Nashville got off to a slow start back home against Carolina. The Predators picked up their pace in the second period and used a three-goal third period to beat the Hurricanes.

Roman Josi scored the tiebreaking goal late in the third to give Nashville a 3-2 victory Tuesday night. Ryan Ellis and Mike Fisher also scored and Pekka Rinne stopped 23 shots to help the Predators win for the third time in four games.

"The second period wasn't a gem, but it was much better than the first," Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. "We started to build some steam. I thought we had some looks and some attempts."

With the score tied at 2 late, Viktor Stalberg sent a pass from the right side to Josi in the high slot. Josi corralled the puck and fired a slap shot past Ward with 4:43 remaining to give the Predators their first lead.

Stalberg, who had two assists, has battled injuries this season, and was recently waived and then sent down to Milwaukee of the AHL. Due to injuries to several forwards, Stalberg was recalled Saturday and has posted three assists in three games since.

"Unfortunately with injuries and all that kind of stuff, I haven't really had a chance to show what I can do," Stalberg said. "This is a little bit of my chance here, so I have to find a way to get the job done and show them I deserve to get as many minutes as I can out there."

Eric Staal and Justin Faulk scored for Carolina and Cam Ward also finished with 23 saves. The Hurricanes snapped a two-game win streak.

Staal gave the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead on a milestone goal with 2:35 remaining in the first period.

PHOTO: Carolina Hurricanes left wing Jeff Skinner (53) takes the puck past Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis (4) in the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
Carolina Hurricanes left wing Jeff Skinner (53) takes the puck past Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis (4) in the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

With the Hurricanes on a power play and Staal down low, his original attempt hit traffic in the slot, but the rebound came back in his direction, and he was able to poke the puck over Rinne. It was Staal's 300th career goal and came in the same building in which Carolina made the center the second overall pick in the 2003 Entry Draft.

"I thought the game turned a little bit in the second," Carolina coach Bill Peters said. "I thought they were better than us in the second."

Ellis tied the score at 4:43 of the third. Stalberg carried the puck into the Carolina zone on the right side and left it in the right circle for the trailing Ellis, who continued down to the goal line and sent a shot that squeezed between Ward and the right post.

Carolina took the lead at 8:14 of the third on Faulk's power-play goal.

"They were forechecking pretty hard, obviously we knew they were going to come," Faulk said. "Their 'D' were pinching although that was pretty much happening all game. When we're up a goal, the other team is going to come, especially in the third."

Fisher took the rebound of Colin Wilson's shot and tied the game again just 2:15 after Faulk's goal.

"In the third, we just kept getting better," Fisher said. "We could kind of feel it coming, it's just a matter of getting pucks to the net, getting hungry. When we do that, we're successful."

Filip Forsberg had the second assist on Fisher's goal, giving him 38 points on the season, a new Nashville rookie record.

NOTES: Nashville LW James Neal missed his third consecutive game with a lower-body injury. ... Forsberg has assists in his last three games. ... After going three games without a power-play goal, the Hurricanes connected on two of three opportunities Tuesday... Nashville is 2-7-0 when trailing after two periods this season.

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Photo Gallery:
PHOTO: Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brett Bellemore (73) falls to the ice as he fights for the puck with Nashville Predators center Craig Smith (15) in the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
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