Fiala, Arvidsson score 2 each as Predators beat Penguins 5-1
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 had 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.
''I was happy for Kevin,'' Laviolette said. ''He has been working hard, but you aren't seeing it on paper. He built a lot of confidence playing on one of our top lines. He was a big contributor.''
Jarnkrok's wrister made it 3-1 just past midway through the period with his first point of the season, and Fiala got his second goal about a minute later for his first career multi-goal game.
Arvidsson's second of the game and third of the season, into the top right corner of the net, capped the scoring with 36 second left in the second.
It only took 52 seconds for Saros to give up his first goal in his second NHL start. Wilson skated in to beat Saros to his glove side with a wrist shot.
''I just tried to start the game all over again after that shot,'' Saros said. ''You can't keep thinking about those goals. You have to continue to keep playing.
''It was great to get my first NHL victory. It was an amazing thing. It was even better to get it against Pittsburgh since Fleury was one of my early idols. I have spent a lot of time watching his highlights.''
Saros credited his teammates with making his job a little easier by keeping the area in front of the net clear.
''I give a lot of credit to the guys in front of me particularly on rebounds,'' Saros said. ''They kept guys out of the front of the net so I could see the puck well. It was a lot of fun to play behind those guys.''
Pekka Rinne, Mike Fisher, Craig Smith and Colton Sissons were all sidelined dealing by the illness. Along with Saros, the others called up were forwards Frederick Gaudreau, Trevor Smith, Austin Watson and Harry Zolnierczyk.
NOTES: Nashville's Yannick Weber and Saros each earned their first assists of the season. … The five goals were the most allowed by Fleury in a game this season. … Nashville placed Cody Bass on injured reserve with an upper-body injury. … Nashville set a franchise record with the power-play goal, the ninth of the season in the first five games, beating the previous record of seven set in 2005-06 and 2002-03. … Pittsburgh's Matt Cullen, who played two seasons for the Predators, became the 59th player in NHL history to play in 1,300 games. … Gaudreau made his NHL debut for Nashville.
Penguins: Host Florida on Tuesday night.
Predators: At Anaheim on Wednesday night.