Brandon Carlo to the rebound for a breakaway, getting Halak with a backhand 4:15 into the third.Hisc

Devante Smith-Pelly Jersey
, Tenn. (AP) Filip Forsberg dropped his
broken stick and raced to the bench for another just as the puck slid around the
boards near his skates. He grabbed a new stick from the Predators‘ equipment
manager, fought off Jets defenseman Ben Chiarot and kept the puck onside.Then he
skated toward Connor Hellebuyck, holding off Chiarot as he scored, then slid
into the net .The man also known as Scoresberg or Filthy Fil then helped send
the Western Conference semifinal back to Nashville for a deciding Game 7 with
another highlight-reel worthy goal. Viktor Arvidsson found Forsberg and the
Swede slipped the puck through his legs, a movement that prompted Hellebuyck to
slide away from the post to cover the empty net to his left.Forsberg immediately
flipped the puck through the sliver of an opening, causing a GIF-frenzy on
social media.With the postseason that Forsberg is having, Nashville goaltender
Pekka Rinne can’t settle on the best goal he’s seen from his teammate.”I feel
like these two series that already at least three or four really unbelievable
goals, and it’s hard to pick,” Rinne said. ”I’m just a fan when I watch him
play.”Forsberg led the Predators with 64 points helping Nashville win the
franchise’s first Presidents’ Trophy during the regular season. He now is the
franchise’s all-time leading scorer in the playoffs with 15 points this
postseason, bringing Nashville back for Game 7 on Thursday night against
Winnipeg as the Predators seek a second straight berth in the West final. The
winner of this series will host the Vegas Golden Knights for the first two
games.With Pittsburgh and Boston eliminated, Forsberg now is tied with
Washington’s Alex Ovechkin for the most points scored this postseason with
15 ,
and the Predators forward has a plus-4 rating that is a point ahead of Ovechkin
with both having played 12 games each.Forsberg looks just comfortable passing
the puck through his own legs as those of a defenseman he’s undressing on his
way to another goal or even just juggling the puck with his stick to give
teammates time to get back onside. The 23-year-old forward from Ostervala,
Sweden, said his stick skills are the result of lots of hard work.”Natural is
definitely not the word for it, but it just takes a lot of practice, takes a lot
of you doing,” Forsberg said. ”Just try to maybe do it in practice and stuff
like that and once in a while you get time and space for it in a game, you try
to pull it off.”Some scorers tap into their natural talent, blessed with quick
hands and eyes along with soft hands. Others spend hours and hours developing
muscle memory. Forsberg counts himself among those who made themselves into
scorers. He started as a young child using a shooting ramp his father built for
Forsberg and his brother and lots of road hockey.”I think that’s where it all
started,” Forsberg said.His skills grew as he led his junior team with 40 points
in 2010-11 and helped Sweden win silver at the 2011 World Under-18 Championship.
Forsberg was captain when Sweden won both the World Under-18 and World Junior
championships in 2012.The Washington Capitals made Forsberg their first-round
pick at No. 11 overall in 2012. He never played a game for the Capitals before
being traded April 3, 2013, to Nashville in exchange for Martin Erat and Martin
Latta.The Predators wasted no time getting Forsberg on the ice Alex
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, playing him five games that same season.
Forsberg spent only 13 games with Nashville in 2013-14, and he has been a
fixture in the lineup since 2014-15. They signed him to a six-year, $36 million
contract in June 2016.Center Nick Bonino won two Stanley Cups with Sidney Crosby
and Evgeni Malkin in Pittsburgh, and he’s gotten to watch Forsberg up close this
season after signing as a free agent.”He’s very skilled,” Bonino said. ”He’s one
of the most skilled sticks I’ve ever seen. Practice is fun with him. Games are
fun with him.”Forward Colton Sissons sees Forsberg as having a gift that helps
him see how best to move the puck instantly to execute in high-pressure moments.
Sissons also is pretty sure of what might happen if he tried to mimic some of
Forsberg’s scoring moves.”I might break my ankle or something bad might happen,”
Sissons said. ”I’d probably just jam it in the near post, but I’ll leave the
through the legs stuff to Fil and some of those guys.”— BOSTON (AP) — Mackenzie
Blackwood hardly looked like a rookie in net for New Jersey.Blackwood stopped 40
shots for his first NHL victory, Blake Coleman scored twice and the Devils beat
the Boston Bruins 5-2 on Thursday night.Blackwood had plenty of help, even with
leading scorer Taylor Hall out of the lineup, as the Devils took the lead 25
seconds into the game on a goal by Damon Severson.“The team played awesome for
me — really made my job a lot easier,” said Blackwood ,
who was making his second career start and playing in his fourth NHL game.Kyle
Palmieri added his team-high 19th goal for the Devils, who won on the road for
just the fourth time this season.Nico Hirschier had a goal and an assist and
Andy Greene had a pair of assists as New Jersey got its first win in Boston in
five years.“We did a good job for the most part playing with the lead and I
thought we were pretty consistent throughout the game,” Devils coach John Hynes
said. “It was nice to see Blackwood get his first win.”Hynes said Blackwood,
who’s 6-foot-4, covers a lot of area and has shown tremendous composure in his
limited duty.“Now you have a big mountain of a man who’s in the net and has
great athleticism but also plays with poise and is in good position. That’s
tough to beat,” Hynes said.Patrice Bergeron and Chris Wagner scored for Boston,
and Jaroslav Halak had 28 saves.Severson’s early goal on a wrist shot from the
right circle gave Blackwood a lead the Devils never relinquished.“Obviously we
didn’t want to start the way we started, giving up a goal in the first minute of
the game,” Halak said. “It’s always hard to keep the focus after that.”Hall, who
has 11 goals and 26 assists, was out with a lower-body injury and did not make
the trip. The Devils were outshot 42-33 but adjusted to his absence.The Bruins
had their biggest advantage in the second period with 19 shots to New Jersey’s
nine Cody
Eakin Jersey
, but only Wagner got one past Blackwood — a one-timer
15:07 into the period to pull Boston within 2-1.“When they had some pushes, he
made some big saves so it was great to see,” Hynes said.Coleman got the two-goal
lead back for the Devils after he blocked a slap shot by Torey Krug at the blue
line and outraced Brandon Carlo to the rebound for a breakaway, getting Halak
with a backhand 4:15 into the third.Hischier scored 12:43 into the third and
Coleman scored into an empty net with 46 seconds remaining.“We just need to
learn from this one,” Halak said. “We kind of kept chasing the game and when
you’re doing that, it’s usually losing hockey.”The Devils went up 2-0 with 4:35
left in the first on a power-play goal by Palmieri, whose slap shot from the
right point bounced off Halak and hit Carlo, then bounced back over Halak into
the net.NOTES: Blackwood was called up from AHL Binghamton on Dec. 17 after
starter Cory Schneider went on injured reserve with an abdominal strain. …
Boston captain Zdeno Chara returned after missing 19 games with an MCL injury in
his left knee. … D Kevan Miller returned after 13 games with cartilage injury to
his larynx suffered Nov. 26 in Toronto. … LW Jake DeBrusk had been out with a
concussion and played for the first time since Dec. 6.UP NEXTDevils: Host the
Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday.Bruins: Visit the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday
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