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Predators Rally Past Caps

Good thing for the Nashville Predators that Scott Walker decided to shoot instead of pass.

Walker originally planned to pass the puck when entering the Washington zone late in Tuesday night's game. But he changed up, cut to the middle and scored to give the Predators a 3-2 victory over the Capitals.

Walker fired a shot that Washington goalie Rick Tabaracci stopped. But Walker poked the rebound into the net as the Predators completed a two-game season sweep of the Capitals.

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  • "You have to just bear down and wait for the breaks," Walker said. "I got one break in the third period and got a goal."

    Walker said he decided to shoot when he saw the Washington defenders back off a little, giving him some room to go the net.

    "It's miscommunication up the ice," Washington coach Ron Wilson said. "We made a good play and two forwards let a (man go around) and they ended up on a 3-on-2. Where we might have had a 3-on-1, they end up on a 3-on-2. Two veteran defensemen didn't do a very good job on it."

    Walker's unassisted goal capped a Nashville comeback from a 2-1 deficit earlier in the period and stretched the Capitals' losing streak to four. Tom Fitzgerald had tied the game 8:47 into the period before Walker's score.

    Nashville coach Barry Trotz said even though it was a sloppy game, he liked how the Predators kept working.

    "We want to take steps forward," Trotz said. "We've been embarrassed in only a few games. We've got to go right to the end."

    The Washington offense continued to struggle. The Capitals now have scored two goals or less in nine of their last 10 games.

    Nashville took a 1-0 lead 2:34 into the game when Rob Valicevic scored his first career goal, beating Tabaracci with a shot from between the circles. The Capitals had failed on at least three chances to clear the puck just before the goal.

    The Predators just missed a chance o extend the lead at the eight-minute mark. Greg Johnson grabbed a loose puck at center ice while coming out of the penalty box, but Tabaracci stopped his breakaway shot.

    Washington tied it later in the period when Sergei Gonchar fired a shot past Nashville goalie Tomas Vokoun from the top of the left circle. Jeff Toms made a slick drop pass to Gonchar, who put a high shot in at 17:57.

    Herr scored 5:27 into the third period to break the tie. Ken Klee fired a slap shot from the blue line that Vokoun stopped, but Herr poked it between his legs and into the net.

    Fitzgerald tied it for Nashville at 8:47 on a frightening play. Sebastien Bordeleau blasted a slap shot that appeared to catch Tabaracci in the throat and lifted the Washington goalie a few feet off the ground.

    Fitzgerald then flipped the rebound over the prone Washington goalie to tie the game at two. Tabaracci was down for several minutes but remained in the game.

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