Viktor Arvidsson, Nick Bonino, Rocco Grimaldi, and Juuse Saros led Nashville to a 7-2 victory over the Washington Capitals. Arvidsson netted his second career hat trick, and the Predators move to 28-16-4 with 60 points.

Nashville Key Stats

Goals

Viktor Arvidsson (3), Nick Bonino (2), Rocco Grimaldi, Calle Jarnkrok

Assists

Mattias Ekholm (2), Ryan Johansen (2), P.K. Subban, Filip Forsberg, Colton Sissons, Austin Watson, Kevin Fiala, Ryan Hartman

Washington Key Stats

Goals

Nicklas Backstrom, T.J. Oshie

Assists

Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kunestov, Jakub Vrana, John Carlson

What Happened

You could tell it was going to be Nashville’s game right from the start. Viktor Arvidsson recorded his first of many shots within the first minute of play, and eventually began the scoring extravaganza. After receiving the stretch pass from Mattias Ekholm, he zipped right to the net and wristted home his fifteenth goal of the year at 3:45. Nick Bonino padded the lead at 10:32 after Colton Sissons and him created two on one.

Nashville destroyed Phoenix Copley and any sort of chance the Capitals had of winning in the second period. Arvidsson tipped his sixteenth goal home at 2:20, and despite the response from Nicklas Backstrom at 7:07, Nashville kept hounding away. Arvidsson fooled Copley a third time on a breakaway chance at 12:08. Hats poured onto the ice, and the “RV” chant reigned down from the rafters.

What Happened (Part Two)

Rocco “Rocket Man” Grimaldi scored a highlight-reel goal at 14:57. He stepped up to a Washington defender and Copley, spun and backhanded the puck into the net. At 19:54, Bonino tipped another one past Copley, and the third period began with a 6-1 Nashville lead.

To throw salt in the wound, Calle Jarnkrok blasted one at 7:55 in the third period. T.J. Oshie solved Saros at 16:11, but it didn’t make any sort of difference. Nashville purely and thoroughly decimated Washington, and rightfully walked away with two points.

Looking Forward

Viktor Arvidsson has been absolute dynamite since his return from the IR. He’s netted nine goals in the last eleven games and racked up 10 points total. He’s a hungry player who’s tearing through defenses right now and he needs to keep going.

Filip Forsberg has been just as spectacular as Arvidsson, as he’s scored five points in the five games he’s been back, including four goals. It appears the two Swedish forwards have taken it upon themselves to bolster the entire team’s production.

Ryan Hartman, Austin Watson, and Calle Jarnkrok, three players who are in dire need of a boost, each tallied one against Washington. Hopefully, they can start generating more offense and get hot again.

Rocco “Rocket Man” Grimaldi just might have scored THE goal of the year. With his fourth goal of the season, he has surpassed his previously held season high of three goals. When Kyle Turris comes back, it would be surprising to see him sent down to Milwaukee.

Juuse Saros was incredible against the Capitals. In his last six appearances, he’s faced 147 and turned away 141 of them. Juice has been very good as of late, and it’s come at a good time- Pekka Rinne needs a break.

Two things were overlooked preceding last night’s game- Nick Bonino’s two goals, and the defensive pairing of P.K. Subban and Roman Josi. Bonino cashed in his tenth and eleventh goals- he was threatening for his twelfth as well. Josi and Subban were extremely productive together, so that might become more common.

Nashville hosts the Winnipeg Jets this Thursday. This game will either tie the Central Division, or put Winnipeg at a comfortable four point lead.

Also, RV RV RV RV RV RV RV RV RV RV RV!

Also part two, Rocket Man’s Spin-O-Rama goal made it to #1 on Sportscenter’s Top Ten. What an incredible goal.

-Jack Woods covers the Nashville Predators and the Central Division for FullPressCoverage.com and PenaltyBoxRadio.com. You can follow Jack on Twitter at @jack_woods15 and the Full Press Predators at @FPC_Predators

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