The morning before Nashville's 4-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks, coach Barry Trotz said he wanted to be over .500 on this road trip. It didn't matter that a five-out-of-10-points trip would still be successful in the eyes of many.
Trotz got his wish, and the Predators got seven out of a possible 10 points on this swing that took them through Chicago and the West Coast. Even shorthanded and without leading scorer center David Legwand, the Predators found a way to get offense, mostly from a line with components in its early 20s.
Center Craig Smith, right wing Patric Hornqvist and left wing Colin Wilson combined for three of the four goals and eight total points. Smith slid into Legwand's slot in the middle and looked at ease with two goals and one assist.
Smith had played center a few other games earlier this season while Mike Fisher healed from first a shoulder injury, then a concussion. Wilson notched a goal and an assist, and Hornqvist had three assists. Hornqvist is the old...