Originally posted on Fox Sports Tennessee  |  Last updated 11/11/11
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 oldest player on that line at age 24. "Our guys want to get pucks to the net and make plays," Smith said. "You want to make the small plays here and there. I think we're all fairly good at that, especially (Hornqvist) and (Wilson). I was just trying to get open tonight and they were making some really good plays." Nashville returns to Nashville for a five-game homestand, beginning Saturday against Montreal, in good position to pick up more points in friendlier confines. NOTES, QUOTES LW Colin Wilson stepped into the Anaheim visitors' locker room and hardly noticed it was renovated. That's because Wilson didn't play in the Predators' first-round series against the Ducks. He played in all 82 games but was a healthy scratch by coach Barry Trotz. Wilson had his best game of the season Wednesday with a goal and an assist. "I feel like I've come a long way," Wilson said. "It has been six months. It keeps me honest because I realize if I have a bad game tonight, I could go right back to being a healthy scratch." It's considered the most exciting play in hockey, and the Predators have had two penalty shot chances already this season. Martin Erat buried his opportunity with 7:12 remaining in the second period. The play came as Erat skated down the ice on a breakaway and was harassed by Ducks D Lubomir Visnovski. "On the (penalty shot) I saw (goaltender Jonas Hiller) dropped the glove and I tried to go high glove," Erat said. C Craig Smith took over the lead in the rookie scoring race with a two-goal, one-assist performance. Smith has shifted back and forth between center and wing. But with C David Legwand out with an upper body injury, he was put on a line with LW Colin Wilson and RW Patric Hornqvist. "(Smith), he likes to shoot the puck, but at the same time, he gets open in front. I think it's a great combination," Wilson said. "We all went hard on the forecheck and developed some turnovers, too." ROSTER REPORT RW Patric Hornqvist's goal-scoring streak was snapped at six games. It is tied for a Nashville record, along with LW J.P. Dumont and LW Alex Radulov. D Shea Weber was plus-1. He has been plus in each of his last seven games. Over that span he is plus-10. G Pekka Rinne kept his winning streak alive. Rinne hasn't lost since he was given a seven-year, 49 million contract extension on Nov. 3. Rinne's last regulation loss came against San Jose on Oct. 25. MEDICAL WATCH C Nick Spaling (lower body) is out for an indefinite period of time. C David Legwand (upper body) is out for an indefinite period of time. QUOTE TO NOTE "Seven out of 10 points, especially when we have a number of people hurt and out. Guys just dug in. That's sort of our DNA. It was a good trip." -- Nashville coach Barry Trotz after the victory at Anaheim.
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