NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Nashville Predators are glad captain Shea Weber managed to play with an upper body injury that sent him out of their previous game.
Weber scored two goals, including the game-winner at 1:29 of overtime, and the Predators rallied late in beating the New Jersey Devils 3-2 on Friday night.
"It's going to take a lot to keep him out of a hockey game," Predators forward David Legwand said of the big defenseman. "He loves playing the game and shows that over the course of his career. He was big for us tonight. Obviously on the first one and in overtime, two huge goals."
Weber didn't practice Thursday and was a game-time decision after leaving Tuesday night's win in Winnipeg early in the third period. Nashville coach Barry Trotz said Weber deciding to play made all the difference.
"He's one of the best at his position plain and simple," Trotz said. "He's our building block, and he's a difference maker in this business. There aren't too many guys at his level."
Legwand scored with 10.8 seconds remaining in regulation with goalie Carter Hutton on the bench to force the extra period.
The puck squirted out to Legwand, who scored on a slap shot from the right circle. Hutton, who struggled giving up the two goals to New Jersey, stopped Michael Ryder on a breakaway 80 seconds into overtime to keep the game tied.
"It is good to get the win obviously," Weber said. "It took us 60 minutes to get it tied up, but we found a way. We battled hard and got it tied up. Obviously, Hutton made a huge save in overtime and gave us a chance to win."
Then Colin Wilson took the puck back the other way and drove toward the net before dropping the puck off to Weber, who beat Cory Schneider with a wrister from the left circle.
"We played four games in six nights," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "We got an unfortunate bounce at the end, and we'll take the point and move on."
Patrik Elias scored a goal and had an assist, and Jaromir Jagr had a goal for the Devils. Travis Zajac had two assists.