Nashville, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Craig Smith scored in the second round of the shootout to lift the Nashville Predators over the Washington Capitals, 4-3, on Sunday.
Patric Hornqvist scored twice in the first period for the Predators, who sit seven points behind the Phoenix Coyotes for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference. Shea Weber had a goal and an assist.
Carter Hutton stopped 23-of-26 shots for the victors.
"I thought we deserved the game," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "I thought 5-on-5, we were much better than they were tonight. We managed the pucks well."
Troy Brouwer scored twice for the Capitals, who are one point behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and two assists.
Jaroslav Halak turned aside 26-of-29 shots for Washington, which has lost three in a row.
"I thought we played better today than yesterday," Washington coach Adam Oates said. "There were moments where we didn't execute, but I thought that as we got into the game, we played better."
Weber's one-timer from the top of the right circle made it 3-2 Nashville at 8:23 of the third period.
Backstrom's shot from the right circle on the man advantage tied the game at 12:20.
Hutton stopped Evgeny Kuznetsov, Mikhail Grabovski and Backstrom in the shootout to secure the victory for the Predators.
Earlier, Washington took a 1-0 lead off a Nashville turnover in its own zone. Brouwer found the back of the net off a pass from Mike Green at 4:17 of the first stanza.
Nashville answered 98 seconds later. Hornqvist put home a rebound off Weber's blast from the point.
Hornqvist scored his second goal of the game at 18:30 on a breakaway.
Brouwer lit the lamp on the power play at 14:22 of the middle frame. He backhanded a loose puck in the slot past Hutton to make it 2-2.