Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - The Nashville Predators are headed back to the postseason for the first time since 2012.
Filip Forsberg had one goal and two assists as the Central Division-leading Predators clinched a playoff berth with a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals on Saturday.
"The guys played hard all year and put ourselves in a position to clinch at this point in the season," said Predators coach Peter Laviolette. "Sometimes you get in [to the playoffs] and you don't even play. Somebody loses and you get in. I always think it's a little bit more meaningful when you earn the win, you earn the two points and the right to get in."
Mattias Ekholm, Mike Fisher and Mike Ribeiro also lit the lamp for Nashville, which has won four in a row. Pekka Rinne made 25 saves.
Predators defenseman Shea Weber missed his first game of the season with a lower-body injury. He is listed as day-to-day.
Troy Brouwer scored two goals for the Capitals, who hold the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Mike Green also lit the lamp.
"Everybody knows we have a group of guys who never give up, and it doesn't matter what the score is, we're still going to fight," said Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin.
Braden Holtby allowed three goals on 13 shots before being pulled late in the first period. Justin Peters made 13 saves in relief.
The Predators took a 1-0 lead at 9:02 of the first. After his hooking penalty expired, Ekholm put a backhander past Holtby.
Just over two minutes later, Fisher banged home a rebound from the bottom of the left circle.
Forsberg made it 3-0 at 14:47 when his shot from the top of the left circle got past Holtby, who was subsequently replaced by Peters.
Brouwer put the Capitals on the board 19 seconds into the second, then scored a short-handed goal at 7:32 to make it 3-2.
Ribeiro's tip-in of a Forsberg shot made it 4-2 Nashville at 11:56 of the middle stanza.
Green tallied the Capitals' third goal 20 seconds into the third period.
Each team went 0-for-3 on the power play ... Marcus Johansson had two assists for Washington ... The Predators host the Flames on Sunday, while the Capitals play at the Rangers on Sunday.