Martin Erat is finally hitting his best stride for the Nashville Predators.
Erat scored a pair of power-play goals and the Predators won their fifth straight game, 3-1 over the New Jersey Devils in Newark, N.J. last night.
Second in club history in points and goals, Erat missed seven games earlier this season because of back spasms. The early-season injury slowed his production, leaving Erat with only three goals before his first multiple-goal game of the season.
"He's caught up," Predators coach Barry Trotz said.
Erat provided all the offense Nashville would need to match a club record by earning a point in 10 straight games (8-0-2).
"We're getting the turnovers," Erat said. "We got two on the power play and that's even better. We need those special-teams goals."
Goalie Anders Lindback lost his bid for a third shutout in four games when Devils rookie Mattias Tedenby connected on the power play at 7 minutes, 6 seconds of the third period.
In other games:
* At Sunrise, Fla., Marty Reasoner scored twice in the first period to lead the Florida Panthers to a 6-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres.
* At Chicago, Tomas Kopecky scored two goals and the injury-depleted Blackhawks beat the Detroit Red Wings, 4-1, to end a three-game losing streak.
* At Denver, Matt Duchene's goal at 2:36 of overtime gave the Colorado Avalanche a 6-5 win over the Ottawa Senators.
* The Capitals have signed defenseman John Erskine to a 2-year contract extension worth $3 million.