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Predators handle Stars with 4-1 victory

Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi (59), of Switzerland, celebrates with Shea Weber (6) and Paul Gaustad (28) after Josi scored against the Dallas Stars in the second period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Jan. 20, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

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Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi (59), of Switzerland, celebrates with Shea Weber (6) and Paul Gaustad (28) after Josi scored against the Dallas Stars in the second period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Jan. 20, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Nashville's defence came up with some timely offence again.

Roman Josi had a goal and an assist to lead the Predators to a 4-1 victory over the Dallas Stars on Monday night.

Nick Spaling, Shea Weber, and Mike Fisher also scored for Nashville, which has won three of four.

Seven of Nashville's past 15 goals have been scored by its defencemen.

"We try to jump up in the play if we can and do something for the offence," Josi said. "Lately it has been clicking."

Cody Eakin scored for Dallas, losers of nine of 10.

"I'll take the blame for that," Dallas captain Jamie Benn said. "When you're a leader it's unacceptable. I think for myself, it just wasn't being smart with the puck. We talked about it, but I'm still doing it. It's something I have to clean up and the rest of the guys do too."

With Dallas on a power play, Eakin scored the game's first goal at 4:45 of the opening period with a slap shot from the lower part of the right faceoff circle.

It was the only shot to get by Nashville goaltender Carter Hutton, who made 35 saves in the game. He has won his past three starts.

Former Predator Rich Peverley assisted on the goal, his second in as many games.

The power play came as a result of a David Legwand goaltender interference penalty that negated an apparent goal off the stick of Weber at 3:06. Legwand's stick appeared to get under the right skate of Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen.

Spaling got Nashville on the board at 11:35 of the first when he picked up the rebound of Josi's shot from the left circle and beat Lehtonen for his eighth goal of the season.

"The first period, I thought we played well," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "Get a goal called off, get a penalty out of it, they turn around and score. I've been saying that our group is really resilient and what do we do? Come out after they score, we get a goal, Carter makes a really good momentum save and we come back and score shortly after that."

Weber put Nashville ahead 2-1 at 17:16 of the first with a wrist shot from the high slot through traffic that beat Lehtonen high to the stick side.

On Sunday, Weber was selected as one of Team Canada's two alternate captains for the Winter Olympics.

"There were a lot of guys in front, and I just tried to get it through," Weber said.

With less than a minute remaining in the second, Josi corralled a loose puck in the lower part of the left circle and beat Lehtonen on the stick side for his sixth goal of the season.

The Swiss Olympian has established new career highs in goals (six), assists (14), and points (20).

Going into the second intermission with a two-goal deficit made an impact on the Stars.

"I thought for a period of time in the second period we were just trying to hang around," Dallas coach Lindy Ruff said. "We missed a puck at the end of the period and instead of a 2-1 game where we can make things happen in the third, we walk into the dressing room (down) 3-1."

At 3:46 of the third, Colin Wilson carried the puck along the left side before sending a behind the back pass to Fisher, who beat Lehtonen for his 13th of the season.

Former Star Eric Nystrom had two assists in the game for Nashville, his first multi-point game as a Predator.

NOTES: Nashville is 5-20-3 when its opponent scores first. ... Josi has assists in four consecutive games. ... Dallas has scored a power-play goal in its past four games. ... Stars RW Valeri Nichushkin was a healthy scratch for the second straight game.

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