NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Before Tuesday night, the Nashville Predators never scored more than three goals in a game this season. Then again, they had not played the Florida Panthers.
Taking advantage of a defensively challenged opponent, Nashville got its offense going, and the result was a 4-3 win over the Panthers at Bridgestone Arena.
Craig Smith swatted home a rebound at 1:24 of the third period, his first goal of the season, to snap a 2-2 tie. Patric Hornqvist then converted on the power play at 5:13, his second goal of the season.
Matt Gilroy scored his first goal off a wrist shot at 11:37 to bring Florida back into contention, but the Panthers couldn't net the equalizer and fell to 1-4-0 on the road.
The Predators (3-3-0) earned their third win in four games. They entered play Tuesday with nine goals on the season.
The Panthers (2-5-0) lost their second consecutive game. They have allowed 28 goals, the second-highest total in the league.
Despite ceding territorial and shot advantages in the first 20 minutes, Nashville potted the first goal. Shea Weber's booming slap shot from the blue line eluded Jacob Markstrom at 9:23, Weber's first goal of the year.
After outshooting the Predators 9-6 in the first period, the Panthers came out firing in the second and were rewarded at 1:16. Jonathan Huberdeau took Scott Gomez's feed and skated unobstructed through the slot, beating Pekka Rinne on the forehand side for his third goal.
Mike Fisher put Nashville back on top at 12:48 of the second, converting Smith's feed into a backhander off Markstrom's right skate and into the net for his second tally.
That lead lasted all of 42 seconds, as Marcel Goc collected a loose puck at the net's right side and shoveled a backhander past Rinne for his third goal.
Rinne made 22 saves in the victory. Markstrom finished with 26 saves.
NOTES: Nashville C David Legwand played the 900th game of his NHL career, all with the Predators. Legwand was the team's first-ever draft pick, going second overall in 1998. ... Both teams are observing anniversary seasons. This is Florida's 20th year in the league and Nashville's 15th. The Panthers spoiled the Predators' home debut in 1998 with a 1-0 decision. ... Florida's fifth-round pick in June's draft, LW Chris Clapperton, has recorded 21 points -- six goals, 15 assists -- in his first 10 games with Blainville-Boisbriand of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. ... With D Seth Jones and C Filip Forsberg seeing regular ice time, Nashville is one of only two teams playing more than one teenager nightly. Buffalo uses three.