NASHVILLE, Tennessee — A return to Nashville for Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz was nice, but winning was even better.
Marcus Johansson had a goal and two assists to lead the Capitals over the Predators 5-3 on Tuesday night.
Trotz was the first coach of the Predators and spent 15 years behind the Nashville bench. In his second season at the helm in Washington, he earned his first win over Nashville.
"Just getting a win back in this building, it's good," Trotz said. "More importantly, it's not necessarily the Preds, it's just in this building. I've got so many good memories and I'm going to add this one to it."
Tom Wilson and Justin Williams each had a goal and an assist, and Jason Chimera and Alex Ovechkin also scored. Braden Holtby made 23 saves for the Capitals, winners of four straight.
Filip Forsberg scored twice and Roman Josi had a goal for Nashville. The Predators have lost three of four since the All-Star break.
Chimera scored the game's first goal at 12:02 of the opening period.
Predators captain Shea Weber had the puck inside the Nashville blue line, but his pass attempt was intercepted by Wilson. He carried the puck into the right faceoff circle and sent a pass in front to Chimera, who tipped it by goalie Pekka Rinne.
"We made a couple of bad mistakes," Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. "You can't leave opportunities that are coming across the crease, uncovered men. We need to do a better job in that area. There weren't a lot of them, but the ones that did happen, we need to do a better job."
Washington is 27-1-0 when scoring first this season.
The Predators carried the majority of the play in the first, outshooting the Capitals 14-6, but Holtby was sharp throughout.
He denied Cody Bass' backhand attempt from in close at 2:11 and then made back-to-back saves on Weber and Ryan Johansen on a power play 2 minutes later. Holtby stopped Weber's slap shot from the left point, then stuck his leg out and kicked away Johansen's rebound attempt at what appeared to be an open net.
"When you see Weber winding up, you are usually keying in on your reflexes pretty big," Holtby said. "He kind of knuckled it, kind of flubbed it and it sunk and hit my pants and gave up a rebound I usually wouldn't. After that, you are just kind of in scramble mode and luckily got a pad on it."
Wilson made it 2-0 at 4:55 of the second.
Following another Nashville turnover, Johansson carried the puck on the right side and sent a cross-ice pass toward Wilson, who beat Rinne with a one-timer from inside the left circle.
Johansson returned to the Washington lineup after missing four games with an upper-body injury.
"You have to take advantage if you are going to win games," Johansson said. "As it came down to the end, all of a sudden it was 4-3 and those goals mean a lot. It's good to be back and there's nothing better than coming back and being a part of winning a game."
Rinne finished with 18 saves.
Forsberg halved the Washington lead at 14:42 of the second with a wrist shot from the left faceoff dot that beat Holtby high to the far side.
Nashville acquired Forsberg in a 2012 trade-deadline deal with the Capitals in exchange for longtime Predator Martin Erat and forward Michael Latta.
Washington regained a two-goal lead in the third on Williams' 17th goal when Evgeny Kuznetsov sent a pass from the left dot to Williams in the low slot for the tap-in.
Kuznetsov has assists in three consecutive games.
Johansson scored at 8:03 of the third and Josi answered at 9:49.
Forsberg drew Nashville within one at the 12-minute mark when he scored his second of the night.
"I think we were doing a great job after their fourth goal," Forsberg said. "Before that, in the third period, we weren't as desperate as we have to be. We were kind of shooting ourselves in the foot, with letting two goals in."
Ovechkin scored an empty-net goal on the power play with a minute remaining to seal it.
NOTES: Washington LW Andre Burakovsky had an assist, extending his point streak to eight games. ... Kuznetsov's assist was his 100th NHL point. ... Forsberg has three goals and two assists in his last two games against his former team.