NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, January 11th (All times Eastern)
Ottawa Senators (19-18-8) at Nashville Predators (19-20-6), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Ottawa Senators hope to get back in the win column on Saturday when they visit the scuffling Nashville Predators for a clash at Bridgestone Arena.
Ottawa recently posted a season-high winning streak with four consecutive victories before losing an overtime decision Wednesday night in Colorado.
Oddly enough, the Senators won four in a row with captain Jason Spezza out of the lineup before losing in his return to action on Wednesday. Paul Stastny scored the tying goal for Colorado with 2:20 left in the third period and then assisted on Tyson Barrie's game-winning tally 33 seconds into overtime as the Avalanche edged Ottawa, 4-3, at Pepsi Center.
The Avalanche jumped out to a 2-0 lead less than five minutes into the contest on goals by Jamie McGinn and Jan Hejda. However, the Senators cut the deficit to 2-1 before the end of the first period and then stormed ahead in the second period on goals from Spezza and Kyle Turris.
Clarke MacArthur also scored and added an assist in the loss, while Craig Anderson stopped 27 shots for the Sens.
Spezza, who missed the previous four games with a hip injury, wasn't pleased with his team's start or play in the third period.
"We didn't have a good start to the game, but we played a really good hockey game after that," he said. "We sat back too much and we gave them too many chances to tie the game, and in overtime anything can happen."
The loss dropped the Sens to 8-8-4 as the guest this season. The club is playing the third test of a four-game road trip tonight and will complete the swing Tuesday in Minnesota.
The Predators, meanwhile, have lost four of five games to begin January and are just 3-6-3 over their last 12 outings. The rough stretch has dropped Nashville into sixth place in the Central Division, where it is just one point ahead of the basement-dwelling Winnipeg Jets.
Nashville ended a three-game slide with Tuesday's 3-2 win over San Jose in the opener of a five-game homestand, but the Preds followed with Thursday's regulation loss against the red-hot Anaheim Ducks. Teemu Selanne's goal late in the second period was the difference in the 4-3 win for the Ducks, who have posted victories in 15 of their last 16 games.
Craig Smith had a goal and an assist for the Predators, while Marek Mazanec turned aside 24-of-28 shots in the loss.
"We were turning over too many pucks," Nashville's Shea Weber said. "They (the Ducks) can turn transition pucks into goals and they were able to do that tonight."
Nashville, which is 11-9-3 as the host this season, had won three straight in Music City before Thursday's setback. The Preds will continue their homestand on Sunday against the Minnesota Wild.
The Predators have lost three of their last four games against the Senators. Ottawa also has taken two straight in Bridgestone Arena, although the clubs haven't met in Nashville since the Sens notched a 2-1 regulation win back on Dec. 23, 2010.
01/11 10:30:28 ET