NHL Game Preview - Senators v Predators

 
NHL Hockey
Scoreboard| Stats|Standings|Teams|Players|Player News|Injuries|Transactions
2
Final 1 2 3 Tot
Ottawa 2 0 0 2
Nashville 1 2 0 3
3
5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET22:00 BRT, February 25, 2020
Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee  Attendance: 17,205

Predators look to gain ground as Senators visit

Ottawa Senators at Nashville Predators

  1. Ottawa has allowed a goal in nine of its last 10 periods, including the overtime goal allowed to Columbus on Monday. After scoring a season-high seven goals on February 18 against the Sabres, the Senators have lost three straight, getting outscored, 12-4.
  2. Nashville won via a shootout on Saturday after losing two in a row, allowing a power-play goal in all three games. The Preds have killed just 73.2 percent of penalties since January 29, fourth worst in the NHL (the Senators have the lowest percentage at 64.9 percent).
  3. Ottawa won the first meeting against Nashville this season, 5-4 in overtime, on December 19. The Predators have earned points in nine consecutive games against the Senators, their third-longest active streak against any opponent.
  4. Connor Brown scored twice against Columbus on Monday, his third career multi-goal game and first since February 19, 2017. It gave him a career-best 38 points in his first season with Ottawa. Those 38 points are tied for fifth most by skaters on a new team this season.
  5. Filip Forsberg assisted on two goals on Saturday, bringing him to 24 assists on the season, two more than his assist total in 2018-19. He has four assists in his last five games after having just one assist in his previous six games.
  6. The Predators blew a 2-0 lead against the Blue Jackets on Saturday when Columbus scored three straight goals in the second period, but they came back to win in a shootout. Nashville has been outscored by 16 goals in the second period since January 1, third worst in the NHL.

The Nashville Predators are two points on the outside looking in at the Western Conference playoffs, but a closer look at the numbers are even more positive for the Central Division team.

Having played just 61 games, Nashville (68 points) holds games in hand over the clubs it's chasing in the wild-card standings. The Calgary Flames, who occupy the top wild-card position, have 70 points in 63 games, and the Arizona Coyotes, owners of the second wild-card spot, have 70 points through 65 contests.

The Jets are next in the standings with 69 points, but Winnipeg has played 64 games.

Nashville plays game No. 62 on Tuesday night when it hosts the Ottawa Senators. The meeting will close the two-game season series.

The Senators won the first matchup, 5-4 in overtime in Ottawa on Dec. 19. They held a 4-1 lead in the third period, but Nashville's Rocco Grimaldi, Ryan Johansen and Roman Josi tied the game to send it to overtime. Anthony Duclair scored a power-play goal in the extra session to give goalie Marcus Hogberg (3-7-8 in 21 games) his first NHL win.

Hogberg stopped 33 shots in the game.

The Predators countered with goalie Juuse Saros, who made 19 saves in the overtime loss. Saros (12-10-4 in 32 games) has shouldered the bulk of the goaltending in place of starter Pekka Rinne, starting seven of the past 10 games and going 5-2-0.

At Monday's trade deadline, Nashville general manager David Poile made just one acquisition, picking up Anaheim Ducks defenseman Korbinian Holzer in exchange for defenseman Matt Irwin and a 2022 sixth-round pick. Poile also extended Grimaldi for two more seasons on a $4 million deal.

The Predators are 8-4-1 since beating the Capitals 5-4 on Jan. 29 in Washington. The Ottawa contest is the seventh in a stretch of playing eight of 10 games at home in Nashville.

"It's been a grind," forward Colton Sissons said of the Predators' push. "But we're right there in the hunt at this time of year, and honestly, it doesn't get much better than that."

The Senators played the only game on the NHL schedule on Monday, and after trading away forwards Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Vladislav Namestnikov and Tyler Ennis, they found themselves short-handed -- starting just 10 forwards -- when the puck dropped in Columbus for what turned into a 4-3 overtime loss to the Blue Jackets.

Forward Matthew Peca, acquired from the Montreal Canadiens for forward Aaron Luchuk and a seventh-round pick in June's draft, was a late arrival to the game as was call-up Rudolfs Balcers from AHL Belleville. Peca played nine minutes while Balcers didn't get on the ice.

Veteran defenseman Ron Hainsey, who was mentioned in possible trades but was not dealt, said his young teammates will have a great chance in front of them.

"Nobody's going to be complaining about ice time here tonight with 10 forwards," Hainsey said during the first intermission. "A lot of guys are going to get an opportunity to play minutes coming the last six weeks here. It's an opportunity for everybody to showcase yourself for the rest of the season."

Ottawa fell after Columbus' Emil Bemstrom scored with 25 seconds remaining in overtime. Connor Brown scored twice for the Senators, and Colin White added a goal as Ottawa dropped its third straight.

There is a good possibility Ottawa's Bobby Ryan, who last played on Nov. 16, will suit up against the Predators. The 32-year-old right winger entered the joint NHL/NHLPA player assistance program on Nov. 20 after concluding that his battle with alcohol had "no good end."

--Field Level Media

Updated February 25, 2020

Sports Data API Powered by STATS © 2020 by STATS PERFORM.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS PERFROM is strictly prohibited.