NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, March 10th (All times Eastern)
Nashville Predators (26-28-10) at Ottawa Senators (28-25-11), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Ottawa Senators will try to record consecutive wins for the first time since early February when they welcome the sliding Nashville Predators for Monday's clash at Canadian Tire Centre.
The Senators ended a two-game slide by capping a four-game road trip with Saturday's 5-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets. It was only the second win in the last six games for Ottawa, which last posted consecutive victories when it beat St. Louis and Buffalo on Feb. 4 and 6, respectively.
Ottawa has made the playoffs in each of the past two seasons and is trying desperately to get into the Eastern Conference postseason picture for 2014. The Sens are currently four points out of a playoff spot in the East.
Eric Gryba, Kyle Turris and Mike Hoffman tallied in the second period for Ottawa, which was able to hold on for Saturday's win despite a ferocious attack by the Jets over the closing 20 minutes.
Milan Michalek added a goal and two assists for the Senators, who managed a split of their four-game Canadian road swing after dropping the previous two.
Ales Hemsky picked up three helpers and Jared Cowen also tallied to back a 46- save effort from Craig Anderson. The Senators goaltender stopped all 22 shots he faced in the third period when the Jets outshot Ottawa by a 22-7 margin.
"No lead is safe until the game is over and that was the case tonight," said Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean. "Our goaltender really held the fort for us there at the end."
The Senators are playing four of their next five games at home, but the club is just 13-12-5 in Canada's capital city this season.
Ottawa has won three straight over the Predators and has won four of the last five meetings in this series. Nashville also has dropped four of its past six road games in this matchup and the club enters Monday with an 11-12-6 away record this season.
Nashville recently went 1-5-0 on a six-game homestand and lost the final four tests of that residency. The Predators have scored a total of three goals during the current four-game slide and they were shut out 1-0 by Columbus on Saturday.
The Predators fired 28 shots at Sergei Bobrovsky on Saturday, but the Blue Jackets netminder turned aside every one. Artem Anisimov tallied the game's lone goal with 6:25 left in the third period.
Anisimov entered the neutral zone on the rush and dropped a pass back to James Wisniewski. The defenseman quickly pushed the puck back up to Anisimov, who rushed in on net with a power move and backhanded a shot past Nashville netminder Pekka Rinne.
Rinne turned aside 35 shots, but received no offensive support as the Predators lost for the seventh time in their last eight contests.
"We played strong as a team, we never quit," said Rinne. "It's a good sign, but obviously right now the only thing we care about is getting points."
Nashville is kicking off a three-game road trip tonight and will play seven of its next eight tilts away from Music City.
The Predators are 10 points out of a postseason spot in the West and could be headed for a second straight season out of the playoffs. Prior to last season, Nashville had made the postseason tournament in three straight and six of the previous seven years.
03/10 10:46:14 ET