Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Sports News

Predators blow 3-goal lead, top Senators in OT

Send a link to a friend  Share

[March 11, 2014]  OTTAWA — Nashville Predators defenseman Seth Jones knew where to go to ensure overtime would end Monday at Canadian Tire Centre.

Following fellow defenseman Ryan Ellis up ice on a breakaway, he assumed where the rebound would be — if there were one.

Sure enough, Jones scored on a tap-in with 1:11 left in the extra session as the Predators snapped a four game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators.

"I was just backing it up," Jones said of the Ellis breakaway. "At first I thought Ellie was moving over to create a two-on-none, but he's great at shootouts. I knew that move was coming. I knew if he missed it, it would be laying right there. It was kind of a gift there."

The win kept alive the Predators' slim playoff hopes in the West, while the Senators aided their postseason chances in the East by salvaging a point.

Center Jason Spezza's goal with 1:07 remaining in regulation capped Ottawa's third-period comeback from a 3-0 deficit. Defensemen Jared Cowen and Marc Methot had the other Ottawa goals.

Spezza also recorded two assists, giving him his second three-point game in a row. Senators winger Ales Hemsky added three assists to give him six helpers in the past two games.

"We had a tough first two periods," Hemsky said. "I think we didn't skate or forecheck hard enough, and we didn't put the pucks on the net. In the third, we got pucks on the net, we were active and we were much better.

"In the end, we battled hard back, and it shows a lot of character in the room. We could have two points, but in that situation, I'd take one at least."

Nashville's regulation goals, all scored in the second period, were off the sticks of centers Nick Spaling and Craig Smith and winger Eric Nystrom.

Senators starting goalie Craig Anderson left the game at 4:10 of the third period after he was bumped in the head by backchecking teammate Milan Michalek. Anderson stopped 26 of 29 shots before being replaced by Robin Lehner, who wound up stopping 12 of 13 shots.

"We weren't particularly strong in the second, I guess, but from that point forward, to be down 3-0 going into the third and come back and get something out of the game, you've got to be pleased with that part of it," Senators coach Paul MacLean said. "We'd like to start games the way we finished it."

[to top of second column]

The Predators, who scored three goals in their previous four games, finally provided some offensive support for goalie Pekka Rinne, who picked up his first win since returning from injury. He made 34 saves.

"They just got a lot of momentum after that first goal, especially that one line," said Rinne, referring to the Michalek-Spezza-Hemsky unit. "Any time they were on the ice, they seemed to get some chances. A few lucky bounces tonight, too.

"But it was good to get (finished) with that four-game losing streak. It's been tough. It was a big win in the overtime. But there's no denying going into the third with a three-goal lead you have to be able to maintain it and come out with a regular-time win."

NOTES: Senators D Cody Ceci left the game near the midway mark of the first period after suffering a laceration behind the right ear when hit by a slap shot off the stick of Predators D Shea Weber. Ottawa played the rest of the game with five blue-liners. ... After making his fourth consecutive start since returning from a hip injury, Predators G Pekka Rinne will get a rest Tuesday in Buffalo. Predators G Carter Hutton will get the start vs. the Sabres. ... Senators LW Clarke MacArthur missed his second game with a hand injury suffered in a fight last week in Calgary. Considered the most consistent player on the team this season, MacArthur could return to action Saturday in Montreal, coach Paul MacLean said Monday. ... The second-period goal by Predators LW Eric Nystrom marked the 100th point of his 470-game career.

[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

< Sports index

Back to top