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game recap

James Neal extends streak, Predators defeat Senators

Forward scores in sixth straight to tie Nashville record

by Chris Stevenson / NHL.com Correspondent

OTTAWA -- Pekka Rinne made 30 saves and James Neal scored in his sixth straight game to help the Nashville Predators defeat the Ottawa Senators 5-1 at Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday.

Colton Sissons, Ryan Ellis and Mike Ribeiro also scored, and rookie Pontus Aberg got his first NHL goal for the Predators (7-6-3). Neal tied a Nashville record by extending his goal streak.

Mike Condon made 35 saves and Derick Brassard scored his first goal in the past 16 games for the Senators (10-6-1). Brassard's goal ended a 0-for-15 slump for Ottawa on the power play.

Rinne played after missing a 6-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday with a lower-body injury.

"I thought we managed the game really well on the road," said Rinne, who has given up three goals in his past four games with a save percentage of .974. "We had a lot of chances tonight. It feels good when you put five goals on the board. I think the third period being our best period, that's something we can get confidence moving forward."

"I thought right from the get-go we played a really good game," Predators captain Mike Fisher said. "We've struggled on the road. We haven't had efforts like that. We kind of knew coming in we had to start getting wins and playing smart. It felt like we just knew we were going to win that one the whole way. The third was really good. We didn't give them anything, really, and Pekka, again, he's been unbelievable, so good back there for us."

 

WATCH: All Predators vs. Senators highlights

 

The Predators won their second game on the road this season (2-5-2).

Sissons gave the Predators a 1-0 lead when he took a pass behind Senators defenseman Marc Methot at the edge of the crease and tipped the puck into the net on Condon's stick side at 2:14 of the first period.

Brassard tied it on the power play with a wrist shot from the right-wing circle at 8:36. Ellis made it 2-1 at 15:34 of the first when he scored on a one-timer from the top of the right-wing circle.

 

Goal of the game

Neal kept his goal streak going as he finished off a cross-ice pass from Predators defenseman P.K. Subban who found Neal in the right-wing circle. Neal settled the puck and then scored with a shot under the crossbar.

Video: NSH@OTT: Neal extends scoring streak from sharp angle

 

Save of the game

With the Senators caught on a line change and a quick up at 13:16 of the second period, Predators forward Ryan Johansen broke in on the right wing. Condon stopped his shot, Johansen's rebound attempt and another by Neal.

Video: NSH@OTT: Condon denies Johansen, Neal with pad stops

 

Highlight of the game

Aberg skated in on the left wing and scored his first NHL goal with a shot between Condon's pads at 17:10 of the second period to make it 3-1. Aberg was a healthy scratch the past two games for Nashville.

Video: NSH@OTT: Aberg fires home first NHL goal

 

Unsung moment of the game

At 10:42 of the second period, Subban came out from behind his own net and attempted a pass. His stick broke and the puck went to Senators forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau in the slot. Subban spun around and checked Pageau, who lost the puck as both players fell to the ice.

 

They said it

"We've got to bottle that game and bring that same game to St. Louis because they're a great team." -- Predators defenseman P.K. Subban

 

"He's played well all year. The beginning of the year when he didn't have the goals, he was like one of the top five guys in shots on net. We kind of got hit with that sickness and bug and it knocked the guys back for a couple of games. Even if they were in the lineup, they were pretty sick for two or three days. He was part of that and I think he got set back a little bit by that. After two or three games, getting his feet back under him, he's jumped right back into it. He's putting the puck at the net all the time. He's working for opportunities." -- Predators coach Peter Laviolette on forward James Neal

 

"It's not how we want to play, catching up, because we're struggling to score. So giving up a lead and chasing every game, it's tough to do." -- Forward Kyle Turris after the Senators gave up the first goal for the 12th time in 17 games

 

Need to know

Senators forward Bobby Ryan sustained an upper-body injury in the first period and did not return. Asked if Ryan could play Saturday against the Florida Panthers, Boucher said, "We'll see." … Predators forward Cody Bass was a scratch for the second time this season. … Senators goaltender Craig Anderson was expected to back up Condon, but was given the night off. Andrew Hammond dressed as the backup. ... Neal tied the goal-streak record held by four other Predators (Filip Forsberg, Patric Hornqvist, Alexander Radulov, J-P Dumont).

Video: NSH@OTT: Senators celebrate Fisher's 1,000th game

 

What's next

Predators: At the St. Louis Blues on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; FS-MW, FS-TN, NHL.TV)

Senators: Home against the Florida Panthers on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; SN1, TVA Sports 2, FS-F, NHL.TV)

Video: Predators cruise past Senators, 5-1

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