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Nashville Predators vs. Ottawa Senators @NHLdotcom
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GAME: Nashville Predators (33-24-8-2) at Ottawa Senators (35-18-9-5).

TIME: Saturday, 7 p.m. EST.

The Ottawa Senators will have to regroup in a hurry if they want to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season.

After an ugly, brawl-filled loss in Philadelphia, the Senators return to the Corel Centre to host the Nashville Predators.

Friday's 5-3 loss to the Flyers featured five consecutive brawls in the final two minutes and an NHL-record 419 penalty minutes. Officials needed about 90 minutes after the game ended to sort the penalties. The previous record for penalty minutes was 406 by the Minnesota North Stars and Boston Bruins in 1981. The Flyers had 213 minutes and Ottawa had 206.

Chris Neil, Zdeno Chara and Peter Bondra scored for Ottawa, which fell four points behind Philadelphia and Tampa Bay for the best record in the Eastern Conference.

The normally stingy Senators have allowed nine goals in the past two games, and 10 power-play goals in their last eight - not a recipe for success, according to Ottawa defenseman Wade Redden.

"We've having a tough time (lately)," Redden said. "We have to realize that it's not going to get any easier for us the rest of the way."

Things don't figure to get easier against Nashville, which is coming off a franchise-best offensive outburst. The Predators beat the league-worst Pittsburgh Penguins 9-4 on Thursday, setting a team record for goals in a game. Nashville broke the previous mark, established in an 8-2 victory over Phoenix on Feb. 21.

Thursday's game also marked the second time in nine games since acquiring forward Steve Sullivan from Chicago that the Predators scored at least five power-play goals.

Sullivan had a goal and two assists, giving him seven goals and nine assists in nine games with Nashville. The Predators are 6-2-1 since acquiring Sullivan, scoring 17 power-play goals during that stretch.

Nashville added even more offense Friday, acquiring forward Sergei Zholtok from Minnesota in a deal that also brought defenseman Brad Bombardir to the Predators for two picks in this year's draft.

Zholtok led the Wild in goals (13) and was third in scoring (29 points) in 59 games this season. For his career, he has 110 goals and 146 assists in 577 games.

STANDINGS: Predators - 76 points, 2nd place, 13 PB, Central Division. Senators - 84 points, 2nd place (tied), 2 PB, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Predators - Sullivan, 22 goals, 37 assists and 59 points; Jordin Tootoo, 127 PIM. Senators - Marian Hossa, 29 goals, 41 assists and 70 points; Chris Neil, 148 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 3):

GOALTENDERS: Predators - Tomas Vokoun (30-22-7, 3 SO, 2.55 GAA); Chris Mason (3-4-1, 1, 2.28). Senators - Patrick Lalime (22-18-7, 3, 2.26); Martin Prusek (12-4-2, 3, 1.86).

SEASON SERIES: Tied, 1-1-0.

LAST MEETING: Feb. 22, 2003; Senators, 4-0. At Ottawa, Lalime made 18 saves for his NHL-leading eighth shutout and Magnus Arvedson scored two goals for Ottawa, which outshot the Predators 29-18 overall.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Predators - 12-17-2-1 on the road; Senators - 21-7-5-4 at home.

Associated Press
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