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
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
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
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