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Preview: Senators at Predators

Nashville seeks more consistency; Ottawa happier with defensive play

by Robby Stanley / Correspondent

SENATORS (7-4-0) at PREDATORS (3-5-3)

8 p.m. ET; RDS2, TSN5, FS-TN, NHL.TV


Senators team scope

The Ottawa Senators have been happier with their defensive play this season and will try to continue that against the Nashville Predators in the first of a two-game road trip. Ottawa has allowed three goals in its past four games, though they're coming off a 2-1 home loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday. "I hate saying 'buying in' because I'm sure we've always tried to block shots," defenseman Marc Methot said. "It's human nature to want to help the team, I think, when you're playing in this League, but with the new system we have, I think defensively we've been able to support each other a little bit better. It's eliminating a lot of those big-time scoring chances that maybe we gave up in the past, and I think we're playing more disciplined offensively too."


Predators team scope

The Predators have points in three consecutive games but are coming off of back-to-back shootout losses to the Arizona Coyotes and Carolina Hurricanes. They recalled forward Pontus Aberg and goaltender Juuse Saros from Milwaukee of the American Hockey League and sent forward Kevin Fiala and goaltender Marek Mazanec to Milwaukee. The Predators are searching for more consistency in their game. "I know we keep repeating the same things, but playing a full 60 minutes," goaltender Pekka Rinne said. "We've been inconsistent, even inside of the game, playing a good period here and a good period there. But then we have a maybe a period off or something like that during the game and it ends up costing us. We have to get rid of that. I know it's still early on in the season, but we've got to start winning games. That's the bottom line."


Senators projected lineup

Bobby Ryan -- Derick Brassard -- Mark Stone

Mike Hoffman -- Kyle Turris -- Tom Pyatt

Zack Smith -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau -- Ryan Dzingel

Matt Puempel -- Chris Kelly -- Chris Neil

Marc Methot -- Erik Karlsson

Dion Phaneuf -- Cody Ceci

Mark Borowiecki -- Fredrik Claesson

Craig Anderson

Mike Condon

Scratched: None

Injured: Andrew Hammond (lower body), Clarke MacArthur (upper body), Chris Wideman (upper body)

Predators projected lineup

Viktor Arvidsson -- Ryan Johansen -- James Neal

Colin Wilson -- Mike Ribeiro -- Craig Smith

Filip Forsberg -- Calle Jarnkrok -- Pontus Aberg

Cody Bass -- Colton Sissons -- Austin Watson

Roman Josi -- Ryan Ellis

Mattias Ekholm -- P.K. Subban

Matt Irwin -- Yannick Weber

Pekka Rinne

Juuse Saros

Scratched: Matt Carle, Harry Zolnierczyk

Injured: Anthony Bitetto (upper body), Mike Fisher (upper body), Miikka Salomaki (upper body)


Status report

Anderson will start in goal for the Senators. … Fisher participated in an optional morning skate for the Predators but isn't expected to play. Rinne is expected to start for the Predators.


Who's hot

Hoffman has three goals in his past four games. … Irwin has three goals in his past three games, giving him the team lead among defensemen.

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