(7-4-3) Ottawa Senators vs. Nashville Predators (8-3-2)
7 P.M. | Bridgestone Arena | #OTTvsNSH
TV: FS-TN | Radio: 102.5 The Game | Pregame: 6:30 P.M.
The Nashville Predators continue their five-game homestand when they host the Ottawa Senators tonight at Bridgestone Arena. It's the second and final meeting between the two this season; the Preds defeated the Sens in a shootout on Oct. 17, courtesy of two goals in regulation from James Neal, followed by the shootout winner.
Ottawa fell 3-2 in overtime to Carolina on Saturday, while the Predators lost 4-0 to St. Louis on the same night. While the scoreboard wasn't kind to the Preds against the Blues, Nashville's 45 shots on goal and continued pressure on the St. Louis net left room for optimism.
“When we’re playing hard and fast and physical, we’re going to give ourselves a chance a lot of nights," forward Mike Fisher said. "More often than not, we’re going to win hockey games if we play like that. We have to have consistent efforts and be hard to play against, especially in our building, and we've just got to keep rolling.”
The Predators placed forward Eric Nystrom, who has missed the last three games with an upper-body injury, on Injured Reserve on Monday. The team also recalled goaltender Marek Mazanec from Milwaukee under emergency conditions. Head Coach Peter Laviolette said after Monday's practice goaltender Carter Hutton is "day-to-day."
Preds Assistant Coach Phil Housley returns behind the bench tonight after being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday in Toronto, joining the 2015 class along with Nicklas Lidstrom, Sergei Fedorov, Chris Pronger, Angela Ruggiero, Bill Hay and Peter Karmanos. Housley retired from playing with the record for most points and games played by an American-born player in NHL history – 1,232 points (338g-894a) in 1,451 games, a record now held by Mike Modano. Housley is the highest scoring American-born NHL defenseman of all-time.
One of the defensemen in Housley’s charge, Preds Captain Shea Weber, is on a three-game point streak and is just one goal away from 150 for his career and one point away from 400. Mike Ribeiro has posted an assist in each of his past two games versus the Senators (2a), while Craig Smith has scored a goal in three out of his past four games against Ottawa.
Forward James Neal (7g-3a) and defenseman Roman Josi (3g-7a) are tied for the Nashville lead in points with 10 apiece. Filip Forsberg has eight points, while Ribeiro and Weber have seven each. Every Nashville skater who has played in at least 10 games has recorded a point.
Goaltender Pekka Rinne owns a 7-2-2 record this season with a 2.16 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage. Rinne has allowed two goals or less in seven of his 11 appearances.
Mark Stone leads the Senators in points with 14 (3g-11a), followed by Kyle Turris, Erik Karlsson, Bobby Ryan and Mika Zibanejad. Turris leads the club with eight goals while Karlsson has 12 helpers on the season. Craig Anderson has seen the bulk of work in net with a 6-3-1 record, 2.72 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage.
The two teams have played eight consecutive one-goal games dating back to the 2009-10 season, with Nashville owning a 4-3-1 record in those eight games. All time, the Predators have a 9-10-1 record vs. the Senators.
Update: The Predators have recalled forward Colton Sissons from Milwaukee and placed goaltender Carter Hutton on Injured Reserve.
Predators Game Day Video:Preds Players: Pekka Rinne, Austin Watson and Seth Jones
What to Watch for: Preds Web Team Breakdown
Coach Presser: Head Coach Peter Laviolette
The Predators held an optional morning skate on Tuesday with Pekka Rinne, Ryan Ellis, Colton Sissons and others taking part. Forward Eric Nystrom (upper-body) and Carter Hutton (upper-body), who have both been placed on Injured Reserve recently, did not skate with the group this morning. Below is the team's projected lineup based on Saturday's game versus the St. Louis Blues.
| ||Forwards || |
|Filip Forsberg ||Mike Fisher ||James Neal |
|Miikka Salomaki ||Mike Ribeiro ||Craig Smith |
|Colin Wilson ||Calle Jarnkrok ||Cody Hodgson |
|Gabriel Bourque ||Paul Gaustad ||Austin Watson |
| ||Defense || |
|Roman Josi ||Shea Weber |
|Barret Jackman ||Seth Jones |
|Mattias Ekholm ||Ryan Ellis |
Goaltenders: Pekka Rinne is the expected starter in net with Marek Mazanec serving as the backup.
Extra: (D) Victor Bartley, (D) Anthony Bitetto, (F) Colton Sissons, Carter Hutton (IR), Eric Nystrom (IR)
| ||Forwards || |
|Mike Hoffman ||Kyle Turris ||Mark Stone |
|Shane Prince ||Mika Zibanejad ||Bobby Ryan |
|Milan Michalek ||Jean-Gabriel Pageau ||Alex Chiasson |
|Curtis Lazar ||Zack Smith ||Chris Neil |
| ||Defense || |
|Marc Methot ||Erik Karlsson |
|Patrick Wiercioch ||Mark Borowiecki |
|Jared Cowen ||C. Wideman/C. Ceci |
Goaltenders: Craig Anderson is expected to start in net tonight for the Senators with Andrew Hammond serving as the backup.
Injured: (F) Clarke MacArthur, (D) Chris Phillips, (F) Matt Puempel