Predators Down Senators 3-1 on Election Night
While it was Donald vs. Hillary on CNN, it was Ottawa vs. Nashville on TSN.
While the U.S. election was dominating TV screens across North America, there was still a hockey game to be played in Nashville. And if you didn’t tune into the Senators - err, the ones on the ice - then all the more reason why we always have your recap here at Silver Seven.
Craig Anderson was in net for his second straight start as his family continues to deal with Nicholle’s cancer diagnosis.
The 35-year-old Illinois native had been outstanding as of late, recording two shutouts and three wins in his last four games. And he was rather stellar again in Nashville.
In the early goings, it was deja vu for the Senators after their battle with the Sabres in which Robin Lehner came across multiple times to make unbelievable saves. Now, it was Pekka Rinne they would be seeing in their nightmares.
Bobby Ryan had loads of time and a wide open cage to fire home his fourth goal of the season, but he took one-too-many seconds to shoot and Rinne made a miraculous stop raising his left pad nearly a foot off the ground.
Bobby had all the time in the world there. Unreal save by Rinne, but still.. pic.twitter.com/85hqaJOFYx— Callum Fraser (@CallumFraser18) November 9, 2016
Ryan has one goal in his last eight games.
The second period started with a bang for the Predators. And it was an old, friendly face torturing the Senators once again.
Though he and his team had been off to a rough start to the season, P.K. Subban was on fire Tuesday night. With his patented spin-o-rama and playmaking ability giving Nashville their first goal, Subban’s impressive shot generation led to their second.
But the Preds weren’t done there.
Ryan Ellis found a bit of room at the top of the circle and wired one over the glove of Anderson. If you subscribe to the notion that Ottawa tends to give up a ton of career first and slump busters, well, there’s another notch. After 12 games, Ellis finally had his first of the 2016-17 campaign.
In the third, Anderson battled hard. Though the Senators led by a small margin in the shot category, Nashville was hammering them in shot attempts and zone time. And on top of that, the quality of opportunities were definitely in favour of the home team. The Predators would end up leading the scoring chance race 23-16.
But it wasn’t all doom and gloom.
Ryan Dzingel reminded Sens fans that he was still on pace for a career year when he won a huge battle down low with Ellis harassing him. The 24-year-old broke free of Ellis’ hold, skated around the net and found Kyle Turris in the slot for his sixth of the year.
The Senators had life. But it was quickly taken away.
Midway through the final frame, Zack Smith had a great opportunity to cut the lead to one with a partially screened Rinne and the net just 15 feet away, but the Predators netminder was equal to the task.
Mike Hoffman would send a one-timer towards the twine in the dying seconds, but again, Rinne stood tall.
When the final buzzer sounded, the Senators had been handed their second straight loss in regulation and were 7-5-0 to start the season.
Sens Hero(es): Kyle Turris and Ryan Dzingel
Now on pace for 41 goals, it feels like he and Dzingel have been the Senators’ most consistent forwards. While Turris missed a large almost 30 games last season with a leg injury and Dzingel found it a bit difficult to play a regular role with the NHL club, both have had a major influence on Ottawa’s success early on.
Sens Killer No. 1: Pekka Rinne
That’s two games in a row now that it seems a goaltender has singlehandedly taken away at least a point from the Senators. Rinne 33 of 24 shots en route to a much needed victory for a Predators team now only two points out of a playoff spot.
Sens Killer No. 2: P.K. Subban
At least this time it wasn’t at the cost of one of Mark Stone’s limbs.