Preview #34: Nashville Hosts Ottawa In Last Game Before Christmas Break

By Amanda DiPaolo

Season Records

Ottawa Senators 14-17-4
Nashville Predators 17-10-6

OTTAWA - OCTOBER 22: Mike Fisher #12 of the Ottawa Senators takes the puck hard to the net with Ryan Suter #20 and Pekka Rinne #35 of the Nashville Predators trying to defend their crease during a game at Scotiabank Place on October 22, 2009 in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo by Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)
Mike Fisher and his Ottawa Senators come to town to face Pekka Rinne in his first game back since being injured at the start of the month (Photo:

The Nashville Predators hope to go into the two-day Christmas break on a winning note when they host the Ottawa Senators Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena. Last night, the Predators lost to Chicago 4-1 at the United Center. Nashville returns home, where they’ve won five of six, and have collected points in 13 of 15 games going 8-2-5.

Last Saturday’s loss to the Kings was only the second regulation loss on home ice for the Predators. Prior to the loss, Nashville was on a scoring streak, posting a minimum of three goals in eight out of nine games, but have struggled to score in its two consecutive losses. The Predators have been held to one goal for two straight games.

Ottawa has been struggling as of late. On Friday, the Senators held the lead four times and still lost 6-5 in overtime to the Avalanche. Sunday, the Washington Capitals ended their eight game losing skid playing the Senators when they scored three goals in the middle frame to win the game 3-2. Ottawa has lost five of its last seven games.

For the Predators, tonight’s game is the second in Nashville’s seventh set of back-to-backs this campaign. The Predators have a 3-2-1 record in the second game of back-to-backs this season.

Despite allowing a power play goal last night in Chicago, Nashville remains in the top ten penalty kill teams in the league, ranking ninth. But what might be key to the game on Thursday night is Nashville’s emerging power play. Ranked 28th in the league, Nashville’s power play has produced a goal in four of the last six games going 6-for-22, or 27.3%. The Senators are ranked 25th in the league for penalty kill percentage at 79.3%.

Just as was said before the Chicago game, Nashville will be looking to Ryan Suter and Sergei Kostitsyn for offense.

Suter has points in six consecutive games with one goal and seven assists. Kostitsyn added the lone goal for Nashville against Chicago, giving him 11 points in 10 games, 4 goals and 7 assists.

After tonight’s game, Nashville travels to St. Louis on Boxing Day to take on their division rivals before heading back to the Bridgestone Arena to play the Stars. The Predators will again exchange home and away games heading into the new year before playing most of the month of January away from Nashville.

Tonight, the puck drops at 7 pm. Tickets are still available.


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Tags: Chicago Blackhawks Los Angeles Kings Nashville Predators NHL Ottawa Senators Pekka Rinne Ryan Suter Sergei Kostitsyn St. Louis Blues Washington Capitals

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