The Nashville Predators played from behind most of the way tonight, and due to six penalties taken over the final two periods, couldn't take control of tonight's game, falling to the Ottawa Senators 4-3. The Sens halted a 7-game losing streak thanks to two scores by defenseman Chris Phillips (playing in his 1000th NHL game), his first two goals of the season. Nashville got a goal by Martin Erat with 8.6 seconds left to pull within one, but that wasn't enough this time.
Video highlights and post-game reaction from this one follow after the jump:
Cue the video (might take 30-45 minutes post-game to work):
Your random observations:
- As nice as Gabriel Bourque's goal was to even things at 1-1 late in the first period, the extended penalty kill at the beginning of the second was pretty inspired.
- Typically after such a long PK, the other team's offensive stars are gassed, providing an opportunity for the Preds to seize the short-term advantage, but they just couldn't seem to get things rolling. Instead, the Sens pulled ahead on Phillips' first goal since February 26 of last year, and Nashville had to play catch-up from there on in.
- Those constant penalties by the Preds, however, undermined any comeback attempt. When you need goals to get back into the game, and Jerred Smithson ends up with more ice time than Patric Hornqvist, that's a problem.
- Pekka Rinne didn't have a particularly strong game, but it would have taken a miracle to make the difference tonight.
- St. Louis kept on trucking with a come-from-behind, shootout victory over New Jersey, so Nashville has some work to do to get back into the hunt for 4th in the West or the Central Division title.
- Stay tuned for an update on Francis Bouillon, who took a shot off the hand which looked like it stung him badly.
- That late goal for Martin Erat gave him two more points tonight, and 42 in 47 on the season. At this pace, he'll crack that coveted 60-point plateau for the first time...
- All in all, this was a bit disappointing but not the end of the world. The Sens have some nifty offensive talent up front, and there were a few occasions where it looked like the game was being played on Olympic ice, they were so spread out and wide-open at times. With Boston, Chicago, and Detroit coming up on the schedule, however, the road won't get any easier.