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Nashville Predators 4, Ottawa Senators 1: Josi dazzles in strong team effort

Feb 27, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi (59) is congratulated by teammates after a goal during the second period against the Ottawa Senators at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Preds returned home after a successful road trip to face the Ottawa Senators.

Nashville got off to a great start, as Michael McCarron got the scoring started with an early goal at 3:22, followed by a power play less than a minute later when Jakob Chychrun tripped Cody Glass. Despite the Preds’ recent struggles with the skater advantage, Ryan O’Reilly was able to provide a brilliant screen that let Roman Josi score from center point at 5:44.

A few minutes later, McCarron and Mark Kastelic dropped the gloves. Shortly after, Colton Sissons was called for tripping, and Juuse Saros made a great save on Tim St├╝tzle, but it was the start of a good stretch of pushback for the Sens. Late in the period, with Ottawa continuing to pressure, Kiefer Sherwood took a tripping penalty and the Preds went back to the penalty kill.

This time, the Preds weren’t able to kill it off. A failed clear let Drake Batherson score with just over a minute left in the period, capping off a long stretch of Sens productivity. The second period started out with more good offense from the Sens, with a brief Nashville flurry easily handled by Joonas Korpisalo.

Cole Smith collided with Josh Norris behind the net, sending Norris off the ice and down the tunnel just as Kastelic tripped Luke Schenn. The Preds were unable to score on the power play, and the period continued, sprinkled with hostility. With 1:29 left in the period, Josi collected an assist from Gustav Nyquist and scored again.

The Preds came out to a strong start in the third, making the Sens work to maintain the deficit. Claude Giroux took a penalty seven minutes in, and while Ottawa was able to kill it off, the Preds continued to attack, bottling the Sens in their own zone. Nyquist notched a goal of his own at 13:12. The Sens, tired and on the second half of a back-to-back, kept struggling to match.

Korpisalo continued to work valiantly, despite injuries to multiple of the skaters in front of him and the team’s collective fatigue, but the Preds also continued to press the attack, instead of easing up and trying to coast to the buzzer. They were rewarded with a complete win.

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