Viktor Arvidsson scored twice and the Nashville Predators defeated the Ottawa Senators by a 5-2 final on Monday night at Bridgestone Arena. The result ends Nashville’s two-game losing streak, marking the 13th time this season they’ve scored at least five goals in one contest.
Ottawa hung around for portions of the game, but Nashville was always one step ahead, and after Preds Head Coach Peter Laviolette said his team “simply needed to find the back of the net,” the group responded loud and clear.
“We took a step in the right direction,” Laviolette said. “I thought last game (a 3-1 loss), Detroit played really hard and therefore it’s difficult to dictate the entire game. I’ll say the same thing tonight. I thought Ottawa played an aggressive game. They’re fast off the attack, you have to be sure of what you’re doing defensively, but for the most part, I thought our guys were pretty competitive and pretty fast. We were on our toes tonight.”
“I think we played great,” Arvidsson said. “I think we played an attack-mentality hockey. Our D was up in the play and we shot the puck a lot. [I] felt like it was a great 60 minutes.”
A Roman Josi blast on a first-period power play gave the Preds a 1-0 lead, and shortly thereafter, Filip Forsberg found Ryan Johansen in front of the net, and the centerman made a slick, behind-the-back dish to Arvidsson, who tapped in his 19th of the season to give Nashville a 2-0 mark.
Ottawa got on the scoreboard before the opening frame was out, but Ryan Ellis tallied on the man advantage in the second stanza, the first time Nashville has scored multiple power-play goals in the same game since Feb. 1. The Senators got one back just moments later, but less than two minutes after that, Forsberg found Arvidsson for his second of the contest and 20th of the season – the first Predators player to hit the mark this season – for a two-goal lead after 40 minutes.
Craig Smith gave the Preds an insurance marker when he buried a feed from Kevin Fiala midway through the third, and Pekka Rinne shut the door the rest of the way to collect his 299th career victory and get his club back in the win column – accented by a pair of power-play strikes.
“We just kept it simple and tried to shoot a lot of pucks,” Nashville Captain Roman Josi said. “Sometimes with the power play that’s just how it goes. Sometimes you play really well and you have a lot of chances, but they don’t go in. Sometimes you don’t do anything different, but you get two power-play goals. That’s just how it goes. You have to make sure you don’t get frustrated and keep it simple.”
‘A’ For Effort:
It was only a matter of time.
The Predators knew their on-ice efforts were back on the upswing, and even though Saturday night yielded a 3-1 loss to Detroit, the signs were there.
So, with one outing left on a four-game home stand, the Predators put forth a 5-2 result on Monday night to avoid dropping three consecutive games in regulation for the first time since last season.
“We played a pretty good game Saturday, but we still thought we could play a lot better,” Josi said. “I thought it was better tonight. We had a lot of chances. All our lines were going and made a lot of shots. It’s a big win for us.”
Arvidsson led the way, and although the hat trick wasn’t meant to be – the Swede finished with nine shots on goal to lead the team – his 19th and 20th goals of the season were still more than enough to give Nashville a considerable boost in the first half of a back-to-back situation that concludes Tuesday in Detroit.
“He was really good,” Laviolette said of Arvidsson. “I mean he was working; constantly in motion, constantly working toward the puck or working to generate, working in the battles. He fired the puck close to 15 times tonight. He just played a really strong game.”
Roman Josi is now one assist from 200 in his NHL career.
The Preds have now won four in a row over the Senators on home ice, outscoring Ottawa 18-10 in the process.
The Predators are right back at it tomorrow night for a date with the Red Wings in Detroit at 6:30 p.m. CT. Nashville will then head home to host San Jose on Thursday before an 11 a.m. CT matinee on Sunday when the St. Louis Blues come to town.
Pete Weber’s Postgame Report