The over/under for Tuesday night’s contest between the Nashville Predators and Ottawa Senators was 5.5.
Hope you took the over.
In front of 16,963 at Bridgestone Arena, the Predators and Senators engaged in a wild affair that eventually saw the home team outlast the Sens, 7-5.
“We climbed out of a big hole to not only get back to even but to get up,” Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “And then I think I blinked twice and we were down by one [again]. It was just one of those nights.”
The first period was an indicator of how the rest of the night would be. A power play tally by Milan Michalek, an even strength marker by Zack Smith and then another goal by Smith (this one shorthanded) gave Ottawa all they needed in order to dominate the opening frame. Colton Sissons did score for the Predators but Nashville entered the locker room for the intermission down 3-1.
“We didn’t like our first period,” Sissons said. “Lavy came in and told us that we got out-hit and out-skated. Those were actually two of our keys going into the game that we needed to do to them.”
His captain agreed.
“Our first period wasn’t our best, for sure,” Shea Weber said. “I think we made it a point to get better and I thought we were better in the second and third.”
The Preds responded in the second. A little over six minutes into the frame, Weber achieved his personal milestone of 150 career goals and 400 career points with a one-time snap shot that hit the twine and pulled his club within one. His defense partner Roman Josi tied the game a little over a minute later and then, if that wasn’t enough, Austin Watson bagged one of his own less than a minute after that. The sudden explosion of offense gave Nashville a one goal lead.
“We definitely felt that we had the momentum,” Sissons said. “We were feeling pretty good about ourselves after that.”
But those good feelings would be short lived as Ottawa wrestled that momentum away. Two-time Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson re-tied the game midway through the period and Curtis Lazar put the Sens back up by one in the final moments.
“In the second period, we wanted to go out there and keep pushing the pace,” Watson said. “We knew they were going to get their chances but we wanted to force the play a little bit.”
In the third period, more drama was in store. Only this time, the scoring was done by a single team. Mattias Ekholm got things started early on, Barret Jackman followed up with the eventual game winner and then Gabriel Bourque capped off the crazy night with his first of the year to seal the 7-5 victory.
“You’re down, you work to get even, to go up and then you go back down again,” Laviolette said. “It’s a wave of emotion that goes through a bench. The third period was terrific.”
Nashville will continue their hosting of Canadian teams when the Toronto Maple Leafs come to Music City on Thursday night. With how much Toronto has struggled this season (3-8-4), could we perhaps see another high scoring tilt?
You may want to take the over.*
* entertainment purposes only, of course.
PHOTO CREDIT: Jeremy K. Gover // Nashville Predators Radio Network