Arvidsson scores twice, Predators beat Senators 5-2

Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (35), of Finland, blocks a shot by Ottawa Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot (72) in the second period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Feb. 19, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Nashville’s power play is back, and the Predators are back in first place.

Viktor Arvidsson scored twice to reach 20 goals this season, and the Predators beat the Ottawa Senators 5-2 on Monday night.

Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis and Craig Smith also scored for Nashville, which ended a two-game skid and tied Winnipeg for first in the Central Division.

The Predators recorded two power-play goals and scored on the man advantage in their second straight game after going six games without converting on the power play. Screens by Colton Sisson set up goals by defensemen Josi and Ellis.

”The power play played great today and got us a couple of goals, and I think we created a lot of chances,” Arvidsson said. ”I think we simplified it and just started shooting pucks, and getting net-front presences. Siss had two big screens today and that results in two goals, so that’s just simple hockey.”

Arvidsson fired a game-high nine shots on goal.

”He was really good,” Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. ”I mean he was working, constantly in motion, constantly moving towards the puck or working to generate, working in the battles.”

Pekka Rinne made 36 saves to earn his 30th win of the season. The Predators improved to 12-3-3 in their last 18 games.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Max McCormick scored for the Senators, who played catch-up most of the game. Craig Anderson stopped 36 shots.

”It seemed that our turnovers and the bad bounces end up in the back of our net, and when it was on the other side it didn’t happen,” Senators coach Guy Boucher said. ”Their goalie made really big, key saves at big moments and I really thought definitely we deserved more goals than that, so too bad.”

Nashville struck first on the power play when Josi fired a one-timer from above the right faceoff circle that beat Anderson glove side midway through the first period.

”Sometimes with the power play that’s just how it goes,” Josi said. ”Sometimes you play really well – you have a lot of chances, but they don’t go in. You’ve just got to make sure you don’t get frustrated and keep it simple.”

The Predators went ahead 2-0 about five minutes later when Arvidsson poked home a shot from the left side of the crease after receiving a backhanded pass from Ryan Johansen.

Ottawa got its first goal on the power play with just under four minutes left in the first when Pageau stuffed home a rebound in front of the crease that beat Rinne glove side.

Ellis scored on the power play when he blasted a one-timer by Anderson, who was screened by Sissons, to increase Nashville’s lead to 3-1 at 6:34 of the second period.

Ottawa answered 1:31 later on McCormick’s wrist shot. Just under two minutes elapsed before the Predators went ahead by two goals again on Arvidsson’s second of the night. His 20 goals lead the team.

Smith ended the scoring when he roofed a wrist shot over a sprawling Anderson at 8:15 of the third period.

NOTES: Ottawa C Derrick Brassard played in his 700th career game. … Nashville general manager David Poile earned his 1,315th win, putting him four short of Glen Sather’s NHL record. … Nashville C Kyle Turris recorded his first point against his former team – an assist on Josi’s goal – in his second game versus Ottawa since being traded in November. … The Predators improved to 13-6-4 against the Eastern Conference. … Nashville recorded its 94th consecutive sellout (17,177) at Bridgestone Arena.

UP NEXT

Senators: At Chicago on Wednesday to conclude a two-game trip. Chicago routed Ottawa 8-2 on Jan. 9.

Predators: At Detroit on Tuesday after falling to the Red Wings 3-1 on Saturday.

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