Hoffman scores in OT as Senators beat Predators 4-3
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) Mike Hoffman’s 100th career goal was a real gem.
Hoffman went end-to-end before slipping a shot past Juuse Saros 3:01 into overtime, lifting the Ottawa Senators to a 4-3 victory against the Nashville Predators on Thursday night.
”It was good to hit a milestone like that and it makes it even more special when it’s an overtime winner,” Hoffman said. ”I guess it couldn’t have happened at a better time.”
Chris DiDomenico, Max McCormick and Magnus Paajarvi also scored as Ottawa (19-25-9) won for the fourth time in five games. Craig Anderson made 35 saves for his 15th win of the season.
”I think we’ve got guys stepping up,” Anderson said. ”When someone goes down with an injury another guy can fill that role and take advantage of that time. We’ve got guys coming in and competing and we’re playing pretty well as a team right now.”
P.K. Subban scored twice for the Predators (32-12-9), and Calle Jarnkrok picked up his 13th goal. Saros stopped 32 shots.
Nashville moved into a first-place tie with Winnipeg in the Central Division with 73 points apiece, but the Predators were disappointed to have the extra point slip away.
”We want to be the best team in the league and we had an opportunity to possibly do that and we didn’t get it,” said Subban. ”It was a good effort to at least get a point out of it, but we have to learn. The last two games we haven’t been able to play a full 60 minutes and we have to learn from that.”
Veteran forward Kyle Turris returned to Ottawa for the first time since he was traded to the Predators in November. He received a standing ovation during a video tribute in the first period.
”It was really nice of the Sens organization to do,” Turris said. ”The support from the fans, the video they put together that encompasses my six years here, I loved it. It’s a great organization and I was very thankful to be a part of it.”
Turris shared a few moments with his former teammates on the ice and admitted it was nice to be able to have some fun with the situation.
The Predators tied it at 3 when Subban ripped a shot past Anderson with under five minutes remaining in regulation.
The Senators scored two second-period goals to take a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes.
McCormick, who was recalled from the minors on Tuesday, cut to the net and rang a shot in off the post for his third career goal. Ottawa took the lead on Paajarvi’s first with the Senators on a wraparound midway through the period.
”There were so many great story lines in this game from so many players,” Senators coach Guy Boucher said. ”You can really call this a solid team win.”
Senators captain Erik Karlsson moved into sole possession of third place on the franchise’s points list (492) with an assist on Paajarvi’s goal.
Subban opened the scoring 34 seconds into the game when his shot deflected in off Cody Ceci’s skate, but the Senators tied it on DiDomenico’s second in as many games. He took a pass in the slot and beat Saros with a wrist shot.
The Predators regained the lead on Jarnkrok’s goal.
NOTES: Ottawa’s Jean-Gabriel Pageau played his 300th career game. … Ottawa F Alex Burrows served his first of a 10-game suspension for kneeing New Jersey’s Taylor Hall on Tuesday night. Burrows decided not to appeal the suspension. … Ottawa was also without Mark Stone (knee), Derick Brassard (mobility), Bobby Ryan (hand), Nate Thompson (lower body) and Gabriel Dumont (lower body). … Nashville’s Filip Forsberg served his third of a three-game suspension for his hit on Rangers forward Jimmy Vesey.
Predators: At Montreal on Saturday night.
Senators: At Toronto on Saturday night.