Predators-Senators Preview

The Nashville Predators have a chance to emulate their previous effort but want to produce a different result.

The Predators will look to keep unloading shots against an Ottawa team used to facing plenty of them while trying to put a few more past the Senators in Ontario on Saturday night.

Ottawa has allowed opponents 179 shots on goal through five games for a league-worst average of 35.8, a volume Nashville finally reached its last time out in what coach Peter Laviolette called his team’s "best game of the year by a mile."

He also said it was the "worst result," though, as the Predators (3-1-0) suffered their first loss with Thursday’s 4-3 defeat to the New York Islanders. After not surpassing 26 shots in their first three games, the Preds finished with 47 – the second-highest road total in franchise history.

Puck possession and a surplus of chances was a welcome sight for Laviolette, whose team ranked third in the NHL with 31.9 shots per game last season. Austin Watson and James Neal tallied their first goals of the season and Filip Forsberg put in his second.

"I went over a lot of things and the guys knew we hadn’t met our potential yet offensively," Laviolette told the team’s official website. "We just reviewed some things and we were pretty quick in the neutral zone and in the offensive zone we hemmed them in and kept a lot of pucks alive."

Defense, though, was an issue for once. The Predators surrendered two goals through their first three wins but coughed up a pair to the Islanders in both the second and third periods.

Pekka Rinne looked ordinary for the first time as his goals-against average nearly tripled. Nashville’s franchise leader in games played at goalie has been far from stellar against the Senators, going 3-3-0 with a 2.99 GAA which is his worst against any opponent besides Pittsburgh.

Ottawa (3-2-0) also lost Thursday, but it came from a far less impressive effort. A day after a seven-goal outburst in Columbus, the Senators fell flat in a 2-0 clunker in Pittsburgh.

The Senators only sent 22 shots toward the Penguins’ Marc-Andre Fleury, who had allowed eight goals in three previous losses.

"We didn’t make the adjustment and realize, OK we’re not on our game tonight," coach Dave Cameron said. "We continued to try to put the square peg in the round hole."

Ottawa is 1 for 10 on the power play in the last three games. Nashville has killed 11 of its 12 shorthanded situations.

Craig Anderson has started four of the Senators’ five games, faring well despite a high number of pucks sent his way. The Ottawa netminder has stopped 135 shots, including 36 on Wednesday, while allowing 10 goals for a .931 save percentage.

Anderson is 1-3-0 with a 3.54 GAA in his last five starts against Nashville.