Senators 4, Predators 3
Chris Phillips rarely displays his offensive skills – except in
Phillips scored his first two goals of the season in his 1,000th
NHL game, Jason Spezza also scored twice and the Ottawa Senators
ended a seven-game losing streak with a 4-3 win over the Nashville
Predators on Thursday night.
The veteran defenseman, one month shy of his 34th birthday,
scored his first goal in 75 games 7:50 into the second. He lay on
his back on the ice after adding a power-play goal 13:35 into the
third to put Ottawa up by two.
”It took him a thousand games to figure out he’s an offensive
defenseman,” said Spezza, who also assisted on Phillips’ first
It was Phillips’ fourth two-goal game – his first since Nov. 19,
2009, in a 6-2 win over Pittsburgh. That was his 800th career
Phillips has spent his entire career with the Senators, who
drafted him first overall in 1996. His No. 4 was painted on the ice
behind both goals and he was given standing ovations during a video
tribute in the first period and after both goals.
”What can you say? It’s just an unbelievable night to begin
with and it just kept getting better and better,” Phillips
Mike Fisher played his first game at Scotiabank Place since he
was traded to Nashville last Feb. 10. He was also given a standing
ovation when video highlights from his Senators career were shown
during the first period.
”It brought back a lot of good memories,” said Fisher, whose
wife – singer Carrie Underwood – was on hand for the game. ”It was
a neat moment for me, for sure. It was definitely emotional and I
had a lot of good memories and great times in this building. The
fans have been great and it was definitely a fun moment for
Alex Auld made 24 saves for Ottawa, which went 13-2-2 prior to
its recent skid.
”It’s tough to stop losing streaks and we did that tonight,”
Spezza said. ”When you’re winning games it seems like it’s easy to
win them, and when you’re losing games it seems like you keep
finding a way to lose. So to dig ourselves out of that hole
tonight, hopefully we can springboard it and have a good one on
Saturday (against Edmonton).”
Martin Erat scored to draw the Predators within one with 8.6
Pekka Rinne stopped 25 shots, and Gabriel Bourque and Patric
Hornqvist also scored for Nashville, which has lost three of four
”We didn’t play well at all,” Fisher said. ”Give Ottawa
credit, they had a good game. Other than the loss, it was a special
night for sure, and to see Phillips have a game like that, I was
happy for him.”
Spezza gave Ottawa its third one-goal lead at 3-2 with his
second of the game – his 22nd of the season – on a power play 18:55
into the second.
His 21st goal 4:46 into the game put Ottawa up 1-0. The All-Star
center punched the glass behind the Predators’ net after firing a
wrist shot past Rinne for his first goal in nine games.
”I’ve definitely been frustrated,” Spezza said. ”Our line
hasn’t been producing as much as we should be and we really talked
about trying to get the first goal and trying to get the lead, and
it was important for our line to have a good game. So I think I was
just kind of letting out a bit of anger at not scoring in the
previous games and it felt good to get the first one.”
Bourque drew Nashville even with his second goal at 18:46.
Phillips got another ovation after he beat Rinne from the slot
to put the Senators up 2-1. It was his first goal since last Feb.
”Everything turned out great tonight,” Phillips said. ”A
hard-fought game against a top team and we played the way that we
have to play, night in and night out, so just a great game for our
team to be able to feed off of.”
Hornqvist tied it with a power-play goal at 12:40 when he tipped
Ryan Suter’s point shot past Auld.
NOTES: Predators RW Brian McGrattan did not dress. The former
Ottawa enforcer missed his second straight game because of an
upper-body injury. … Senators G Craig Anderson didn’t play for
the first time in 23 games. He was pulled early in Tuesday’s 3-1
loss to St. Louis after allowing two goals on four shots in his
18th straight start.