Originally written February 09, 2012 on Inside Smashville:
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The Ottawa Senators were looking to turn their season back around when the Nashville Predators visited Canada’s capital city to face Mike Fisher’s former team. Bourque celebrates after scoring in the first period Thursday night Ottawa were losers of seven straight games entering Thursday night’s contest. The Senators struck first when Jason Spezza scored just 4:46 into the first period. It was the first shot on goal for Ottawa. Spezza’s wrist shot beat Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne to give the Senators the early lead. With 1:14 left in the opening frame, Gabriel Bourque picked up the second goal of his NHL career, beating Alex Auld, in net for the Senators. Jordin Tootoo and Ryan Suter picked up the assists. The Senators were given a golden opportunity to take the lead heading into the second period when Matt Halischuk lost the puck in front of Rinne. With 21 seconds remaining in the first period, Milan Michalek was robbed by the Predators netminder. In the second period, the Senators looked to regain the lead when they had two power plays on back-to-back penalties called against Nashville in the opening four minutes. Sergei Kostitsyn was called for hooking and Nick Spaling for tripping by the 3:28 mark of the middle frame. While the Senators were unable to capitalize on the power play, Chris Phillips scored his first goal of the season in his 1000th game, 7:50 into the second period. Bobby Butler and Jason Spezza picked up assists. Less than a minute after the goal, the Senators went back on the power play when Francis Bouillon was called for high sticking. The Predators were able to kill off the penalty, their third penalty kill of the period. The Predators were given an opportunity to tie the game when Jim O’Brien was called for elbowing and Patric Hornqvist did not waste the opportunity when he picked up his 16th goal of the season while on the power play. Suter and Marty Erat picked up assists. The Predators took their fourth penalty of the game, and of the second period at 18:49 when Erat was called for hooking and Spezza picked up his second goal of the night just 6 seconds into the power play, leaving the Predators trailing 3-2 heading into the third period. With just over 8 minutes left to play, David Legwand was sent to the penalty box for slashing, leaving the Predators down a man, and still down a goal without a lot of time left to tie the game, but Ottawa would capitalize when Phillips scored his second of the night making it 4-2 late in the game for the Senators. Erat scored his 13th goal of the season with 9 seconds left in regulation, but the predators were unable to get back into the game and dropped their second straight decision. Ottawa snapped a seven-game losing skid with the win. The Predators now head to Boston to take on the Stanley Cup Champions on Saturday. Game time is 12:00 CT.     Photo Credit: AP  
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