Lalime registered his league-leading eighth shutout and Magnus Arvedson scored twice as the Ottawa Senators recorded their third victory in four games, a 4-0 triumph over the Nashville Predators.
Lalime needed to make just 18 saves to record his second shutout in five career games against the Predators and his 28th shutout overall.
“It was just a fun night,” Lalime said. “I didn’t have much to do. I probably had the best ticket in the house tonight.”
Arvedson netted Ottawa’s second goal, scoring with the man advantage 2:20 into the third period. The Swedish left winger also capped the scoring with 16 seconds left.
“We lost last game (to Florida on Thursday) and didn’t want to lose two in a row,” Arvedson said. “We had a tough time against them last time in Nashville as they outworked us and won the game.”
Defenseman Brian Pothier scored his first goal of the season and helped set up another, and Shaun Van Allen chipped in a pair of assists as the Eastern Conference-leading Senators improved to 7-2-1 in their last 10 games.
Having stopped 146-of-149 shots entering Saturday, Vokoun made 25 saves, but the Predators had their franchise record-tying four-game winning streak snapped.
“They didn’t open up the zone,” Vokoun said. “So it was hard for me to see the puck through all the screens. It was the advantage that won the game for them.”
Lalime kept alive his shutout bid with a great save just over four minutes into the third. The All-Star netminder was leaning toward the left post when Scott Walker tried to flick the puck inside the right post, but Lalime reached back and gloved it.
“When I picked up the puck, I was going to go across the front of the net to deke,” Walker said. “But then I saw him go down to attempt a poke-check. So, I went on my backhand and hoped to chip it over his shoulder, but he didn’t give me much room and made a nice save.”
Lalime improved to 6-1-0 in his last seven games.
Nashville had not given up a power-play goal in its last five games but allowed two on Saturday.
The home team’s pressure - plus some good fortune - helped break the scoreless deadlock 4:20 into the second. On the power play, Marian Hossa fed Daniel Alfredsson just inside the blue line. The Senators captain unleashed a slap shot, which deflected off an unattended stick just above the crease and beat Vokoun.
“Winning 4-0, they had a couple of breaks, too,” Vokoun said. “One goal went off York and another hit Billy (Houlder) in the pants and went in. We had our chances when it was 1-0 and we did nothing during the 5-on-3. Instead we made too many mistakes.”
Alfredsson has torched the Predators in his career, collecting four goals and four assists in six games.
The Predators did not take advantage of their power-play opportunities in the second, wasting a 5-on-3 chance and going 0-for-3 with a man advantage in the period.
“Penalty killing was great in the second,” Alfredsson said. “I thought we stayed patient all the way through for 60 minutes. We know with our skill, we are going to score some goals.”
“The turning point was at the start of our 5-on-3,” Senators coach Barry Trotz said. “When we lost the draw and then (defenseman Andy) Delmore takes a penalty (at 13:01 of the second).”
Tempers flared at 17:22 of the second when Nashville defenseman Cale Hulse was hit with a 10-minute misconduct following an attempt to injure.
“(Ottawa’s Peter) Schaefer pulled a guy’s (Houlder’s) legs out from under him,” Trotz said. “So, Cale popped him one with a cross-check. Hartz (Scott Hartnell) and Cale obviously took bad penalties.”
With just two seconds left in Hulse’s five-minute major, Predators defenseman Jason York tried to intercept Arvedson’s centering pass on the penalty kill. However, the puck took a brutal deflection off York’s stick and dropped behind Vokoun and into the net to make it 2-0.
Just 23 seconds later, Polthier’s shot from top right circle found its way past a screened Vokoun and gave Ottawa a three-goal cushion.
“I took a look, then made a step around the pile in front and shot through the crowd,” Polthier said. “Fortunately it went in, because Vokoun was solid the first two periods and kept them in the game.”