Senators 4, Predators 2

Preview | Box Score | Recap

OTTAWA (AP)—The Ottawa Senators’ fans are happy their team sticks together and can overcome a blown lead.

Peter Bondra scored with 7:01 left to lift Ottawa to a 4-2 victory over the Nashville Predators on Saturday night.

Ottawa ended a two-game losing streak before a sellout crowd one night after combining with Philadelphia to set the NHL record for total penalty minutes in a game.

“The crowd was really supportive from the start, right when we got on the ice,” said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, who drew his second assist of the game on Bondra’s goal. “They were really into it and I think they appreciated what a lot of guys did last night and I think the crowd helped us and they gave us a lot of energy.”

Ahead 2-0 through two periods on goals by Mike Fisher and Peter Schaefer, Ottawa blew its lead when Andreas Johansson and David Legwand scored to tie it 7:09 into the third.

Bondra, who assisted on Schaefer’s power-play goal which gave the Senators a two-goal lead in the second, restored Ottawa’s lead when he scored for the second straight game at 12:59.

“We kind of put ourselves on our heels after they scored a couple of goals but we stayed with our gameplan and we finished strong,” Bondra said. “We should take something positive from that.”

Marian Hossa scored into an empty net as the Senators drew even with Toronto atop the Northeast Division with 86 points. The Maple Leafs, who lost to Buffalo, have 37 wins—one more than the Senators.

Ottawa backup Martin Prusek made 25 saves to remain undefeated in five starts (4-0-1). Prusek played the final 1:45 of Friday’s 5-3 loss to the Flyers after Patrick Lalime was ejected during the brawl-filled final minutes.

Steve Sullivan set up both of Nashville’s goals, and Tomas Vokoun stopped 28 shots.

“We showed a lot of team spirit,” Vokoun said. “We came out in the third period and we were down 2-0 and we scored a couple of goals. We were right back in the game but unfortunately they scored with seven minutes to go and that killed us.”

The Predators, sixth in the Western Conference and vying for their first playoff appearance, have lost twice in six games (3-2-1).

“We were right there in the thick of things with less than 10 minutes to go and that’s where we have to learn bear down and not give up goals like that,” Sullivan said. “Points are precious and we’re in too deep into a dogfight to be giving up points like that.”

Nashville drew within 2-1 when Johansson scored on a five-on-three on a pass from Sullivan, who hit the post moments earlier.

Sullivan, who had three points in Thursday’s 9-4 win in Pittsburgh, assisted on Legwand’s tying goal at 7:09.

Sullivan has seven goals and 11 assists in 10 games with the Predators since being acquired from Chicago on Feb. 16.

Both Senators goals were the result of deflections. Fisher tipped Alfredsson’s point shot past Vokoun 8:16 in. Schaefer redirected BrianPothier’s shot for a power-play goal 3:55 into the second.

Notes

Nashville’s newest acquisitions, F Sergei Zholtok and D Brad Bombardir, did not join the team in Ottawa. Zholtok and Bombardir, acquired from Minnesota on Friday, are expected to make their Predators debut Tuesday against Boston. … Senators D Zdeno Chara was out of the lineup because of a foot injury. Chara, struck by a shot Friday, was scratched after he attempted to skateduring the warmup.

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