The Ottawa Senators and Columbus Blue Jackets were the only teams in action last night, and it ended up being a pretty entertaining contest. It was an evenly matched game, with the Blue Jackets needing overtime to down the Senators. That’s 2 big points for the Blue Jackets, as they attempt to stay afloat in the playoff race. And for the Senators, that’s not a bad game for them on the road.
The Senators and Blue Jackets traded goals in each period before the Senators were on the receiving end of the final goal. At this juncture, the Senators aren’t really looking for wins. Wins are nice of course, and the idea is to win games, but effort and competitiveness is more important for a team that isn’t in the playoff picture. Giving up and folding up shop would be a bad look for the Senators.
The goal is to generate something to build on for next year. Ottawa goes into Nashville with a record of 21-30-12 and 54 points. That will be more than enough to finish ahead of the hapless Red Wings, who are at 15-45-4 and 34 points. They could move up a spot and pass the Devils who currently have 58 points, but that’s the only upward movement that the Senators can accomplish now. Last season the Senators went 29-47-6 and 64 points, so it has to be baby steps in Ottawa.
Meanwhile, over in Music City, the Predators are just looking to get into the playoffs after finishing 47-29-6 and winning the Central Division last season. They may have won the Central, but another team in the division, ended up winning the grandest prize in hockey. In 2019-20, the Predators are on pace to miss out on the playoffs. They’re currently 2 points behind the Coyotes and Flames for the final wildcard. Every game is super important for the Predators now.
Nashville is on the heels of a 4-3 win over the Blue Jackets in a shootout on Saturday, so they’ve had a couple of days off to prepare for the Senators. Pekka Rinne didn’t practice on Monday because he wasn’t feeling well. It’s nothing serious, but Rinne may miss tonight against the Senators. His status is currently up in the air for this matchup. Marcus Hogberg got the call in Columbus, so that would leave Craig Anderson to take the crease tonight. Head below for our free Senators vs. Predators pick.
Ottawa Senators vs. Nashville Predators Betting Odds:
Senators vs. Predators Prediction:
If the Senators can put forth a similar effort as last night, they might be able to compete with the Predators in Nashville this evening. That’s asking a lot, though, especially against a Predators squad who is going to be well-rested for this one. The Predators have been good when they have two days rest, having posted a record of 9-3-2 in 2019-20.
Compared to just one day rest, where the Predators are 15-14-5, they perform much better when they have some rest. Having said that, Nashville has been rather ordinary at home. Bridgestone Arena has typically been a difficult place to go and win for visitors, but the Preds have gone just 14-12-4 at home in 2019-20.
While the Predators haven’t been great at home, they get a Senators team this evening who’ve often been lost on the road. The effort from last night in Columbus was more of an outlier than anything. And they weren’t getting to overtime without Hogberg in net. The Blue Jackets poured on 45 shots, and Hogberg stopped 41 of them for a fairly efficient night at the office.
Conversely, it wasn’t a standout night for Elvis Merzlikins, who left the game with an injury after allowing 2 goals on 18 shots. Korpisalo gave up a goal on 15 shots. The Senators have a record of 6-17-6 outside of the Canadien Tire Centre in Kanata. Note that they’ve scored only 2.28 goals per game, while allowing 3.69 goals against per game. That doesn’t add up to a whole lot of wins for the Sens.
The Senators defeated the Predators in their last two meetings, though both of those games were in Kanata. Otherwise, the Predators have had success against the Senators. The narrative changes when the Senators have travelled to Nashville. In their most recent meeting at Bridgestone Arena, the Predators were winners by a score of 3-1. The Senators are winless in their last five trips to Nashville.
Nashville has outscored the Sens 11-4 in the last three games. Anderson has not been sharp against the Predators in his career, with a 3.23 GAA and 0.898 save percentage in 23 games. The Senators folded their hand recently by shipping out forwards Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Vladislav Namestnikov. They both contributed this season for the Sens, so take them out, and this team is worse than their record currently indicates. I’m on the Predators to win by 2 or more goals in this one.