Ottawa at Nashville

Streaking Senators win fifth in row, blank Predators

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Ottawa Senators are suddenly feeling as though the playoffs are still a possibility.

Nick Foligno and Dany Heatley scored first-period goals, and Alex Auld made 24 saves to lead the Senators to a 2-0 victory -- their season-high fifth-straight -- over the Nashville Predators on Monday night.

The shutout was the first of the season for Auld, and sixth of his career. After losing nine consecutive decisions, Auld has won two in a row.

Since replacing Craig Hartsburg as coach on Feb. 2, Cory Clouston has guided Ottawa to a 5-1-1 record. The Senators are in 11th place in the Eastern Conference with 52 points.

"We got off to a really good start, in the second we were a little bit complacent, and then in the third we played really well, really solid defensively," Clouston said. "I thought Alex looked really comfortable in goal and did exactly what we needed him to do."

Foligno gave the Senators a 1-0 lead at 5:20 of the opening period.

Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne's attempted clearing pass was intercepted inside the Predators blue line by Mike Fisher, who carried the puck down the right side and slid a pass to Foligno in the low slot. Foligno sent a wrist shot over the glove of Rinne just inside the post for his 10th goal of the season.

"We got off to a great start in the first period," Fisher said. "Our neutral zone play these last few games has been night and day different from before. We are creating turnovers and because of that we are allowed to use our speed and skill and go the other way." Foligno has scored four goals in his last six games, with his last two being game-winners.

"I tried to get it off of the ice, but I didn't get it off of the ice and they had it on a two-on-one," Rinne said. "They put it in the back of the net. That is my mistake and that should not happen."

Heatley doubled Ottawa's lead at the 13:56 mark of the first.

His wrist shot from the lower-left circle deflected off of Rinne's right shoulder and into the net for his 26th goal. He has scored four times in his last three games.

"We had a good first period, obviously Nick had a big goal to start us off, and to come out of the first period up 2-0 is a good start," Heatley said. "Initially I was looking to pass, but the defenseman did a good job of taking that away so I was just trying to get a corner and I was lucky to get it in off of his arm."

The Predators, also on the outside looking in at the playoffs, have lost three of their last five.

"We came out and stood around and watched a team that is playing very well right now," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "We've done that four of our last five games, and we are 1-3 when we have done that. That's not a good recipe."

Notes

  • With an assist, Jason Spezza extended his points scoring streak to six games.
  • Ottawa's last win in Nashville was March 24, 2001.
  • After winning the first four games of their five-game road trip, the Senators will go for the sweep Tuesday in Denver against the Avalanche.
  • Nashville is 2-for-35 on the power play in their last 10 games.
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Dany Heatley tallies a goal in the first period, his fourth score in his last three games.  (Getty Images)
Dany Heatley tallies a goal in the first period, his fourth score in his last three games. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Ottawa  (22-25-8) «2002
Nashville (27-27-3)0000
Three Stars
D. Heatley
OTT


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
A. Auld
OTT


Saves: 24
Save Pct.: 1.000
M. Fisher
OTT


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 1
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
05:20Nick Foligno (10), Wrist Shot. Assist: Fisher
13:56Dany Heatley (26), Wrist Shot. Assist: Spezza, Lee
2ND PERIOD
None
3RD PERIOD
None
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
44.0Sullivan, 2 min, Hooking
14:36Kelly, 2 min, Tripping
18:44Jones, 2 min, Hooking
2ND PERIOD
01:37Volchenkov, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
08:49Bell, 2 min, Interference
13:51Jones, 2 min, Bench - Too Many Men on the Ice
3RD PERIOD
11:23Phillips, 2 min, High-Sticking
13:06Suter, 2 min, Hooking
Shots On Goal
 123T
Ottawa134724
Nashville88824
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Alex Auld60:00240
Pekka Rinne58:50222
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Ottawa0-for-4
Nashville0-for-4
Game Information
Attendance - 14681
Referees - Mike Hasenfratz, Steve Kozari
Linesmen - Mark Pare, Jean Morin
 
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