Mike Hoffman’s 100th career goal was the overtime winner as the Ottawa Senators beat the visiting Nashville Predators 4-3 on Thursday night.
Hoffman sped away for a breakaway chance that he converted at 3:01 of OT for his 15th of the season to the delight of the Canadian Tire Centre crowd. Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson made 35 saves in the win, 18 of them in the third period and three in overtime.
A night that featured Kyle Turris returning to Ottawa, where he spent parts of seven seasons before being traded to the Predators in November, became an entertaining see-saw affair. Nashville’s P.K. Subban opened the scoring 34 seconds into the contest. Subban’s sharp-angled attempt was headed wide of the net, but the puck deflected off Senators defenseman Cody Ceci and into the net.
Ottawa’s Chris DiDomenico scored in his second consecutive game to even the count at 8:00 of the first period. During a scramble, Ryan Dzingel worked the puck to the front of the net and DiDomenico beat goalie Juuse Saros.
Calle Jarnkrok again put the Preds ahead before the period was over, burying a setup from Nick Bonino for his 13th of the season at 18:05.
Momentum continued to swing, and it went in Ottawa’s favour when Max McCormick netted his first of the season at 4:08 of the second period to tie the game 2-2. McCormick headed to the net and made the most of a seeing-eye pass from Dzingel.
Then Magnus Paajarvi, claimed off waivers from the St. Louis Blues a couple of weeks ago, buried his own rebound to pot his first goal for the Senators to give the hosts a lead at 11:59 of the second. That lead didn’t last, either.
Subban blasted a shot from the point for his second of the game – and 15th of the season to equal a career high – with 4:18 left in regulation to force overtime.
Ottawa forward Alex Burrows served the first game of the 10-game suspension he was handed for his attack on New Jersey’s Taylor Hall.
Saros stopped 32 shots for the Predators, who lost in extra time for the second consecutive night. They fell 3-2 in a shootout at Toronto on Wednesday.
Lightning strengthen grip atop conference
Yanni Gourde, Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos each had a goal and an assist as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the visiting Vancouver Canucks 5-2 on Thursday. The Lightning strengthened their hold on the best record in the league while beating the Canucks decisively for the second time in less than a week.
Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 27 of 29 shots for his league-leading 32nd win of the season. Vancouver netminder Anders Nilsson took the loss while recording 31 saves on 36 shots. Adam Erne also scored for Tampa Bay, which won after losing its two most recent home games.
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