McCarron scores twice as Predators beat Senators 4-1
By JIM DIAMOND
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Michael McCarron scored twice and Juuse Saros made 36 saves to lead the Nashville Predators over the Ottawa Senators 4-1 on Tuesday night.
Tanner Jeannot and Matt Duchene also scored to help Nashville win its second consecutive game. Mattias Ekholm had three assists and Alexandre Carrier added two.
"I think our goaltender played fantastic," Predators coach John Hynes said. "I think our goaltender was a big difference in the game tonight. We fought and found a way to win. I don't think it was a recipe to give yourself a chance to win every night. But I thought there were certain components of the game that were good enough, and certain players in the game that were good enough, to give us a chance to win."
Brady Tkachuk scored and Anton Forsberg made 28 saves for Ottawa, which has lost four of five.
Ottawa struck first at 4:53 of the opening period on the power play.
With the Senators on a two-man advantage, Tim Stutzle sent a pass from the right side to Tkachuk in the low slot, where he redirected the puck between Saros' pads.
McCarron tied the game with 37.8 seconds remaining in the first with a short-handed goal.
Forsberg left his crease to play a puck below the goal line, but it stopped in the no-play zone next to the trapezoid, leaving Forsberg unable to touch it. McCarron grabbed the puck and wrapped it around the far post before Forsberg could get back in position.
"I think we out-chanced them," Ottawa coach D.J. Smith said. "I think we probably outplayed them. We gave up a shorty at the end of the first after obviously those power plays."
Saros was sharp, particularly in the second period. At 5:37, he made a kick save on Drake Batherson on a 2-on-0 break. Late in the period, he stopped a penalty shot by Connor Brown.
With 7.2 seconds left, Roman Josi impeded Brown from behind on short-handed breakaway, creating the penalty shot. Saros was able to get his blocker on Brown's wrist shot.
McCarron scored his second of the game with 1:46 remaining in the second. From the left half wall, Ekholm sent a pass to McCarron just outside the crease, where he made a quick move before slipping the puck between Forsberg's pads.
"Yeah, the hard work is starting to pay off for me," McCarron said. "Obviously, I'm playing with some amazing players. We're a really good fourth line."
Jeannot scored his 22nd of the season midway through the third and Duchene added an empty-net goal late.
JOSI'S STREAK ENDS
Josi's career-best 13-game point streak ended. He was three games shy of tying the Nashville record set by J.P. Dumont during the 2007-08 season.
WELCOMING WATSON BACK
During a media timeout in the first period, the Predators played a tribute video for Senators forward Austin Watson, who played 306 regular-season games over the course of six seasons for the Predators. Nashville selected Watson in the first round (18th overall) of the 2010 draft. He played his first game back in Nashville since being traded to Ottawa in October 2020.
After the video, Watson skated off the Senators' bench and saluted the cheering crowd as players from both teams tapped their sticks on the ice and boards.
"It was really cool. Definitely humbling to get welcomed back with that little video tribute and all that there," Watson said.
REMEMBERING EUGENE MELNYK
The Senators wore EM stickers on their helmets in memory of team owner Eugene Melnyk, who died Monday. A moment of silence was observed before the national anthems.
Predators: Visit the Buffalo Sabres on Friday.
Senators: Visit the Detroit Red Wings on Friday for the first half of a home-and-home set.
More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports
Updated March 30, 2022