October 10, 2014

Somehow the Nashville Predators have lost all five games in which they have registered at least 34 shots while winning all eight in which they have finished with fewer.

The Predators have been a bit baffled by their results as they get ready to host the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.

Nashville (8-3-2) was shut out for the first time with Saturday's 4-0 loss to St. Louis despite a 45-28 edge in shots. It went 0 for 5 on the power play and was stymied by Blues goalie Jake Allen.

''It wasn't from a lack of trying,'' coach Peter Laviolette said. ''Attempts, opportunities, quality scoring chances were all heavily stacked."

Frustration is evident for a Predators team ranked second in the NHL with 31.6 shots per game yet 18th in goals with an average of 2.5. Nashville has dropped all three games in which it has at least 40 shots; the rest of the NHL is 14-12-5 in such contests entering play Monday while teams went 118-72-28 in 2014-15 with at least 40 shots.

"There's a lot of good things that are happening, there's always things you can do better in the course of a game but lots of positives," Laviolette said. "We need the score to start reflecting what takes place."

Ottawa (7-4-3) was one of the teams to have at least 40 shots and lose when it outshot Nashville 41-25 in a 4-3 shootout defeat Oct. 17. James Neal scored twice for the Predators and Roman Josi added two assists.

That contest marked the NHL debut of Senators defenseman Chris Wideman, who saw action for the first time in six games Saturday and took advantage with his first goal in a 3-2 overtime loss at Carolina.

"It was a pretty cool feeling," Wideman said. "At the time it was a big goal so I was pretty excited about it."

Wideman's tally gave the Senators a 2-1 lead in the second period. They conceded the tying goal with four seconds left in regulation, getting outshot 18-5 in the third period and 46-21 overall. Ottawa allows a league-worst 34.4 shots per game but has gone 5-2-1 when yielding at least 34.

''You've got to play hockey all the way through,'' coach Dave Cameron said. ''You've got to execute. You've got to do everything for 60 minutes. Frustrating is a good word to describe tonight.''

Mike Hoffman has no goals and two assists in three games since returning after he missed four with a lower-body injury. Hoffman scored four times in four games before being injured, including two against the Predators.

Defenseman Cody Ceci returned to practice Monday after missing Saturday's loss with a lower-body injury, and Cameron confirmed Craig Anderson - 1-4-2 with a 2.79 goals-against average in seven starts at Nashville - will start in goal.

Pekka Rinne, expected to start for Nashville, has lost consecutive home starts after winning his first four there.

The Predators are 2 for 21 on the power play in Nashville as they continue a five-game homestand.

"We've got four more at home here and we wanna be really solid at home and make it a hard building to play against and we've got to be ready Tuesday," said center Mike Fisher, who is sixth on the Senators' all-time list with 167 goals.

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