The Nashville Predators managed to pull even twice, but then surrendered a pair of goals while they were a man short and lost 4-3 to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday in Ottawa.
Martin Erat scored with 8.6 seconds left but the Predators never led and lost for the second time in three days. They had not dropped consecutive contests since Dec. 23 and 26 against Dallas and Detroit, respectively.
Patric Hornqvist’s power-play goal made it 2-2 at 12:40 of the second period, but Jason Spezza put the Senators ahead to stay with 1:05 to play in the period. Chris Phillips, playing in his 1,000th career game, provided some much-needed insurance at 13:35 of the third.
Spezza scored six seconds after Erat went off for hooking. Phillips’ goal, his second of the game, came with 20 seconds to go on a slashing call against David Legwand.
Phillips’ goals were his first two of the season. Spezza also scored twice.
It was the first time in 21 games a Nashville opponent scored more than one power play goal. In fact, the Predators allowed a total of six power play goals since they gave up four in a 6-5 victory over Columbus on Dec. 22.
With his goal, Hornqvist tied Mike Fisher for the team lead with 16 each. It was Fisher’s first game in Ottawa since the Senators traded him to Nashville almost exactly one year to the day earlier. Fisher did not have a point or a shot against the team for which he played 675 games from 1999 through Feb. 10, 2010.
Defenseman Ryan Suter had two assists, and Erat added to his team-leading assist (29) and point totals (42). In addition to his goal, he had the secondary assist when Hornqvist scored.
Nashville plays an afternoon game (noon, CST) Saturday at Boston, the reigning Stanley Cup champion.