Rinne returns, but Predators come up short against Ottawa

Thursday, December 23, 2010 at 10:42pm
Staff reports

Pekka Rinne’s return to the Nashville nets was spoiled Thursday when the Predators lost their second game in as many days and their third straight overall.

Rinne allowed a pair of goals, one on the power play, as the Predators fell 2-1 to the Ottawa Senators before a sellout crowd of 17,113 at Bridgestone Arena.

Marcel Goc scored his first goal since Dec. 4, but Nashville was limited to just one for the third straight game. It lost 6-1 at home to Los Angeles last Saturday and 4-1 in Chicago on Wednesday.

Rinne, who missed the previous nine games after minor knee surgery, was tested early. Ottawa got off seven shots within the first two minutes and recorded nine of the first 10.

The Senators outshot the Predators 14-10 in the first period, but the shots were even in the second (nine apiece) and third (seven). For the game, Ottawa’s edge was 30-26.

Alex Kovalev scored the game’s first goal at 9:35 of the first period. Nashville trailed by two when Nick Foligno scored with 20 seconds remaining on a second-period hooking penalty against Shane O’Brien.

Goc cut the deficit in half 2:18 later.

Rinne’s record dropped to 8-8-4 and with the loss.

The Predators’ next game is 6 p.m. Sunday at St. Louis. They are back on home ice 7 p.m. Tuesday against Dallas.