|Date of game: 10/9/2014
Recap: Nashville vs. Ottawa
Nashville, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Eric Nystrom scored the last of Nashville's three third-period goals as the Predators started the Peter Laviolette era with a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators.
For the first time in franchise history, the Predators began a season without Barry Trotz behind the bench. Trotz had been the club's head coach since its inception in 1998, but was fired this past offseason after Nashville missed out on the playoffs for a second straight year.
Laviolette went out and got James Neal, who the Predators acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins in a draft day trade. Nashville also signed forwards Olli Jokinen, Mike Ribeiro and Derek Roy to one-year deals this summer to try and help ease the transition to a more offensive style of play.
"There was a lot of good that we did out there tonight," said Laviolette. "Overall, there were a lot of positives to take away from the game."
Craig Smith and Shea Weber also scored in the third period for the Predators, who saw Pekka Rinne make 18 saves.
Alex Chiasson and Kyle Turris lit the lamp for the Senators, who missed the playoffs with a 37-31-14 record in the 2013-14. Craig Anderson, who signed a three-year extension in the offseason, stopped 34-of-37 shots.
Thursday's game marked the return of David Legwand to the Music City. The former Preds forward spent all of his 15 NHL seasons in Nashville before being dealt to Detroit at the 2014 NHL Trade Deadline. Legwand signed a two-year deal with Ottawa this past July.
"It's over and done with," said Legwand. "I'm happy that it's over and done with and I move forward."
Turris scored 1:15 into second period to give the Senators a 1-0 lead.
Smith's power-play goal at 1:36 of the third stanza tied things up. Filip Forsberg found Smith at the left post with a cross-ice pass, and Smith tapped the puck past Anderson.
Weber scored on a backhand wraparound at 8:53 to make it 2-1. Less than two minutes later, Nystrom converted Paul Gaustad's pass.
Chiasson redirected Cody Ceci's shot with 6:12 remaining to get Ottawa within 3-2.
The Senators had one last chance when Smith went to the penalty box with 1:57 left for hooking. Ottawa pulled Anderson in the final minute to create a 6- on-4, but Rinne preserved the victory for Nashville.Game Notes
The clubs split a pair of meetings last season ... Legwand is the franchise's
all-time leader in goals (210), assists (356), points (566) and games played