Preds take red-hot offense to Ottawa

(SportsNetwork.com) - After tying a franchise record for most goals scored the last time out, the Nashville Predators will try to keep the offense coming when they visit the Ottawa Senators in Thursday's clash at Canadian Tire Centre.

The Predators visited Toronto on Tuesday and destroyed the Maple Leafs 9-2. Nashville tied the franchise record for most goals in a game set during a 9-4 win in Pittsburgh on March 4, 2004. The Preds also had a 9-4 victory over Calgary on March 18, 2006.

Taylor Beck had two goals and one assist to help the Predators dismantle Toronto at Air Canada Centre. Eric Nystrom, Mike Ribeiro, Filip Forsberg, Calle Jarnkrok, Roman Josi and Colin Wilson also scored for Nashville in the rout, which included a four-goal flurry in the first 5:14 of the third period to make it 8-0.

"We got the bounces," Predators forward Derek Roy said. "We skated well and we could've had more."

Pekka Rinne made 29 saves and the Predators improved to 5-1 in their last six games. Nashville is off to a surprising 12-4-2 start and is leading the Central Division by one point over St. Louis, which is visiting Montreal on Thursday.

Shea Weber posted three assists, giving him 222 for his career and tying him with Kimmo Timonen for the most helpers by a defenseman in franchise history. Only forwards David Legwand (356) and Martin Erat (318) have posted more assists for Nashville than Weber.

Rinne expects to get a rare break tonight in favor of backup Carter Hutton, who is in line to make just his third start of the season. Hutton is 0-1-1 in 2014-15 and has never faced the Senators.

Ottawa enters Thursday having lost four of its last five games, going 1-2-2 during the rough patch. The Sens should be well rested for tonight, as they were last in action on Saturday in a 4-2 loss against Calgary.

The Senators went 1-1-1 on their recent three-game road trip, which ended with the loss to the Flames. Bobby Ryan and Clarke MacArthur had the goals in the setback, while Craig Anderson made 21 saves in defeat.

"We just didn't do enough to get the game going our way," Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean said.

Ottawa is home for two games and will complete the brief residency when it welcomes St. Louis on Saturday. The Sens have lost two straight as the host and are 4-1-3 in Canada's capital this season.

Nashville posted a 3-2 home win over the Senators on Oct. 9 and has claimed two straight and five of the past nine meetings in this series. The Preds have won three of their last four in Ottawa.

Robin Lehner will get the start for the Sens. His lone appearance versus Nashville resulted in an overtime loss on March 10 of last season.