NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Expansion franchises look for anything
positive in the early years. Getting to 100 victories definitely
counts as a high point.
Defenseman Andy Delmore scored two power-play goals as the
Nashville Predators beat the Ottawa Senators 4-2 on Thursday night for
the 100th victory in franchise history. The fourth-year team
reached the mark in only its 274th game, something only Florida
(223) achieved quicker among recent expansion franchises.
Not all the Predators were immediately aware of the mark, but
Nashville coach Barry Trotz called it a milestone.
"To be the second-quickest in sort of modern expansion, that's
a pretty good feat. Our goals are bigger down the road, but when
you're starting a franchise you always look for things that are
very positive. And that's very positive that we're going in the
right direction," he said.
"The next goal is to 200."
The Predators had just lost all four games on a road trip, but
returning home where they went undefeated with five victories in
November helped. They got two goals in the opening minutes,
starting when Johnson scored at 1:17 when he put a wrister from
past the right circle past Patrick Lalime for his sixth goal of the
season and 100th of his career.
"That is how we have to remember to play every game,"
Nashville goalie Mike Dunham said.
The Predators got three power-play goals against Ottawa, which
won on the road at Dallas on Wednesday night. Coach Jacques Martin
said his Senators, ranked 23rd in penalty killing, have to improve.
"We got away with it for awhile in November, but overall, you
have to do a better job," Martin said.
Delmore made it 2-0 at 7:21 with his eighth goal and fifth
power-play goal when he took a pass from Kimmo Timonen and pushed a
one-timer past Lalime's left leg. He scored again 14 seconds into
the third on a similar play from nearly the same spot near the left
Alfredsson scored an unassisted goal at 6:33 of the third to
ruin Dunham's shutout bid.
Orszagh padded the lead with a power-play goal from in front of
the crease at 9:39, but Chara poked in a rebound behind Dunham's
leg at 16:38 to make it 4-2.
Dunham finished with 28 saves for his first victory since Nov.
Delmore became the first Nashville defenseman with two
two-goal games. His third-period goal also was the fastest in
Nashville history by one second. ... Johnson has 10 points -- four
goals, six assists -- in the past 10 games. ... Nashville RW Vitali
Yachmenev started the game after missing the Predators' four-game
road trip with a sore right foot. He had to be helped off the ice
in the second but returned in the third. ... Ottawa LW Shawn
McEachern had an assist on Chara's goal and has four points in the
last four games. ... Ottawa LW Martin Havlat played in his 100th