OTTAWA — Thomas Chabot saw an opening and he took it. And he salvaged two points for his team in the process.
Chabot scored 21 seconds into overtime as the Ottawa Senators recovered from blowing a three-goal lead to beat the Nashville Predators 4-3 on Monday.
Chabot’s goal, his tenth of the season, puts him first among NHL defencemen with 36 points.
“I was looking for the pass, but the d-man did a good job to cut it so I saw the hole upstairs and I tried to get it,” said Chabot. “Obviously I was pretty happy to see it went in.”
Chabot’s success has been a bright spot for a Senators team that wondered how it would replace Erik Karlsson’s offensive contributions.
“When (Chabot) takes off he’s tough to follow,” said Senators coach Guy Boucher. “In overtime, with open space like that he’s so dangerous. I’m really happy because in the second period we were disappointed at the number of times we didn’t shoot and felt we lost momentum because of it.
“In overtime instead of looking for the fancy play, he shoots and it pays off so it’s great.”
Maxime Lajoie, Brady Tkachuk and Ryan Dzingel scored in regulation for the Senators (15-16-4), who handed Nashville its first loss against an Eastern Conference opponent. Craig Anderson stopped 31 shots.
Roman Josi, with a pair of goals, and Craig Smith also scored for the Predators (22-11-1), who have now lost seven straight on the road (0-5-1).
“I’m frustrated, disappointed,” said Predators coach Peter Laviolette. “We came here to play a game and we didn’t do what we were supposed to do so that’s not good enough, especially when you’ve lost as many on the road as we have.”
Pekka Rinne started the game, but was pulled after allowing three goals on 11 shots in the first period. That ended his seven-game unbeaten streak against the Senators.
Juuse Saros allowed one goal on 12 shots.
Trailing 3-1, the Predators made it a one-goal game just 46 seconds into the third period with Smith’s power-play goal and tied it at 6:56 as Josi’s shot deflected off Dzingel.
“We knew they were going to push,” said Anderson. “I thought we did a pretty good job of settling down after the lucky bounce off Dzingel’s stick.”
Josi’s first goal came on a power play five minutes into the second period when he picked up a rebound and beat Anderson to make it 3-1.
“In the first we were just too slow, they were faster than us,” said Josi. “We didn’t win battles, we didn’t battle hard enough and we deserved to be down 3-0 the way we played. We’ve got to fix that.”
Things got heated later in the period when a fight broke out between Bobby Ryan and former teammate Kyle Turris. Ryan took exception to being slashed across the hands and the two exchanged blows.
Ryan has had to miss a number of games due to hand injuries over the past few seasons.
“I was not expecting that,” said Anderson. “When you go after (Ryan’s fingers) that’s what’s going to happen. Bobby was standing up for himself and I thought he did a great job.”
Ryan chose not to speak to the media following the game and Turris would only say he wasn’t surprised that his former teammate went after him.
“It is what it is,” Turris said. “We’ll leave it at that.”
Asked if he thought the incident could affect their relationship off the ice, Turris said, “we’re just not going to talk about it.”
The Senators scored three goals in the first 20 minutes.
Lajoie opened the scoring at the two-minute mark with a power-play goal as he skated into the circle and fired a shot that squeezed through Rinne’s pads. Tkachuk made it 2-0 with his tenth of the season less than three minutes later.
Ottawa took a 3-0 lead with 11.6 seconds remaining in the period as Mark Stone spotted Dzingel, who was able to beat Rinne high. The Senators had a goal waived off for a high stick minutes earlier.
Monday’s game was the second and final meeting between the two teams this season.
Notes: The Senators remain without Dylan DeMelo and Matt Duchene, but Mark Borowiecki returned to the Senators lineup after missing the last 12 games. … Max McCormick was assigned to AHL Belleville after clearing waivers. … P.K. Subban missed his 16th straight game for the Predators.