It was Sullivan’s sixth NHL hat trick and third with the Predators. He scored the three goals in a span of 5:56, the quickest for any player in Nashville history. Sullivan showed no effects of a groin strain sustained a week earlier at Los Angeles that forced him to miss the club’s previous two games.
Sullivan completed his hat trick by converting a cross-ice pass in the left circle from J.P. Dumont, tucking his shot just inside the left post.
The ailing Senators were without captain Daniel Alfredsson, who missed his fifth consecutive game with a hip injury, and defenceman Wade Redden who missed his seventh with chest and shoulder injuries. Ottawa lost for the fourth time in five games.
Nashville’s Chris Mason, in his 10th straight start, made 22 saves en route to his second shutout of the season.
Predators rookie Alexander Radulov had a goal and an assist, and Paul Kariya and Dumont each recorded three assists for the Predators. In 18 games, Radulov has 10 goals to rank third among rookies.
Ray Emery, who entered with the sixth-best save percentage at .925, took the loss, allowing all six goals on just 14 shots. Emery was lifted in favour of Martin Gerber at 11:54 of the second period.
Notes: Petr Tenkrat had the Predators’ only other natural hat trick on Dec. 15, 2001 . . . Jason Arnott returned to the Nashville lineup and recorded one assist. He missed 11 games with a right knee injury. Ottawa made its first trip to Nashville since Dec. 30, 2002 . . . The Predators are 5-0 against Eastern Conference opponents this season.