PREDATORS (14-14-7) at DUCKS (26-5-2)
TV: Fox SportSouth (Dish: 452/HD: 9574; Direct TV: 650/HD: 650-1) ; Comcast Nashville 26/1676; Comcast Chattanooga/Cleveland/Knoxville 58/402/1676; Comcast Memphis 830; Charter Nashville 37; AT&T Nashville 729/1729)
Radio: Preds Radio Network Flagship - 102.5-FM The Game Radio Network; Network Affiliates
The Predators are playing the front end of their seventh-of-nine sets of back-to-backs in 2012-13 tonight – they play Colorado tomorrow night at Bridgestone Arena. The Preds are 1-3-2 on the front end and 2-3-1 on the back end of two-games-in-two-nights scenarios to this point. Six times the Preds will play one game at home and one on the road (or vice versa), twice they’ll hit Bridgestone Arena ice on back-to-back days, and on one occasion will play two road games in two nights. The Predators play a home-and-home set with Chicago next weekend, then have their final back-to-back April 14 (vs. Vancouver) and April 15 (vs. Detroit).
PREDS IN APRIL
The Predators have had success in the month of April of late, most recently posting a 3-0-0 record in the year's fourth month a season ago. In the past three seasons, Nashville has an 8-2-1 record in April.
FISHER STAYS HOT
Mike Fisher was forced to sit out Saturday’s game with an upper-body injury, and is questionable for tonight. Prior to being sidelined – from March 14 through Thursday – he had an eight-game point streak (5g-4a-9pts), his longest streak as a Predator, and just one game shy of tying his career best (set with the Ottawa Senators in 2007-08). The Peterborough, Ont., native also ranks second among League forwards in blocked shots (43) this season.
WEBER’S NORRIS PUSH
Shea Weber continues to excel in multiple areas of the game, most recently leading the team in ice time for the 27th time this season and blocking a team-high four shots on Saturday at Colorado.
- Weber has 19 points (7g-12a) in his last 22 games. He is tied for second among NHL defensemen in goals, and among the Top 15 blueliners in points (7g-13a-20pts). Weber also ranks among the Top 10 d-men in power-play goals (3).
- The back-to-back Norris Trophy runner-up ranks fourth in the NHL in total minutes played (903:27), and seventh in average ice time (25:48).
- Weber leads the team and is third among defensemen in shots (92).
- Weber also ranks among the Top 30 at the position in both hits (67) and blocked shots (68). He’s the only blueliner to rank among the Top 30 in points, hits and blocked shots among d-men while averaging more than 25:00 per game.
- His next goal will tie him with Jason Arnott (107) for third on the franchise’s all-time list.
JOSI PRODUCING FROM THE BACK LINE TOO
Roman Josi has nine points (2g-7a) in the last eight games to move into the Top 30 in both points (5g-11a-16pts) and goals among defensemen. Josi has led the team in ice time in the eight games that his defensive partner Shea Weber has not, and his average ice time is up more than 4:30 from his rookie season (from 18:23 to 23:08). He played 27:33 on Saturday, just one game after logging a career-high 30:24 and putting a career-high six shots on goal on Thursday vs. Phoenix.
LAST TIME OUT: Nashville 0 at Colorado 1 in Overtime
- Nashville went to extra time for the first time in 10 games, falling to 5-7 in games that go beyond 60 minutes. Its 12 overtime/shootout games are tied for second in the League behind only Columbus (13). The Preds are 3-2 in the five-minute, four-on-four session, and 2-5 in shootouts. Last season, Nashville needed extra time on 16 occasions in 82 games, tied for the third fewest in the NHL. The Preds didn’t go beyond 60 minutes for the 12th time in 2011-12 until game No. 56 on Feb. 11, 2012 at Boston.
- The Predators outshot or had even number of shots as their opponent for the seventh straight game. One game after tying a season high with 38 shots (Thursday vs. Phoenix), the Predators put 34 shots on the Colorado net. For the second consecutive game, all but two Nashville skaters registered a shot, led by Patric Hornqvist’s five and Roman Josi’s four.
- The Predators were shut out for the first time in 16 games.
- Nashville was shorthanded just once. It was the 13th time this season it has been shorthanded two times or fewer in a game. Nashville ranks fifth in the League in both fewest times shorthanded (111) and fewest average penalty minutes (10.6).
- Pekka Rinne stopped 23-of-24 shots. It was the 10th time this season that he has held the opposition to one or no goals.
- Paul Gaustad returned to the lineup after missing the previous eight games with an upper-body injury. He played 17:35 – his third-highest total of the season – and won 11-of-22 face-offs.
- Matt Halischuk returned to the lineup after spending the previous two games as a scratch. He has five points (2g-3a) in eight games since returning from a conditioning assignment with Milwaukee (AHL).
- Nashville is allowing an average of 26.5 shots against this season, fifth fewest in the League.
- Nashville has scored the seventh-most first-period goals (tie, 31). It has also found the back of the net in the third frame in 12 of the last 14 games, amassing 16 goals in that span.
- Martin Erat has eight points (1g-7a) in his last five games. He has notched a team-high 15 of his 21 points this season on home ice.
- Gabriel Bourque has eight points (5g-3a) in his last 10 games, and seven goals in his last 14 games. Bourque leads the team in goals (11), with seven of them coming on the road.
- David Legwand now has 10 points (5g-5a) in his last 12 games. He is four goals shy of 200 for his career.
- Taylor Beck has three points (1g-2a) in his last four games. He has played six career NHL games.
- Bobby Butler has four assists/points in his last five games he’s dressed after being held scoreless in his first five games in a Preds sweater.
- Nick Spaling has scored four of his six goals this season on the road.
- Rich Clune has seven points (3g-4a) in his last 16 games after posting three points (1g-2a) in his first 32 NHL contests in 2009-10 with Los Angeles (14gp) and from Jan. 21-Feb. 23, 2013 with Nashville (18gp). He also ranks among the League’s Top 20 in hits (97), and has the fourth-most majors in the League (tie, 10).
TONIGHT’S STORYLINES vs. CHICAGO
The Nashville Predators visit Chicago for the first time in 2012-13 on April Fools’ Day; these teams play three times during the final month of the regular season – in Nashville on Saturday, then the next night in the Windy City, and finally on April 19 at the United Center. A season ago, the Predators took five of a possible six points in games played in Chicago, posting a 2-0-1 record. On March 25, 2012 in their last trip to the UC, Nashville posted its largest margin of victory all season, winning 6-1 in a game where 13 players reached the scoresheet. The Preds also won by a 5-2 score on Jan. 21, 2012, while falling in overtime on Halloween 2011, 5-4.
In these teams first meeting of 2012-13, the Blackhawks struck twice in the second and once in the third to hand Nashville a rare regulation home loss. The Predators power play went 0-for-1 on the night, but is 6-for-18 over the past six games (33.3 percent) against Chicago. Overall, Nashville is 4-2-1 vs. Chicago since the start of 2011-12.
David Legwand led all Predators in scoring against Chicago a season ago with nine points (1g-8a) in six games. He has 55 career points (19g-36a) against Chicago – more points and assists than any other player against any team in franchise history… Patric Hornqvist (4g-3a-7pts, 5gp) and Mike Fisher (2g-4a-6pts, 5gp) also produced at greater than a point per game pace a season ago… Martin Erat has 15 points (6g-9a) in his last 19 games against Chicago.
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS vs. CHICAGO
Matt Halischuk – Career-high 10 penalty minutes on Oct. 31, 2011 at Chicago and played his first game as a Predator on Jan. 16, 2011
Kevin Klein – First NHL goal on Jan. 26, 2007 at Chicago (Nikolai Khabibulin)
David Legwand – First of two career hat tricks on Jan. 20, 2007 vs. Chicago
Pekka Rinne – First NHL game and first NHL win on Dec. 15, 2005 vs. Chicago
Shea Weber – Most recent of nine career two-goal games on March 31, 2012 vs. Chicago
Brandon Yip – First game as a Predator on Jan. 21, 2012 vs. Chicago
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