PREDATORS (0-2-0) at WILD (0-0-2)
TV: Fox Sports Tennessee (Dish: 446/HD: 9516; Direct TV: 644/HD: 644-1 ; Comcast Nashville 1675; Comcast Chattanooga/Cleveland/Knoxville 401; Comcast Memphis 830; Charter Nashville 33/810; AT&T Nashville 724/1724)
Radio: Preds Radio Network Flagship - 102.5-FM The Game Radio Network; Network Affiliates
HOME ICE ADVANTAGE
Tomorrow night, Nashville faces off against the Minnesota Wild in the first game of a five-game homestand which will see the Maple Leafs, Islanders, Panthers and Kings all visit the Music City. The Predators have been one of the League’s best teams on home ice since the beginning of the 2005-06 season, compiling 192 home victories, fourth most in the NHL in that span. Nashville is the only team in the NHL to post at least 23 home victories in seven consecutive full seasons. The Preds have also sold out a 33 of their last 37 home games dating back to March 6, 2012 vs. Los Angeles.
STRONG IN THE CIRCLE
The Predators rank seventh in team face-off win percentage this season (54.2 percent), after finishing the 2012-13 season tied for 18th in the League (49.7 percent). Nashville is led in the face-off circle by Paul Gaustad, who won 16-of-18 draws (89 percent) on Friday night in Colorado, in addition to scoring his first goal of the season. A game prior, the 6-5, 223-pound center went 12 for 18 in the face-off circle (67 percent). Through two games, Gaustad is tied for the League in face-off efficiency (77.8 percent), and has ranked among the League’s Top 10 in the category in each of the last four seasons.
LAST TIME OUT: Nashville 1, Colorado 3 at Pepsi Center
• Craig Smith recorded his first assist of the season on Gaustad’s goal and fired a game-high six shots on goal.
• Rookie Seth Jones led the team with a game-high 25:46 of ice time, including 5:55 of shorthanded ice time.
• Mattias Ekholm logged a career-high 20:09 of ice time.
• Pekka Rinne turned aside 33-of-35 shots against in his first full game of the 2013-14 season.
• Nashville was shorthanded five times – their most times shorthanded since March 9, 2013 vs. the Wild.
• The Predators totaled 27 shots on goal and are averaging 28.5 shots on goal per game in 2013-14 (19th). They only average 25.9 shots per game a season ago, the lowest average in the League.
TONIGHT’S STORYLINES vs. MINNESOTA
The Nashville Predators and the Minnesota Wild last met at Bridgestone Arena on March 9, 2013, in their final matchup of the 2012-13 campaign. Zach Parise opened the scoring for the Wild with a power-play goal nine minutes into the middle frame, before David Legwand tallied a power-play goal to even the score at the 6:28 mark of the third. The score remained tied through regulation and overtime, before current Predator Matt Cullen beat Pekka Rinne in the post-overtime tiebreaker to take home the 2-1 win. Dating back to Dec. 31, 2010, the Predators are 7-1-2 against the Wild, and have won five of the last six on home ice against Minnesota dating back to March 18, 2010.
Nick Spaling has eight points (5g-3a) in 10 career games against the Wild, including his most recent of two career two-goal games on March 10, 2011… Paul Gaustad tallied his first goal as a Predator against the Wild on Feb. 9, 2013… Pekka Rinne is 8-3-2 with a 2.09 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage with three shutouts against Minnesota.
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