PREDATORS (6-5-2) at KINGS (9-5-0)
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Radio: Preds Radio Network Flagship - 102.5-FM The Game Radio Network; Network Affiliates
LEGWAND POSTS THREE
On Thursday night in Phoenix, David Legwand rode a three-point night (1g-3a) – all in the first period – to the top of the Preds scoring category. It was Legwand’s 19th career three-point effort and his franchise record 111th career multiple point game. Legwand’s three-point period was the 31st in franchise history, and first since he did it on Oct. 8, 2011 at St. Louis (third period). The Grosse Pointe, Mich., native has now posted seven points (1g-6a) in his last six outings, and has 10 points (2g-8a) in 13 games this year to lead the team. Six (2g-4a) of Legwand’s 10 points this season have come on the road.
Legwand’s first points on Thursday night came with assists on Matt Hendricks’ first goal of the season at the nine minute mark of the opening period, and he followed it up with his second helper just five minutes later on Eric Nystrom’s third goal of the season. With less than two minutes remaining in the first, Legwand buried a pass from Seth Jones to record his first power-play goal of the year.
A FRANCHISE RECORD CMA ROAD TRIP
Since 2006, it has been a staple of the Nashville Predators schedule – the annual extended road trip in early November to accommodate the Country Music Association Awards – being held this year on Wednesday, Nov. 6. Tonight marks the second stop on the franchise record tying seven-game road swing; the Predators also played seven straight on the road earlier this year from Jan.22-Feb. 5, 2013, and first played seven straight on the road from Oct. 30-Nov. 12, 2002. The trip will last 17 days, the longest stretch away from the Music City in franchise history, and see the team go to Phoenix, Los Angeles, Colorado, Winnipeg, New Jersey, New York and Pittsburgh to wrap things up on Nov. 15. Nashville’s next game at Bridgestone Arena will be Nov. 16 against the reigning Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.
• Ekholm has posted points/assists in back-to-back games after recording his first career point on Nick Spaling’s shorthanded goal last Saturday against St. Louis. The Borlange, Sweden native has also averaged 19:41 of ice time this season to rank fifth among rookies.
• Forsberg, who was a scratch on Thursday night, currently ranks among the League’s Top 15 rookie forwards with four points (1g-3a) on the season, and his average ice time of 13:11 also ranks among the Top 15. All of Forsberg’s points this season have come on the man-advantage – tying him for second in power-play points among rookies.
• After logging a career-high and game-high 30:19 of ice time on Thursday night vs. Phoenix, Jones leads all first-year players in average time on ice (25:08), and ranks 12th in the League in the category. The Arlington, Texas native also ranks seventh in power-play goals (1), eighth in shots on goal (26) and is tied for ninth in points (2g-4a-6pts) among rookies after registering an assist on David Legwand’s power-play goal on Thursday.
• Nashville is one of two teams to field multiple teenagers in their lineup this season with Jones and Forsberg holding two roster spots (both 19). Buffalo is the only other team who has fielded multiple teenagers in its lineup this season (four total).
STRONG IN THE CIRCLE
The Predators rank second in the League in team face-off win percentage this season (55.7 percent), just one spot behind Los Angeles for the League lead (55.9). Nashville has been better than 50 percent in the face-off circle in 12 of its 13 games – falling below the 50 percent mark for the first time this season on Thursday in Phoenix.
Nashville is led in the face-off circle by Paul Gaustad, who has won 147-of-235 face-offs this season (62.6 percent) to lead the League in the category among players who have taken at least 100 draws. The 6-5, 220-pound center has ranked among the League’s Top 10 in the category in each of the last four seasons. Matt Cullen also ranks among the League’s top face-off men (sixth, 57.6 percent), after winning 91-of-158 draws this season.
• Shea Weber posted 29:01 of ice time on Thursday night in Phoenix, and has led Nashville in ice time in six of the last seven games to rank sixth in the League in the category (26:28).
• The Predators have outshot their opponent by a total of 307-285 through the last 10 games. They ranked 12th in the League in average shots against this season (29.5).
• Kevin Klein leads the team and ranks 12th in the League with 32 blocked shots on the year.
• When the Preds score first they hold onto the lead, going 5-0-2 in those contests this season.
LAST TIME OUT: Nashville 4, Phoenix 5 (SO) at Jobing.com Arena
• Extra time was required in a Predators game for the third time this season. Nashville is now 1-2 in overtime/shootouts in 2013-14.
• Nashville recorded four goals for the second time this season. It last posted four goals on Oct. 15 in a 4-3 win against the Florida Panthers.
• Matt Hendricks posted his first goal of the season and his first goal in a Preds sweater at the nine-minute mark of the first period. Hendricks logged 5:32 of ice time before leaving the game with an upper-body injury in the second period.
• Eric Nystrom added his third goal of the season just five minutes after Hendrick’s tally. Nystrom led the team in both shots (5) and hits (8). His five shots on goal were a season high, and just one short of his career high (6).
• Paul Gaustad recorded his second goal of the season at the 4:15 mark of the third period. It was his first point since tallying against Colorado on Oct. 4.
• Nick Spaling has points in back-to-back games after posting an assist on Gaustad’s third-period goal. The Predators are 20-5-1 when Spaling scores a goal and 34-9-4 when he records a point during his career.
• Roman Josi returned to action after missing 10 games due to injury.
• Patric Hornqvist became just the 22nd player in Preds history play 300 games with the franchise. He is the fourth player on the active roster to hit the plateau (David Legwand, 907; Shea Weber, 541; and Kevin Klein, 369). Hornqvist also added an assist on the night.
• Nashville hit the 40-shot mark for the first time this season, while Phoenix’s 25 shots against were tied for the second fewest allowed (+15 shot differential ties a season high). Nashville’s 19 third-period shots were also a season high.
• The Preds recorded fewer than five penalty minutes for the second time this season.
STORYLINES VS. LOS ANGELES
Nashville and Los Angeles meet for the second of their three-game 2013-14 slate on Saturday in Los Angeles. Nashville has won 11-of-20 games against the Kings since the beginning of the 2008-09 season (11-8-1). The Kings are the only Western Conference team that the Predators have a winning record against on the road (14-11-3), but a losing record against at home (10-14-4).
These teams last met at Bridgestone Arena on Oct. 17 in a 2-1 shootout win for the Kings. Matt Cullen and Slava Voynov tallied in the first period, but the score remained tied through the end of regulation and overtime, so the post-overtime tiebreaker was required for the second time in four games between these two foes. Anze Kopitar converted the final attempt of the shootout to secure the win for the Kings.
In the Preds last visit to Staples Center on March 4, 2013, Jeff Carter posted his fifth career hat trick and Jonathan Bernier turned away 18-of-19 shots to beat the Predators, 5-1. Gabriel Bourque scored a late goal for the Preds to spoil the shutout bid.
Gabriel Bourque has five points (2g-3a) in seven career games against the Kings… Patric Hornqvist has 10 points (7g-3a) in 16 career games against L.A… Rich Clune was claimed on waivers from Los Angeles on Jan. 15, 2013. During the 2009-10 campaign, he played his first 14 NHL regular season games (0g-2a, 26 PIM) – and four playoff contests (0g-0a, 5 PIM) – with the Kings, and was with the organization from 2006-13.
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS VS. LOS ANGELES
• Patric Hornqvist recorded his most recent multi-goal game against the Kings on March 6, 2012.
• David Legwand converted his most recent penalty shot attempt vs. L.A. on Dec. 23, 2006 (Dan Cloutier).
• Viktor Stalberg attempted his most recent penalty shot against Jonathan Quick on March 11, 2012 at Staples Center (with the Blackhawks).
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