PREDATORS (8-5-2) AT JETS (6-9-2)
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
After being held off the scoresheet for five games, Colin Wilson compiled a four-point night (2g-2a) on Wednesday to earn First Star honors. Wilson posted assists on the Preds first two goals of the game, before converting Nashville’s second power-play opportunity of the night. He then posted the eventual game winning goal at 7:34 of the final frame.
It was his second-career four-point night, tying his career high in points output, after posting four points (2g-2a) against Minnesota on March 8, 2013. The effort was also the Greenwich, Conn., native’s fourth-career multi-goal game and his first multiple-point outing of the year, moving him into third place in team scoring (3g-6a) this season, while his two power-play goals on the year are tied for second. Wilson’s night was also the first time a Pred has recorded four points in a road game since Oct. 8, 2011 at St. Louis (David Legwand, 2g-2a)
THE ROAD WARRIOR
David Legwand posted his third consecutive multiple point game (2a) on Wednesday night in Denver, including a helper on Colin Wilson’s game-winning goal. It was Legwand’s franchise-record 113th career multi-point outing. The Grosse Pointe, Mich., native has now posted 11 points (3g-8a) in his last eight outings, and has 14 points (4g-10a) in 15 games this year to move into the team goals and points lead. Ten (4g-6a) of Legwand’s 14 points this season have come away from the Music City.
The Nashville Predators posted six goals for the first time since March 8, 2013, when they downed the Edmonton Oilers, 6-0, in Music City. It was a banner night for many Preds:
• Viktor Stalberg opened the scoring for Nashville at the 13:12 mark of the first period. It was his first goal in a Preds sweater, and his first marker since April 15, 2013 against Dallas (as a member of the Blackhawks). Stalberg later notched an assist on Colin Wilson’s game-winning goal for his first multiple-point effort since March 16, 2013 (3a).
• Craig Smith posted his first power-play goal of the season, with less than a minute remaining in the first period. It was his first point since tallying the overtime-winner against Winnipeg on Oct. 24 in Nashville.
• Ryan Ellis posted two assists on the night for his second multi-point outing of the year. It was his first points since posting two points (1g-1a) against the Isles on Oct. 12. It was the Freelton, Ont., native’s first career multi-assist game.
• Paul Gaustad tallied his third goal of the season, giving him two goals in his last three outings. Two of Gaustad’s three markers this year have come against the Avs.
• Gabriel Bourque tallied his first goal of the season with an ENG to seal the win for NSH. He has three points (1g-2a) on the year.
POWER PLAY PROWESS
After posting just five power-play goals in their first 10 games, the Preds have notched six man-advantage goals in their last five outings, including back-to-back games with multiple PPGs. The Preds have converted four of five man-advantage chances in their last two outings, and 11-of-45 this season, to move into third in the NHL (24.4 percent). The Preds 45 power-play opportunities are tied for the third-fewest in the NHL. Nashville has gone six for 25 away from Music City to rank fifth in the NHL in road power-play efficiency.
Shea Weber leads the team with three power-play goals on the year. NSH’s captain in one of only three defenseman to post three PPGs (Torey Krug and Kris Letang), as he is tied for sixth in PPGs this season.
STRONG IN THE CIRCLE
The Preds rank third in the NHL in team face-off win percentage this season (55.2 percent). NSH has been better than 50 percent in the face-off circle in 13 of its 15 games this season.
NSH is led in the face-off circle by Paul Gaustad, who has won 177-of-290 face-offs this season (61 percent) to lead the NHL in the category among players who have taken at least 150 draws. Gaustad has ranked among the NHL’s Top 10 in the category in each of the last four seasons. Matt Cullen also ranks among the NHL’s top face-off men (eighth, 57.5 percent), after winning 103-of-179 draws on the season.
• Shea Weber has led NSH in ice time in eight of the last nine games to rank fifth in the NHL (26:38). Weber’s four goals, with all four of his goals coming in the first period, on the season are tied for third among NHL D-men. The Preds are 4-0-0 when he finds the back of the net.
• Mattias Ekholm has averaged 18:45 TOI this season to rank among the NHL’s Top 10 rookies.
• Seth Jones leads all first-year players in average TOI (25:11), and ranks 12th in the NHL in the category. His average time on ice is nearly four minutes more than the next closest rookie (Trouba). Jones is tied for eighth in points among first-year players (2g-5a-7pts). Jones also ranks second in power-play points (1g-3a), seventh in power-play goals (1) and 11th in shots on goal (26) among rookies.
• Patric Hornqvist has five points (1g-4a) in his last five games to move into a tie for the team goals lead and into second in team scoring (4g-6a-10pts).
• Kevin Klein leads the team and ranks fifth in the NHL with 41 blocked shots.
• When the Preds score first they hold onto the lead, going 7-0-2 in those contests this season.
• Six of NSH’s eight wins this season have come by one goal – it is 6-0-2 in one-goal games.
• NSH is 7-0-1 when scoring three or more goals this season.
• The Preds have now scored goals in seven consecutive regulation periods.
A FRANCHISE RECORD CMA ROAD TRIP
Since 2006, it has been a staple of the Preds 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 fourth stop on the franchise record tying seven-game road swing; the Preds 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.
LAST TIME OUT: Nashville 6, Colorado 4 at Pepsi Center
• NSH has now scored four goals or more in three straight games for the first time since Dec. 31, 2010 – Jan. 6, 2011.
• NSH handed COL its second loss of the season and their largest loss of the year. Of COL’s 25 goals against this season, NSH has seven (28 percent).
• It was the first time NSH has scored five or more goals on the road since Feb. 18, 2013 at COL (6-5 loss).
• Nick Spaling led the team after going 11 for 12 in the face-off circle (92 percent). He also led all NSH forwards in TOI (19:58).
• The Preds have eight GWGs this season, and David Legwand has points (1g-4a) on five of them.
• Viktor Stalberg posted a team-high six SOG – a personal season-high.
STORYLINES VS. WINNIPEG
The Preds make the second of three trips to the Central Division’s northern-most city on Friday night. The Preds have earned at least a point in 10 of 11 games against the team formerly known as the Thrashers since 2005-06, going 8-1-2 in that span. Overall, Nashville is 4-2-3 on the road against the Thrashers/Jets.
These two teams met in Winnipeg on Oct. 20, in the Preds first-ever regular-season trip to Winnipeg. The Preds got goals from Eric Nystrom, Patric Hornqvist and Matt Cullen, while Carter Hutton recorded his first career win, turning aside 38-of-39 shots, to defeat the Jets, 3-1.
In their last meeting, at Bridgestone Arena on Oct. 24, Hutton made 34 saves to earn his second straight win against the Jets, while Craig Smith's goal with 17 seconds remaining in overtime gave the Predators a 3-2 win. Shea Weber opened the scoring for Nashville with a power-play goal with less than five minutes remaining in the first period and Hornqvist posted his team-leading fourth goal of the season in the second.
Colin Wilson, who calls Winnipeg home during the offseason, has four points (2g-2a) in five career games against Atlanta/Winnipeg… Matt Cullen has 22 points (6g-16a) in 38 career games against the Thrashers/Jets… Viktor Stalberg has three points (2g-1a) in four career games against Atlanta/Winnipeg… Preds prospect and 2012-13 Canadian Hockey League scoring champion, Brendan Leipsic (fourth round, 2012) hails from Winnipeg… Nashville’s Assistant Coach Phil Housley was better than a point-per-game player for the previous incarnation of the Jets from 1990-93, when he posted 259 points (64g-195a) in 232 games. Housley still holds Jets’ records for most points (97, 1992-93) and assists (79, 1992-93) by a defenseman in a single season during Teemu Selanne’s recording setting rookie goal scoring campaign (76).
15TH ANNIVERSARY MOMENT
November 8, 2003: Preds score three in third to beat Detroit, 4-3; begins run to 2004 playoffs
Over the course of an 82-game season, it’s not very often that a team can point to one game as a defining moment. For the 2003-04 Nashville Predators, however, it goes back to one November night at the Joe.
The Predators staged one of the most dramatic comebacks in franchise history in the most unlikely of places, rallying from a 3-0 deficit with four scores in the final 20 minutes. It became a 4-3 win in regulation at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, a place where Nashville had posted a record of 1-10-3 in 14 all-time trips up to that point.
The first of four third-period goals came from the stick of Vladimir Orszagh at 6:47, energizing the Nashville attack. The Predators began to funnel players to the net, creating traffic, and Nashville fired a total of 20 shots on Detroit goalie Curtis Joseph in the third. Martin Erat scored at 11:57, Scott Hartnell tied the game at 16:26 and Scott Walker notched the game-winner, completing the comeback with just 57 seconds remaining.
"It's as well as we've played for a short period – 20 minutes," head coach Barry Trotz said. "That might be our best period for passion, determination and those things. The guys were determined they were going to make something happen."
After a slow start to the season had put the Preds into a 4-8-1 hole, the victory over the Red Wings sparked a run of 10 wins in their next 12 games and vaulted Nashville towards the first playoff berth in franchise history.
"We came out and played an unbelievable period," goaltender Tomas Vokoun said. "It just shows that we have it in us."
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