PREDATORS (10-9-2) AT MAPLE LEAFS (13-7-1)
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
MAZANEC MAKES HIS MARK
Rookie goaltender Marek Mazanec, making just his fourth NHL start, became the seventh goalie in franchise history to post a shutout after stopping all 27 shots on Tuesday night in Detroit. Mazanec, 22, is also the youngest netminder in franchise history to post a shutout, and the second-quickest goalie in club history to record his first shutout (Dan Ellis). The whitewash comes just one game after Mazanec turned away 39-of-41 shots against the defending Stanley Cup champions to record his first NHL win. The Pisek, Czech Republic native has posted a 2-2-0 record with a 2.45 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage.
WEBER HEATS UP
Shea Weber became the highest scoring defenseman in franchise history (114g-188a-302pts) with his power-play goal on Tuesday night in Detroit. The marker comes just one game after the Sicamous, B.C., native recorded a two-point night (1g-1a) against Chicago to become just the fourth player in club history to break the 300-point plateau (David Legwand, Martin Erat and Kimmo Timonen).
• With his power-play goal on Tuesday, Weber extended his club power-play goals lead to 54 career man-advantage goals. He leads all NHL defensemen with five power-play goals on the year.
• The 6-4, 235-pound blueliner is now tied for second among League defensemen with six goals on the year. The Preds are 6-0-0 when he finds the back of the net.
• Nashville’s captain ranks third on the team (6g-5a-11pts) and ranks among the League’s Top 20 defensemen in scoring this season.
• Weber has led Nashville in ice time in 14 of the last 15 games to rank sixth in the League in the category (26:32).
David Legwand has three points (1g-2a) in his last two games, and 11 points (3g-8a) in his last nine outings to lead the team with 18 points (4g-14a) in 21 games this season.
• With his assist on Shea Weber’s power-play goal on Tuesday night, Legwand moved into a tie with Nashville’s captain with eight power-play points (2g-6a) on the year.
• The Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich., native has posted the 15th-most assists in the League this season (14).
• Twelve (4g-8a) of Legwand’s 18 points have come away from the Music City.
LAST TIME OUT: Nashville 2, Detroit 0 at Joe Louis Arena
• The Predators earned their first shutout of the season. It was the first time Nashville has shut out an opponent since March 12, 2013.
• Gabriel Bourque tallied his second goal in his last three games with an insurance marker at 7:13 of the third period.
• Viktor Stalberg posted his second assist of the season on Bourque’s goal. Stalberg has two points (1g-1a) in his last two outings.
• Mike Fisher led all skaters with four shots on goal.
• Nashville’s power-play found the back of the net in the second consecutive game. With three power-play goals in its last two games, Nashville power play has moved into 12th in the League (20 percent). Nashville is now 9-0-1 when it scores a power-play goal.
• The Predators penalty kill remained strong, denying the League’s seventh-best power-play unit a goal on two attempts.
• Gabriel Bourque has points (2g-1a) in three consecutive games since becoming a father on Nov. 13.
• Patric Hornqvist has eight points (3g-5a) in his last 11 games to lead the team in goals and move into second in team scoring (6g-7a-13pts).
• Seth Jones leads all first-year players in average time on ice (23:59). The Frisco, Texas native is tied for 14th in points among first-year players (2g-6a-8pts), while ranking second in power-play points (1g-3a-4pts), ninth in power-play goals (1) and 17th in shots on goal (29) among rookies.
• Kevin Klein leads the team and ranks fifth in the League with 54 blocked shots.
• When the Preds score first they hold onto the lead, going 9-1-2 in those contests this season.
• Six of Nashville’s 10 wins this season have come by one goal – it is 6-0-2 in one-goal games.
• Nashville is 8-0-1 when scoring three or more goals this season.
• The Predators are tied for the second-fewest home games played this season (eight), only Dallas has played fewer home games (seven).
• Nashville has played 13 road games this season – only Anaheim, Dallas, Edmonton, San Jose and Vancouver have played more games away from their home venues.
• The Predators have had seven rookies appear in the lineup this season. They had eight rookies appear last season, and 11 during the 2011-12 campaign. Nashville is also one of two teams in the NHL to field multiple teenagers in its lineup (Filip Forsberg, 19 and Seth Jones, 19), only Buffalo has had more teenagers on its roster this season (four).
• Including Thursday night, seven of Nashville’s next 10 games are against Eastern Conference opponents. The Preds are 57-37-16 against the Eastern Conference since 2005-06, 33-20-9 vs. the East since 2009-10, and 4-5-0 in inter-conference matchups this season.
• Thursday night’s game in Toronto ends a stretch of nine road games in 10 game span for Nashville (4-4-1). The team has been on the road for 21 of the last 23 days dating back to Oct. 30.
STRONG IN THE CIRCLE
The Predators rank third in the League in team face-off win percentage this season (54.9 percent). Nashville has been better than 50 percent in the face-off circle in 18 of its 21 games this season.
Nashville is led in the face-off circle by Paul Gaustad, who has won 231-of-377 face-offs this season (61.3 percent) to lead the League in the category among players who have taken at least 250 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 (fourth, 58 percent), winning 145-of-250 draws on the season.
STORYLINES VS. TORONTO
The Nashville Predators visit Canada’s largest city for just the 10th time ever, and for the first time since Nov. 16, 2010. It is also just the sixth overall meeting between the Predators and Leafs since the 2008-09 season. The Predators hold a 7-6-(1)-0 all-time record against the Leafs, including a 4-4-1 mark at Air Canada Centre.
These teams last met in the Music City on Oct. 10, as the Maple Leafs rode Phil Kessel (1g-2a) and Jonathan Bernier to a 4-0 shutout win.
In their last trip to Air Canada Centre on Nov. 16, 2010, the Preds jumped out to a three goal lead within the first 11:43 of the play, but four consecutive second-period power-play goals from the Leafs saw them take back the lead en route to a 5-4 win.
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS VS. TORONTO
• Matt Cullen made his NHL debut against Toronto on Oct. 28, 1997 (with Anaheim).
• Mike Fisher tied a career high with three points (2g-1a) vs. Toronto on Nov. 27, 2010 (with Ottawa). For his career, Fisher has 34 points (21g-13a) in 58 games against the Maple Leafs. The Peterborough, Ont. native also, converted his second career penalty shot vs. Toronto on Nov. 2, 2010 (Jean-Sebastien Giguere).
• David Legwand tallied his first NHL goal on Oct. 11, 1999 against Toronto (Glenn Healy).
• Eric Nystrom tied his career-high with two goals and six shots against Toronto on Nov. 25, 2011.
• Viktor Stalberg was Toronto’s fifth selection, 161st overall (sixth round) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
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