FLYERS (10-12-2)* at PREDATORS (13-11-2)
*prior to Friday afternoon vs. Winnipeg
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
Nashville’s penalty kill has stymied some of the League’s top power-play units in their last eight outings.
• The Preds have held the opposition’s power play scoreless in seven straight games. It is the second time through 24 games the penalty kill has gone seven games without allowing a power-play goal (Oct. 12-24 and Nov. 16-28) – tied for the second-longest streak in franchise history.
• Nashville’s penalty kill has held the opposition scoreless on their last 19 times shorthanded, last allowing a power-play goal on Nov. 15 in Pittsburgh.
• The Preds have only surrendered three power-play goals on 35 times shorthanded in their last nine outings (91.4 percent success rate).
• The Preds penalty kill ranks 10th in the League (84.5 percent), and has allowed the ninth-fewest power-play goals (13).
• Nashville’s home penalty kill continues to improve as it now ranks in the top half of the League (83.3 percent, tied for 14th). Nashville last allowed a home power-play goal on Oct. 26 vs. St. Louis.
Rookie goaltender Marek Mazanec was strong again for Nashville on Thursday night, stopping 25 of 27 shots. The loss was just his second in seven games. Mazanec has not allowed more than two goals in a game since Nov. 15 – a span of seven consecutive starts. The Pisek, Czech Republic native is 5-4-0 with a 2.01 goals-against average, a .934 save percentage and two shutouts. His goals-against average ranks 16th in the League and second among rookie goaltenders behind Anaheim’s Frederik Andersen, while his save percentage is also good for second among rookies and 14th among League netminders (minimum of four starts). Mazanec has also played the third-fewest minutes (565:39) among goaltenders with multiple shutouts this season (2).
With seven goals on the season, Shea Weber is tied with Erik Karlsson (OTT), Torey Krug (BOS), and Michael Stone (PHX) for the goal-scoring lead among blueliners (7). Nashville’s captain is the only defenseman in the League to lead his team in goal scoring.
• The Preds are 7-0-0 when their captain finds the back of the net.
• The Sicamous, B.C., native ranks fifth on the team (7g-5a-12pts), and among the League’s Top 20 in defensemen scoring.
• Weber has led Nashville in ice time in 16 of the last 20 games to rank seventh in the League in the category (26:09).
• Nashville’s captain ranks second on the in hits (62) and blocked shots (54).
• David Legwand has 13 points (4g-9a) in his last 14 outings to lead the team with 20 points (5g-15a) in 25 games. Thirteen (5g-8a) of Legwand’s 20 points have come away from the Music City.
• Matt Cullen has posted nine points (3g-6a), including three multi-point outings, in his last seven games. The Virginia, Minn., native is now tied with Patric Hornqvist for third in team scoring (5g-8a). He is set to play in his 1,100th game on Saturday night against Philly.
• Since becoming a father for the first time earlier this month, Gabriel Bourque has posted seven points (3g-4a) in eight games.
• Craig Smith has posted four points (1g-3a) in his last five games, and has seven points (3g-4a) in his last seven outings. Smith ranks second in team scoring (6g-9a-15pts) and shots (68).
• Patric Hornqvist, who is day-to-day with an upper-body injury, has eight points (3g-5a) in his last 13 games to move into second on the team in goals and third in team scoring (6g-7a-13pts).
• Seth Jones leads all first-year players in average time on ice (23:26). The Frisco, Texas native is tied for 15th in points among first-year players (3g-6a-9pts), 12th in goals (3) and shots on goal (38), and second in blocked shots (44), while ranking third in power-play goals and power-play points (2g-3a-5pts) among rookies.
• Kevin Klein leads the team and ranks 11th in the League with 58 blocked shots.
• When the Preds score first they hold onto the lead, going 11-1-2 in those contests.
• Six of Nashville’s 13 wins this season have come by one goal – it is 6-0-2 in one-goal games.
• Nashville is 13-1-1 when scoring more than one goal, and 11-0-1 when scoring three or more goals.
• Nashville has played 15 road games – only Anaheim (17) and the New York Rangers (16) have played more games away from their home venue.
• The Preds have outscored their opposition 8-4 in the second period and 15-9 in the final 40 minutes in their last seven games.
• Nashville’s power play ranks in the League’s Top 10 (ninth, 21 percent), while its home power play remains one of the League’s best (eighth, 24.1 percent).
• 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).
LAST TIME OUT: Nashville 0, Edmonton 3 at Bridgestone Arena
• Nashville put 33 shots on goal – an eight-game high – and hit double digit shots in all three periods. Nashville last broke the 30-shot plateau on Nov. 16 in the 7-2 victory over Chicago (30). Nine Preds skaters recorded multiple shots on goal.
• Despite leaving the game due to injury, Shea Weber tied Mike Fisher for the team lead in shots on goal (five) – a season high for both. Weber also tied with Paul Gaustad and Gabriel Bourque in hits (four).
• Victor Bartley had a game-high five blocked shots.
• Roman Josi led the team in ice time (25:50) for the third consecutive game. He ranks second on the team in average ice time (23:31).
SOLID IN THE CIRCLE
The Predators lead in the League in team face-off win percentage this season (55.1 percent). Nashville has been better than 50 percent in the face-off circle in 23 of its 26 games. Nashville is led in the face-off circle by Paul Gaustad, who has won 273-of-441 face-offs (61.9 percent) to lead the League in the category (minimum 300 draws). Matt Cullen also ranks among the League’s top face-off men (fourth, 58.6 percent), winning 183-of-312 draws.
HOME ICE ADVANTAGE
Nashville has posted a 6-4-1 record at home in 2013-14. The Predators have been one of the League’s best teams on home ice since the beginning of the 2005-06 season, compiling 198 home victories, fourth most in the NHL in that span and just two wins behind Vancouver for third. 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 37 of their last 49 home games dating back to March 6, 2012 vs. Los Angeles.
STORYLINES vs. PHILADELPHIA
The Flyers make their only appearance of the 2013-14 season on Saturday at Bridgestone Arena, while the Preds will travel to the City of Brotherly Love on Jan. 16, 2014. Nashville is 6-7-(3)-0 in 16 all-time games against Philadelphia, with six of those needing overtime or a shootout. The Predators are now 3-2-2 on home ice, after winning the last three games at Bridgestone Arena.
These teams played twice during the 2011-12 season, as the home team won each contest. The Preds took down the Flyers 4-2 at Bridgestone Arena on Jan. 14, 2012, in a game made most famous by Ryan Ellis’ huge hit on Wayne Simmonds – Click here to see the video. After leading 2-1 after the first 40 minutes, Nick Spaling and Mike Fisher both tallied in the third en route to the victory.
Nineteen days later, in Philadelphia, the Flyers returned the favor by defeating the Preds 4-1 at Wells Fargo Center.
Matt Cullen has played more games against the Flyers than any other Predator. He has 25 points (11g-14a) in 41 career games vs. Philly… Paul Gaustad has 13 points (5g-8a) in 25 games against the Flyers… Mike Fisher has posted 14 points (5g-9a) in 37 career games against Philadelphia.
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS VS. PHILADELPHIA
• Mike Fisher made his NHL debut on Oct. 2, 1999 at Philadelphia.
• Kevin Klein made his NHL debut against Philly on Dec. 3, 2005.
15TH ANNIVERSARY MOMENT
December 1, 2007 – David Legwand becomes the franchise’s all-time leading point scorer
On Dec. 1, 2007 – with the franchise in the midst of its celebration of 10 years of existence – Nashville’s first-ever draft pick, David Legwand, became its all-time leading scorer with three points (1g-2a) as the Predators rallied from a 4-1 deficit to top Montreal 5-4 in a shootout. Just 48 hours after a wild, come-from-behind, 6-5 victory at Ottawa, Legwand overtook Kimmo Timonen - while spurring the scoring barrage – when he buried a second-chance puck that trickled past goal-minder Cristobal Huet. His seventh goal of the year brought the score to 4-2 at the 12:26 mark in the third period. The goal was the 302nd point of his NHL career and put him in sole possession of first place amongst Predator point scorers. He then registered two assists on the Predators’ final two regulation goals at 16:55 and 19:13.
“That has been one of the characteristics of our club all season long is that we have been resilient,” Coach Barry Trotz said.
The Predators scored four third-period goals in a span of 10:34 against the Canadiens to send the game to extra time and ultimately won 5-4 in a shootout; the victory was the franchise’s first in Montreal’s Bell Centre.
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