AVALANCHE (30-12-5) at PREDATORS (21-21-7)
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.
LAST TIME OUT: Nashville 4, Philadelphia 3 (SO) at Wells Fargo Center
• The Preds won in a shootout for the first time this season. Nashville’s three goals in the shootout tied for the second-most in franchise history.
• Nashville won for just the fourth time this season when allowing the game’s first goal.
• Nashville is now 10-2-7 in one goal games.
• Eric Nystrom opened the scoring for Nashville at 10:57 of the first period. With the goal, Nystrom matched his goals output from a season ago (seven).
• With two first-period goals on Thursday, the Preds now rank among the League’s Top 10 teams in first period scoring (39 goals).
• Carter Hutton won his second consecutive game, stopping 27-of-30 shots in the victory.
• The Preds outshot the Flyers (37-30), led by David Legwand and Roman Josi (six shots each). The six shots were a season high for Legwand. Gabriel Bourque, who tallied an assist on Nystrom’s goal, tied a career high with five shots.
POWER PLAY REBOUNDS
With two power-play goals against the Flyers on Thursday night, the Preds have posted multiple power-play goals in back-to-back games for the second time this season (last Nov. 2-6). Fifteen of Nashville’s last 45 goals have come on the man advantage. The Preds power play is among the Top 10 in the League (sixth, 21.2 percent), while Nashville’s home power play ranks seventh (23.1 percent). The Preds are 17-4-2 when they score a power-play goal. Shea Weber leads the team with 18 points (9g-9ga) on the man-advantage.
NORRIS CALIBER CAPTAIN
Shea Weber registered a three-point outing (1g-2a) on Thursday night in Philadelphia, giving the Preds captain 21 points (5g-16a) in his last 20 games. It was Weber’s first three-point outing since March 8, 2013 when he recorded three assists against Edmonton.
• Weber has been the League’s top point-producing defenseman since Dec. 28, 2013 after posting 12 points (3g-9a, 11gp) in that span.
• Nashville’s captain is one of three defensemen to lead their team in scoring (Erik Karlsson (OTT) and P.K. Subban (MTL)). In addition to leading the team in scoring, Weber also moved among the League’s Top Five defensemen in scoring (12g-21a-33pts).
• With Tuesday’s power-play goal, Weber now leads all League defensemen in goals, while his nine power-play goals pace all blueliners and rank among the League’s Top Five skaters.
• Six of Weber’s 12 goals have come in the first period. The Preds are 9-1-2 when their captain finds the back of the net.
• The Sicamous, B.C., native’s team-leading 18 power-play points (9g-9a) are good for second among League defensemen (tie) and ranks among the Top 15 skaters in the League.
• After posting 31:41 of ice time on Thursday night, Weber now ranks fourth in the League in average ice time (26:50) and has played past the half-hour mark six times.
• Weber leads the team and ranks seventh in the League in blocked shots (111), in addition to leading the team in hits (100).
• Weber was named to his second consecutive Canadian Olympic team Jan. 7. During the 2010 Olympics, he was named to the tournament’s all-star team after tying for second among blueliners in points (2g-4a) and helping Canada claim gold.
Mike Fisher has 12 points (5g-7a) since Dec. 28 (11gp) to rank among the League’s Top 10 players in point production during that spanThe Peterborough, Ont., native ranks fourth in team scoring (12g-13a-25pts), while he leads all Preds forwards in ice time (19:08) – more than two minutes higher than the next closest forward (David Legwand, 16:44). Fisher also ranks second among club forwards in blocked shots (39) and hits (81).
PLAYER QUICK HITS
• Paul Gaustad has won 478-of-807 face-offs (59.2 percent), to rank second in the League in the category (minimum 700 draws).
• Patric Hornqvist has seven points (2g-5a) in his last 12 outings to rank fifth on the team in scoring (9g-15a-24pts). Hornqvist leads the team and ranks 22nd in the League with 145 shots on goal. The Sollentuna, Sweden native is tied for seventh on the club’s all-time goal-scoring list (93) and all-time power-play goals list (32).
• With eight points (1g-7a) in his last 13 games, Seth Jones is the highest scoring rookie defenseman, and the third highest scoring rookie skater in that span (Dec. 23, 2013-Jan. 16, 2014). Jones is tied for 12th among first-year players in points (4g-14a-18pts). The Plano, Texas native leads all rookies in games played (49), ranks third in average time on ice (21:00), and is among the League’s Top 10 rookies in blocked shots (66), power-play points (7) and power-play goals (2).
• David Legwand has seven points (2g-5a) in his last six outings after posting his 11th multi-point game (1g-1a) of the season on Thursday night in Philadelphia. Eighteen (6g-12a) of Legwand’s team-leading 33 points have come on the road.
• Roman Josi has points in back-to-back games (2a) and four points (1g-3a) in his last eight games. He has led the team in ice time in nine of the last 19 games to rank second on the team and fifth among League defensemen in average ice time (25:57). Josi was recently named to his second Swiss Olympic Team. He was named to the Swiss team in 2010, but missed the Vancouver games due to injury.
• Craig Smith has 12 points (8g-4a) in his last 15 games, moving him into first in goals and third in team scoring (14g-14a-28pts). His 14 goals this season match his career high posted during his rookie campaign in 2011-12 (72 games). Nineteen (8g-11a) of Smith’s 28 points this season have come on home ice, and he’s posted a team-high +9 rating at Bridgestone Arena.
• Colin Wilson has seven points (2g-5a) in his last 12 games as he continues to climb the Preds point-scoring leaderboard (7g-15a-22pts). Six (2g-4a) of Wilson’s 22 points have come on game-winning goals this season.
TEAM QUICK HITS
• The Predators are 17-2-4 when they score first (.739), and are 15-1-1 when leading after the first period (.882).
• The Preds have not allowed a shorthanded goal since March 21, 2013, when Calgary scored two shorthanded goals – a span of 67 games. Nashville is the only team in the League not to have allowed a shorthanded goal this season.
• Nashville leads the League in team face-off win percentage this season (53.8 percent). The Preds have been better than 50 percent in the face-off circle in 39 of their 49 games.
STORYLINES VS. COLORADO
The Colorado Avalanche make the first of two appearances this season on Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena. Dating back to Oct. 8, 2009, the Predators have won seven straight home games against Colorado, outscoring the Avs 27-15 in that span. All-time, Nashville is 15-9-3 when hosting Colorado’s team, including a 12-3-0 mark since the start of the 2005-06 campaign.
On Nov. 6 in the Mile High City, Colin Wilson (2g-2a) stole the show in a 6-4 Nashville win at the Pepsi Center. Viktor Stalberg opened the scoring for Nashville with his first goal in a Preds sweater, and Craig Smith added another in the opening frame. Colorado snuck back into the game on goals from P.A. Parenteau and Ryan O’Reilly, but Paul Gaustad and Wilson once again extended the Nashville lead. Matt Duchene tied the game at four a little more than four-minutes into the final frame, but Wilson pocketed his second goal of the game and Gabriel Bourque sealed the win with an empty-net goal.
In their last meeting in the Music City on April 2, 2013, the teams remained scoreless after 40 minutes of play before Duchene broke the tie a little more than a minute into the third period. Nashville responded with goals from Patric Hornqvist, David Legwand and Gaustad in the final 12 minutes to secure the 3-1 win at Bridgestone Arena.
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS VS. COLORADO
• Rich Clune posted the most assists of his career (2a) on Feb. 13, 2010 vs. Colorado.
• Matt Cullen recorded the only hat trick of his career against Colorado on Feb. 22, 2009.
• Mike Fisher played his first game in a Preds sweater on Feb. 12, 2011 vs. Colorado.
• Paul Gaustad made his NHL debut against the Avs on March 24, 2003.
• Eric Nystrom made his NHL debut on Oct. 10, 2005 at Colorado.
15TH ANNIVERSARY MOMENT
January 19, 2008: Scott Nichol scores two shorties in the second
Known for his hard work, face-off prowess and astute penalty killing, Scott Nichol doubled his season goal output with a pair of shorthanded goals in the second period of a 5-2 win at St. Louis on Jan. 19, 2008, becoming the first and still the only player in franchise history to record multiple shorthanded goals in a period.
Nichol – hired as the Predators Director of Player Development last summer – doubled his 2007-08 goal total in Nashville’s 47th game of the season with his fifth career man-down marker and fourth career game-winning goal at 5:34 of the middle frame, then capped a three-goal period by the Preds with another shorty at 19:41.
"It's nice when you can chip in that way because you're not really expecting it, especially with their power play." Nichol said. "You just want to try and kill (them) off. And we had a couple of good, lucky bounces. We'll take those. They seemed to be going the other way the last few games. It's nice for them to bounce in for us this time."
Nichol earned First Star honors not only for his goals, but his impressive 13-of-15 night in the face-off circle in 15:34 of ice time. Jerred Smithson assisted on both of the Edmonton native’s goals, as the Predators won the first of three straight – including two in a 48-hour span against the Blues – and six of eight, continuing their march to the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
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