PREDATORS (22-22-7) at CANUCKS (26-16-9)
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, Dallas 1 at Bridgestone Arena
• The Preds improved to 20-2-3 when scoring more than two goals.
• Nashville is now 16-1-1 and 15-0-2 when leading after the first and second periods, respectively.
• It was Nashville’s fifth win of the season when allowing the first goal – two of those victories have come against Dallas.
• Nick Spaling opened the scoring for Nashville with his eighth of the year. The goal was his third point (1g-2a) in his last four outings. The Preds are now 27-5-2 when Spaling scores all-time.
• Nashville’s two goals in the first period moved it into the League’s Top 15 in first-period scoring (11th, 41 goals).
• With two assists, Eric Nystrom recorded his first multi-point performance as a Predator, and his fourth career two assist performance.
• Carter Hutton turned away 35-of-36 shots against, including 19-of-19 in the final frame, to tie his career high three-game winning streak (Dec. 10-14, 2013). Hutton is now 5-0-0 in games where he faces at least 35 shots.
• With a goal in the final frame, Nashville has now scored eight third-perid goals in the last four games. It had no third-period goals in the four before the current stretch.
• Nashville has scored 15 goals in its last four games.
• The Preds have earned points in six of their last nine games (5-3-1) at Bridgestone Arena to improve to 13-11-4 at home.
NORRIS CALIBER CAPTAIN
Shea Weber has been the League’s top point-producing defenseman since Dec. 28, posting 13 points (4g-9a, 13gp) in that span.
• Monday’s game-winning goal against Dallas was Weber's second of the season, giving him six points (2g-4a) on Nashville’s 22 game-winning goals.
• Weber leads all League defensemen in goals, while his nine power-play goals pace all blueliners and rank among the League’s Top Five skaters.
• Seven of Weber’s 13 goals have come in the first period. The Preds are 10-1-2 when their captain finds the back of the net.
• With 22 points (6g-16a) in his last 22 games, Nashville’s captain ranks among the League’s Top 10 defensemen in scoring (13g-21a-34pts).
• His team-leading 18 power-play points (9g-9a) are good for third among League defensemen (tie) and rank among the Top 15 skaters in the League.
• Weber ranks fourth in the League in average ice time (26:48) and has played past the half-hour mark six times.
• Weber leads the team and ranks seventh in the League in blocked shots (114). He is also ranked second on the team in hits (102).
• The Sicamous, B.C., native was named an alternate captain for the 2014 Canadian Olympic Team on Sunday – it is his second Olympic appearance for Canada. 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.
With back-to-back multi-point outings, Roman Josi has tied his career-long assist streak of four games (2g-4a). The two-point effort (1g-1a) on Monday night also helped him set career highs in goals, assists and points (6g-14a-20pts). In addition to the point streak, Josi has amassed eight points (3g-5a) in his last 10 outings. The Bern, Switzerland native ranks second on the team and sixth among all League skaters in average ice time (25:56). He 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.
Mike Fisher has points (1g-2a) in three straight games for Nashville, and has compiled 14 points (6g-8a) since Dec. 28 (13gp) to rank among the League’s Top 10 players in point production during that span. The Peterborough, Ont., native ranks fourth in team scoring (13g-14a-27pts), while he leads all Preds forwards in ice time (19:01) – more than two minutes higher than the next closest forward (David Legwand, 16:48). Fisher also ranks second among club forwards in blocked shots (39) and hits (83).
PLAYER QUICK HITS
• Paul Gaustad has won 498-of-841 face-offs (59.2 percent) to rank second in the League in the category (minimum 800 draws).
• With eight points (1g-7a) in his last 15 games (since Dec. 23, 2013), Seth Jones is the second highest scoring rookie defenseman, and the fifth highest scoring rookie skater in that span. Jones is tied for 14th among first-year players in points (4g-14a-18pts), leads all rookies in games played (51), ranks third in average time on ice (20:54), and is among the League’s Top 10 rookies in blocked shots (70), power-play points (7) and power-play goals (2).
• With his helper on Monday, David Legwand is riding a four-game assist streak (6a), tying his career long (hit four previous times). The Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich., native has nine points (2g-7a) in his last eight outings to lead the team with 35 points (8g-27a).
• Craig Smith has 13 points (9g-4a) in his last 17 games, moving him into first on the team in goals and third in points (15g-14a-29pts).
TROTZ CLIMBS ALL-TIME LISTS
Barry Trotz, the only head coach the Nashville Predators have ever known, is now two wins shy of passing Bill Reay for 14th on the all-times wins list (542), and eight wins shy of tying Marc Crawford for 13th all-time (549). The Dauphin, Manitoba, native is the longest tenured head coach in the NHL (1,165 games) and has the second-longest active tenure in all four major sports behind the San Antonio Spur’s Head Coach Greg Popovich. Trotz’s system has seen marked improvement over the past 10 seasons, as the Preds posted a 145-199-49-17 record through the club's first five seasons, and 376-249-11-71 in the 10 seasons since, in addition to posting a 21-21-7 record in the playoffs during that span.
POWER PLAY CLICKS
The Preds have posted five man-advantage goals in their last four outings (five-for-15, 33.3 percent). Nashville’s power play is among the Top 10 in the League (tied for sixth, 21.0 percent), while its road power play is ranked 11th (19.2 percent) and its home power play ranks seventh (22.6 percent). The Preds are 17-5-2 when they score a power-play goal. Shea Weber leads the team with 18 points (9g-9a) on the man-advantage.
TEAM QUICK HITS
• Nashville is 6-3-2 against the Pacific Division this season.
• The Preds have held the opposition to just one second-period goal in the last five games.
• Nashville is 17-2-4 when it scores first (.739).
• The Preds have not allowed a shorthanded goal since March 21, 2013, when Calgary scored two shorthanded goals – a span of 69 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 (53.7 percent). The Preds have been better than 50 percent in the face-off circle in 40 of their 51 games.
STORYLINES VS. VANCOUVER
The Nashville Predators travel to Vancouver on Thursday night for the first of two games in the Pacific Northwest; they’ll return to Vancouver on March 19. Nashville has posted a 20-30-(3)-4 record against the Canucks all-time, including a 9-17-(1)-0 mark at Rogers Arena. Vancouver has won four straight against the Preds dating back to Feb. 22, 2013.
In their last meeting on Dec. 3 at Bridgestone Arena, the teams played to a scoreless tie after 20 minutes before Brad Richardson and Colin Wilson traded goals in the middle frame. Ryan Kesler took control in the third, scoring twice for the Canucks in a 3-1 victory.
The teams combined for 11 goals in a 7-4 Vancouver victory in the Preds last trip to Rogers Arena on March 14, 2013. The Canucks jumped out to a 2-1 lead in the first five minutes, and held a 3-1 advantage after the first. The teams traded goals just 29 seconds apart in the second, but a late goal saw Vancouer take the 5-2 lead into the final frame. Mike Fisher and Gabriel Bourque pulled the Preds within one with less than five minutes remaining, but a Henrik Sedin penalty-shot goal and a David Booth empty netter widen the final margin to 7-4.
Mike Fisher has seven points (5g-2a) in his last six games against Vancouver. In 22 career games against the Canucks, he has 11 goals and 15 points… David Legwand has 25 points (10g-15a) in 49 career games against Vancouver… The Preds have two B.C. natives on their roster – Victor Bartley (Maple Ridge) and Shea Weber (Sicamous) – in addition Bartley and Weber, other B.C.-born players in the organization, include North Vancouver’s Colton Sissons, drafted 50th overall (second round) in the 2012 Entry Draft. Sissons, who is in the midst of his first professional season with the Milwaukee Admirals (AHL), is currently leading the Ads in scoring (15g-12a-26pts, 39gp).
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS vs. VANCOUVER
Matt Cullen fired a career-high nine shots on goal on Nov. 3, 2011 against the Canucks.
Mike Fisher scored his first goal as a Predator on Feb. 17, 2011 against the Canucks (Luongo), and last tied his career-high with three points (1g-2a) against Vancouver on March 21, 2012.
Eric Nystrom posted a career-high four points (2g-2a) on April 5, 2008 at Vancouver.
Craig Smith posted a career-high three assists on Dec. 1, 2011 at Vancouver.
15TH ANNIVERSARY MOMENT
January 24, 2006: Kariya scores in OT, Preds sweep set in Detroit
Paul Kariya put a backhand shot past goaltender Manny Legace 35 seconds into overtime to give the Predators a 2-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings and a sweep of back-to-back games at Joe Louis Arena. The Predators overcame a 1-0 deficit with a shorthanded tally by Steve Sullivan midway through the second period and goaltender Tomas Vokoun was spectacular throughout, stopping 38 of 39 Detroit shots.
With the victory, Nashville improved to 31-12-6 on the season and matched the Wings 68 points which put them atop the Western Conference standings.
The two-game sweep not only improved the Predators to 6-0-3 in their previous nine games, but set them up for the franchise’s best season against the rival Red Wings, finishing with four victories, three of which came in the Motor City.
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