PREDATORS (23-22-8) at OILERS (15-32-6)
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Radio: Preds Radio Network Flagship - 102.5-FM The Game Radio Network; Network Affiliates.
NYSTROM’S BIG NIGHT
Eric Nystrom posted one goal in the first period, two goals in the second and one in the final frame on Friday night to post his first career hat trick and the first four-goal game in Nashville Predators history.
• Nystrom’s trick was the 22nd in club history, and first since New Year’s Day 2012, which also came against Calgary (Sergei Kostitsyn).
• Nystrom joins Tomas Hertl (S.J.), Alex Ovechkin (WSH), Tyler Seguin (DAL) and Martin St. Louis (T.B.) as the only players to score four goals in a game this season.
• The four-goal outing doubled his previous career high of two goals in a single game (hit three times, last Nov. 25, 2011 vs. Toronto), and tied his career high point total for a single game (2g-2a, April 5, 2008 vs. Vancouver).
• His seven shots on Friday night were also a career high – previously six shots on April 5, 2008 vs. the Canucks.
• The Syosset, N.Y., native now has 11 goals on the season, and is just five goals shy of tying his career high (16, 2011-12).
• Nystrom has six points (4g-2a) in his last two outings, giving him 15 points (11g-4a) on year – six points shy of his career high (16g-5a-21pts, 2011-12).
• He leads the team in hits (104) and ranks fourth in shooting percentage (13.8 percent).
• Nystrom’s father, Bob, totaled three hat tricks in his 14-season NHL career with the Islanders, though he never scored four goals in a game. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, there are five other active players who have posted three or more goals in a game whose fathers also registered hat tricks in the NHL: Sam Gagner (and his father, Dave), Ryan Malone (Greg), Zach Parise (J.P.), Paul Stastny (Peter) and Alexander Steen (Thomas).
Roman Josi posted his third multiple-point outing (2a) in his last four games on Friday night, giving him eight points (2g-6a) in his last six games. He also notched Nashville’s lone marker in the shootout, making him the only blueliner in the NHL this season, and just the second in franchise history, to record multiple shootout tallies.
The 6-1, 192-pound blueliner is having a career year after surpassing his previous career point high on Monday against Dallas. The Bern, Switzerland native ranks second on the team and fifth among all League skaters in average ice time (26:02). 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.
NORRIS CALIBER CAPTAIN
Shea Weber has been the League’s top point-producing defenseman since Dec. 28, posting 14 points (4g-10a, 15gp) 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)).
• With 23 points (6g-17a) in his last 24 games, Nashville’s captain ranks among the League’s Top 10 defensemen in scoring (13g-22a-35pts).
• Weber leads all League defensemen in goals (13), 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.
• Six (2g-4a) of Weber’s 35 points have come on game-winning goals.
• 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 (26:55) and has played past the half-hour mark seven times.
• Weber leads his team and ranks seventh in the NHL in blocked shots (115). He also ranks second on the team in hits (104).
• The Sicamous, B.C., native will serve as an alternate captain for the 2014 Canadian Olympic Team in Sochi next month – 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.
LAST TIME OUT: Nashville 4, Calgary 5 (SO) at Scotiabank Saddledome
• The shootout was required for the seventh time this season (1-6).
• The Preds are now 11-1-3 when scoring at least four goals in a game.
• Nashville is 17-2-5 when it scores first (.708).
• The Preds are 11-3-8 in one-goal games (.500).
• Matt Cullen posted his sixth multi-point game of the season with two assists, giving him points (3a) in back-to-back games. He also posted a season-high +3 rating.
• Victor Bartley, Gabriel Bourque and Paul Gaustad all tallied assists. It was Bartley’s third helper of the season, and first point since Dec. 14 against San Jose. Bourque’s assist gives him three helpers in his last five games, while Gaustad has two points (2a) in his last three.
• Devan Dubnyk saw action for the second time in a Preds sweater, turning away 27-of-31 shots.
• The Preds were shorthanded five times for the second consecutive game. They had not been shorthanded more than four times in the previous 17 games.
• Nashville’s penalty kill allowed more than a single power-play goal (3) for the first time since Dec. 23, 2013 vs. Boston (3).
PLAYER QUICK HITS
• Mike Fisher has compiled 14 points (6g-8a) since Dec. 28 (15gp) to rank among the League’s top point-producers during that span. The Peterborough, Ont., native leads all Preds forwards in ice time (19:01) – more than two minutes higher than the next closest forward (David Legwand, 16:49). Fisher also ranks second among club forwards in blocked shots (44) and hits (87).
• Paul Gaustad has won 514-of-872 faceoffs (58.9 percent) to rank second in the League in the category (minimum 800 draws).
• Seth Jones is tied for 14th among first-year players in points (4g-15a-19pts), leads all rookies in games played (53), ranks third in average time on ice (20:56), and is among the League’s Top 10 rookies in blocked shots (74), power-play points (8) and power-play goals (2).
• David Legwand has nine points (2g-7a) in his last 10 outings to tie for the team lead with 35 points (8g-27a).
• Craig Smith has 14 points (10g-4a) in his last 19 games, moving him into first on the team in goals and third in points (16g-14a-30pts).
POWER PLAY PROWESS
The Preds have posted six man-advantage goals in their last six outings (six-for-20, 30 percent) and ranks among the Top 10 in the League (sixth, 21 percent). Nashville’s road power play is ranked 10th (19.2 percent) and its home power play ranks sixth (22.6 percent). The Preds are 18-5-2 when they score a power-play goal. Shea Weber leads the team with 18 points (9g-9a) on the man-advantage.
TROTZ CLIMBS ALL-TIME LISTS
Barry Trotz, the only head coach the Nashville Predators have ever known, tied fellow Manitoban Bill Reay for 14th on the all-time wins list (542) with his win on Thursday in Vancouver. Trotz is now seven wins shy of tying Marc Crawford for 13th all-time (549). The Dauphin, Manitoba, native is the longest tenured head coach in the NHL (1,167 games) and has the second-longest active tenure in all four major sports behind the San Antonio Spurs’ Head Coach Gregg 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 377-249-11-72 in the 10 seasons since, in addition to posting a 21-21-7 record in the playoffs during that span.
TEAM QUICK HITS
• Nashville is 7-3-3 against the Pacific Division this season.
• With the addition of Michael Del Zotto (23), Nashville now has the youngest defensive corps in the Central Division (23.4 years) by more than two years – Dallas (29.4 years), Chicago (29.3 years), Colorado (28.8 years), St. Louis (28 years), Winnipeg (26 years) and Minnesota (25.8 years).
• The Preds have held the opposition to just two second-period goals in the last seven games.
• Nashville is in the midst of a stretch of 17 games in a 31-day span (Jan. 2-Feb. 1). During this span, the Preds will play eight times at home and nine times on the road.
• The Preds have not allowed a shorthanded goal since March 21, 2013, when Calgary scored two shorthanded goals – a span of 71 games. Nashville is the only team in the League not to have allowed a shorthanded goal this season.
• Nashville leads the League in team faceoff win percentage (53.4 percent). The Preds have been 50 percent or better in the faceoff circle in 41 of their 53 games.
STORYLINES VS. EDMONTON
The Nashville Predators and Edmonton Oilers meet for the first of two tilts on Rexall Place ice this season; the Preds will return on March 18 to close out the series. Nashville is 15-9-(1)-2 in 27 all-time trips to Edmonton, and has won four of its last seven appearances dating back to Dec. 17, 2009 (4-2-1).
The first game this season between these two teams came on American Thanksgiving in Nashville, when Ilya Bryzgalov stopped all 33 shots he faced to shutout the Preds in his first start with the Oilers.
In their last trip to Rexall Place on March 17, 2013, a shorthanded goal from Lennart Petrell proved to be the difference marker in 3-2 Edmonton victory. The teams traded power-play goals in the middle frame, before Petrell and Jordan Eberle pushed the Oilers lead to 3-1 early in the third. Roman Josi scored an extra-attacker goal with 10 seconds remaining, but the Oil held on for the win.
Shea Weber has seven points (2g-5a) in his last seven outings against the Oilers. Weber’s points per game against Edmonton for his career (9g-12a-21pts, 27 gp) is second only to his output against Columbus for the highest against a single team… Legwand has 34 points (14g-20a) in 48 career games vs. the Oilers… Hornqvist has posted 11 points (7g-4a) in 15 career games vs. Edmonton.
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS VS. EDMONTON
• Victor Bartley made his NHL debut against the Oilers on March 8, 2013.
• Rich Clune made his NHL debut against Edmonton on Feb. 11, 2010 (with Los Angeles).
• Colin Wilson made his NHL debut against Edmonton on October 12, 2009.
• Shea Weber posted a career-high three assists on March 8, 2013 against Edmonton.
15TH ANNIVERSARY MOMENT
January 25, 2009 – Weber makes his first of three straight (and counting) All-Star Game appearances
In 2009, defenseman Shea Weber competed in his first of three consecutive All-Star Games. With Weber’s selection in 2009 made him the fifth Pred to represent the team at the All-Star Game; since then he’s made two more appearances in the game, making him one of just three skaters (with Patrick Kane and Zdeno Chara) and one of six players overall to appear in each of the last three All-Star contests (no game in 2013 or 2014).
Though the then-23-year-old was the fifth Predators player to garner All-Star honors, he became the first representative to be drafted and developed by the franchise. In the first half of the 2008-09 season, he was tied for the league lead in goals by NHL defensemen with 12, second amongst defensemen with 125 shots on goal, and fourth amongst blue-liners with 28 points. He led the Predators in average ice time, plus/minus rating, hits, and shots on goal.
Having participated in the 2007 YoungStars game in Dallas, Weber was no stranger to the All-Star Game festivities upon arrival to the 2009 Game at the Bell Centre in Montreal. He began with an impressive showing at the Skills Competition coming in second to Chara in the hardest shot competition. With a blast clocked at 103.4 mph, he registered what was good enough for the third-fastest speed in competition history. In the All-Star Game, Weber finished the night with a +1 rating and one shot on goal in 22:16 of ice time.
The alternate captain finished the season highly ranked amongst NHL defensemen with the third most shots on goal (251) and second most goals (23). He also finished at or near the top of most team statistical categories. He was first on the team with 251 shots on goal and 10 power play goals, second with 23 goals scored, third with 53 points, and fourth with 30 assists in 81 appearances.
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