PREDATORS (25-23-8) at BLUES (36-12-5)
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.
NORRIS CALIBER CAPTAIN
Shea Weber tallied two goals on Friday night, including the game-winning goal 1:29 into overtime, to post his 10th career two-goal game (last March 31, 2012 vs. Chicago). The goal was Weber’s sixth career overtime goal, and his 11th overtime point (6g-5a) behind only David Legwand.
• Nashville’s captain has been the League’s top point-producing defenseman with 25 points (8g-17a) in his last 25 games.
• He ranks among the League’s Top Five defensemen in scoring (15g-23a-38pts).
• Weber is one of only three defensemen to lead their team in scoring this season (Erik Karlsson (OTT) and P.K. Subban (MTL)).
• Weber leads all League defensemen in goals (15), and his nine power-play goals pace all blueliners and rank among the League’s Top Five skaters.
• Eight of Weber’s 15 goals have come in the first period. The Preds are 11-1-2 when their captain finds the back of the net.
• Friday night’s game-winner was Weber’s third of the season. Eight (3g-5a) of his 38 points have come on game-winning goals.
• His team-leading 19 power-play points (9g-10a) are good for third among League defensemen (tie) and rank among the Top 10 skaters in the League.
• Weber ranks fourth in the League in average ice time (26:42) and has played past the half-hour mark seven times.
• Weber leads his team and ranks sixth in the NHL in blocked shots (124). He also ranks second on the team in hits (110).
• 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 3, New Jersey 2 (OT) at Bridgestone Arena
• Nashville won in overtime for the second time this season.
• The Preds improved to 19-2-5 when scoring first this season.
• Nashville has earned points in five of its last six games (4-1-1), and seven of its last 10 games (6-3-1), to move up to fifth place in the Central Division.
• David Legwand’s extra-attacker game-tying goal with 11 seconds remaining was Nashville’s second extra-attacker goal of the season, and its latest goal in regulation. It was also the first time the Preds have scored a goal with an extra attacker on home ice since Legwand last did it on Dec. 3, 2011 vs. Buffalo (3-2 loss).
• Colin Wilson posted an assist on the overtime game-winning goal. Seven (2g-5a) of his 23 points this season have come on game-winning goals. It was also Wilson’s fifth career overtime point (2g-3a), tying him for eighth all-time in franchise history.
• Goaltender Carter Hutton picked up his sixth win in his last seven starts to improve to 13-8-2 on the season. Hutton has posted a .917 save percentage and a 2.36 goals-against average in the month of January.
• Nashville outshot New Jersey (33-27), with Weber and Seth Jones leading the way (four shots each).
• The Preds held New Jersey scoreless on two power-play opportunities. Their penalty kill has now held the opposition scoreless in man-advantage situations in two straight games (four shorthanded situations) to move back to 80 percent on the season.
PLAYER QUICK HITS
• David Legwand has points in three straight (2g-1a-3pts) after posting the game-tying extra-attacker goal on Friday night. The goal gives Legwand 10 points (3g-7a) in his last nine games.
• Roman Josi has 10 points (3g-7a) in his last nine games. The Bern, Switzerland native ranks second on the team and fifth among all League skaters in average ice time (26:05). Josi is one of just two blueliners in the NHL this season, and just the second in franchise history, to record multiple shootout tallies. He was recently selected for his second Swiss Olympic Team. He was named to the Swiss team in 2010, but missed the Vancouver Games due to injury.
• Seth Jones is 14th among first-year players in points (5g-16a-21pts), leads all rookies in games played (56), ranks third in average time on ice (20:57), and is among the League’s Top 10 rookies in blocked shots (76), power-play points (8) and power-play goals (2).
• Mike Fisher has compiled 15 points (7g-8a) in his last 18 games. The Peterborough, Ont., native leads all Preds forwards in ice time (19:06) – more than two minutes higher than the next closest forward (David Legwand, 16:59). Fisher is also tied for the team lead in blocked shots (46) and ranks second hits (94).
• Colton Sissons made his NHL debut on Tuesday night in Winnipeg, becoming Nashville’s 18th draft pick to suit up, and the eighth rookie to see time with the NHL club, this season. Sissons tallied an assist on Nick Spaling’s second-period goal and recorded a +1 rating in 10:49 of ice time. With the helper, he became the first Nashville rookie to post an assist in his NHL debut since Spaling (Dec. 15, 2009 vs. Tampa Bay) and the first rookie to register a point in his NHL debut since Kevin Henderson (1g; April 19, 2013 at Chicago).
TROTZ CLIMBS ALL-TIME LISTS
Barry Trotz, the only head coach the Nashville Predators have ever known, ranks 14th on the all-time wins list (544) following Nashville’s win against New Jersey on Friday night. Trotz is now five wins shy of tying Marc Crawford for 13th all-time (549). The Dauphin, Manitoba, native is the longest tenured head coach in the NHL (1,170 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 379-250-11-72 in the 10 seasons since, in addition to posting a 21-21-7 record in the playoffs during that span.
TEAM QUICK HITS
• Nashville has posted a 3-1-1 record in last five road games.
• Nashville’s power play ranks among the League’s Top 10 teams (sixth, 20.6 percent). Its road power play is ranked 11th (19 percent) and home power play ranks eighth (22.1 percent). The Preds are 19-5-2 when they score a power-play goal. Shea Weber leads the team with 19 points (9g-9a) on the man advantage.
• With the addition of Michael Del Zotto (23), Nashville has the youngest defensive corps in the League (23 years, 356 days). According to Elias Sports Bureau, the only other teams in the NHL with an average defensive age under 26 (including players on IR) are Columbus (25 years, 316 days) and Washington (25 years, 349 days).
• 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 played 29 home games and 27 road games going into Saturday night’s tilt against the Blues. They will have one more home game and one more road game before the Olympic break.
• The Preds have not allowed a shorthanded goal since March 21, 2013, when Calgary scored two shorthanded – a span of 73 games. Nashville is the only team in the League not to have allowed a shorthanded goal this season.
• Nashville ranks third the League in team face-off win percentage (53.1 percent). The Preds have been 50 percent or better in the face-off circle in 42 of their 56 games.
• Of Nashville's top 12 point getters this season, 10 are Preds draft picks.
STORYLINES VS. ST. LOUIS
The Preds close out the back-to-back set with their final trip of the season to St. Louis on Saturday night. Nashville is an even 20-20-(1)-2 at Scottrade Center, but are 42-33-(4)-8 against the Blues all-time.
These teams last met in Nashville on Oct. 26, as the Blues posted three goals in the first 31 minutes, and three goals in the final 16 minutes of play, to bookend Nick Spaling’s shorthanded goal in a 6-1 win for St. Louis.
In the last tilt at Scottrade Center, in the season opener for both teams on Oct. 3, St. Louis scored three times in the first 10 minutes as it chased goalie Pekka Rinne. Nashville was able to cut the Blues' three-goal lead to 3-2 after Mike Fisher and David Legwand both scored, but the early lead was too much as the Preds fell 4-2.
Patric Hornqvist has 14 points (5g-9a) in 22 career games against St. Louis… David Legwand has played 72 career games against the Blues – more than any Predator player against any opponent all-time – posting 34 points (12g-22a)…. Nashville’s Director of Player Development Scott Nichol played the final two seasons of his career with the Blues, posting nine points (4g-5a) in 110 games for the Bluenotes.
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS vs. ST. LOUIS
• Patric Hornqvist – First career NHL game on Oct. 10, 2008 at St. Louis.
• Carter Hutton – Made his NHL debut against St. Louis on April 27, 2013.
• David Legwand – Most recent of two career four-point games (2g-2a) on Oct. 8, 2011 at St. Louis.
• Shea Weber – First career NHL goal on April 6, 2006 at St. Louis (Reinhard Divis).
15TH ANNIVERSARY MOMENT
February 1, 2001: Preds roar back from three-goal deficit to beat L.A., 6-4
A night after shutting out the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in their building, the Nashville Predators put on an show at the other end of the ice, rallying from a three-goal to defeat the Los Angeles Kings, 6-4.
Bill Houlder kick-started the rally at 14:24 of the second period, and Greg Johnson provided the game winner at 14:11 of the third frame after goals from Rob Valicevic and Greg Classen in the first seven minutes of the period. Captain Tom Fitzgerald pitched in an empty netter with just 30 seconds remaining.
"We just tried to stay with our game plan,” Johnson said. “We really feel confident against this team if we play solid defensively and keep plugging away, because we're going to get our chances. The five-on-three goal by Valicevic to get us within one was huge," Johnson said.
The comeback victory not only extended a three-game unbeaten streak against the Kings, but continued an eventual four-game winning streak that also included wins at Phoenix and against Columbus at Bridgestone Arena.
"We weren't really on our toes in the first five minutes of the second period," Fitzgerald said. "But it was a grit game and a character builder for us as an organization -- to come back from 4-1 against a team like that."
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