JETS (29-26-6) AT PREDATORS PREDATORS (26-24-10)
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.
STORYLINES VS. WINNIPEG
The Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets close out their season series on Saturday afternoon at Bridgestone Arena. The Preds are 3-1-0 in the season series, and have earned at least a point in 11 of 13 games against the team formerly known as the Thrashers since 2005-06, going 9-2-2 in that span. Overall, Nashville is 7-2-0 against the Jets/Thrashers on home ice since the 1999-00 season, and have won four straight at Bridgestone Arena dating back to Jan. 30, 2010.
These teams last met on Jan. 28 in Winnipeg as the Preds took home the 4-3 victory. The two teams traded goals through the first 40 minutes of play with Seth Jones, Roman Josi and Nick Spaling all scoring for Nashville. But, it was Mike Fisher’s power-play goal 42 seconds into the third period that secured the win in the Preds final trip to the Central Division’s Northern-most city this season.
Colin Wilson, who calls Winnipeg home during the offseason, has four points (2g-2a) in seven career games against Atlanta/Winnipeg… Matt Cullen has 22 points (6g-16a) in 39 career games against the Thrashers/Jets… Viktor Stalberg has three points (2g-1a) in five career games against Atlanta/Winnipeg… Preds prospect and 2012-13 Canadian Hockey League scoring champion, Brendan Leipsic (fourth round, 2012) hails from Winnipeg… Nashville’s Assistant Coach Phil Housley was better than a point-per-game player for the previous incarnation of the Jets from 1990-93, when he posted 259 points (64g-195a) in 232 games. Housley still holds Jets’ records for most points (97, 1992-93) and assists (79, 1992-93) by a defenseman in a single season during Teemu Selanne’s recording-setting rookie goal-scoring campaign (76).
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS VS. WINNIPEG
• Matt Cullen attempted his first career penalty shot against Atlanta on Nov. 4, 2001 (Milan Hnilicka).
• Mike Fisher scored his first NHL goal on Oct. 31, 1999 vs. Atlanta (Damian Rhodes).
• Carter Hutton recorded his first career win against the Jets on Oct. 20, 2013.
LAST TIME OUT: Nashville 3, Tampa Bay 2 at Bridgestone Arena
• Nashville overcame a two-goal deficit to win for the first time since Feb. 25, 2013 vs. Dallas (5-4 OT).
• Patric Hornqvist tallied the game-winning power-play goal. It was his 21st career game-winning goal, moving him into third on the franchise's all-time list, all of which have come since the start of the 2009-10 season, tying him for 20th among all NHLers in that span. The goal also gave him five points (1g-4a) in his last six outings.
• Matt Cullen opened the scoring for Nashville with a power-play goal at 12:05 of the second period. It was his first goal in 29 games (Nov. 27) and his first power-play goal since Feb. 23, 2012 (as a member of the Minnesota Wild). Nashville improved to 5-0-1 when Cullen scores this season.
• Roman Josi’s second-period power-play goal was his ninth of the season, moving him into a tie for ninth among League defensemen in goal-scoring. Nashville is now one of just two teams (Boston) to have multiple blueliners ranked among the League’s Top 10 defensemen in the category (Weber, 15g).
• Carter Hutton improved to 7-2-2 in his last 11 starts, posting a 2.60 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage in that span.
• The victory was Nashville’s seventh when trailing first (7-21-5), and just its second win when trailing after the first period (2-17-4).
• The Preds improved to 14-3-10 in one-goal games.
• Tampa’s 16 shots against tied a season low; the total included just seven shots through the final 40 minutes of play. The Lightning’s three shots against in the third were also a season low for shots against in a single period.
POWER PLAY RALLY
The Nashville Predators used three power-play goals to overcome a two-goal deficit on Thursday night against Tampa Bay. It was the 10th multiple power-play goal game for the Preds this season (last on Jan. 16; two goals), and it equaled the Preds power-play goals total from their previous nine games. Thursday night was also the first time the Preds have scored at least three man-advantage goals in a single game since Jan. 7, 2012 vs. Carolina (four).
Nashville is now 20-6-2 when it scores a power-play goal, and 8-0-1 when it scores multiple power-play goals. Nashville’s power play ranks among the League’s Top Five teams (fifth, 21.7 percent). Its home power play ranks third (24.7 percent) and its road power play is ranked 11th (18.4 percent). Shea Weber leads the team with 21 points (9g-12a) on the man advantage.
NORRIS CALIBER CAPTAIN
Shea Weber has been the League’s top point-producing defenseman since Dec. 12, 2013, posting 27 points (8g-19a) in 29 games during that span.
• With two assists on Thursday night against Tampa Bay, Weber hit the 40-point mark for the fifth consecutive full season. The two-point effort was his 10th multi-point game of the campaign.
• Nashville’s captain now ranks among the League’s Top Five defensemen in scoring (15g-25a-40pts).
• He is one of just three defensemen (Erik Karlsson (OTT) and P.K. Subban (MTL)) to lead their team in scoring.
• Weber leads all League defensemen in goals (15, tied with Karlsson), and his nine power-play goals pace all blueliners and rank among the League’s Top 10 skaters.
• His team-leading 21 power-play points (9g-12a) are good for third among League defensemen and rank among the Top 15 skaters in the League.
• 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.
• Nine (3g-6a) of his 40 points have come on game-winning goals.
• Weber ranks fourth in the League in average ice time (26:47) and has played past the half-hour mark seven times.
• Weber leads his team and ranks eighth in the NHL in blocked shots (131). He also ranks second on the team in hits (117).
• Since the beginning of the 2008-09 season, Weber ranks first among NHL defensemen in goals (98), second in points (261), first in power-play goals (45), first in game-winning goals (15) and eighth in hits (974).
PLAYER QUICK HITS
• Craig Smith has compiled seven points (2g-5a) in his last seven outings, and 21 points (12g-9a) in his last 26 games. The Madison, Wis., native set a career points high (18g-19a-37pts) on Thursday with his assist on Matt Cullen’s goal. Smith ranks first in goals, third in team scoring and second in shots (149). Twenty-one (9g-12a) of Smith’s 37 points have come on home ice, where he also paces the team with a +11 rating.
• With a power-play goal on Thursday night, Roman Josi has 11 points (5g-6a) and a +8 rating in his last 12 outings. He ranks second on the team and fifth among all League skaters in average ice time (26:16). The Bern, Switzerland native is one of just three blueliners in the NHL this season (Ryan Ellis and Kevin Shattenkirk), and one of three in franchise history, to record multiple shootout tallies.
• Mike Fisher has compiled 18 points (9g-9a) in his last 22 games. The Peterborough, Ont., native leads all Preds forwards in ice time (19:15) – more than two minutes higher than the next closest forward (Legwand, 17:07). Fisher is also leads team forwards in blocked shots (52) and ranks second hits (100).
• Seth Jones is fifth among first-year defensemen in points (5g-16a-21pts), while he ranks first in games played (60) and third in average time on ice (20:50). Jones also ranks among the League’s Top 10 rookie skaters in blocked shots (82), power-play points (8) and power-play goals (2).
TROTZ CLIMBS ALL-TIME LISTS
Barry Trotz, the only head coach the Nashville Predators have ever known, ranks 14th on the all-time coaching wins list (545). Trotz is now four wins shy of tying Marc Crawford for 13th all-time (549). The Dauphin, Manitoba, native is the longest tenured head coach in the NHL (1,174 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 380-251-11-74 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 22-9-9 in matinee games since the start of the 2003-04 campaign.
• The Preds have posted six third-period goals in their last six games. Nashville’s third-period goals helped it earn points in four of the six games. The third period has been the Preds most productive this season (51 goals).
• Nashville ranks among the League’s Top 10 in average penalty minutes (10.1). The Preds have also been shorthanded the ninth-fewest times in the League (184).
• Nashville has the youngest defensive corps in the League (24 years, 20 days). The only other team in the NHL with an average defensive age under 26 (including players on IR) is Columbus (25 years, 345 days).
• The Preds have not allowed a shorthanded goal since March 21, 2013, when Calgary scored two shorthanded – a span of 78 games. Nashville is the only team in the League not to have allowed a shorthanded goal this season.
• Nashville is tied for first in the League in team face-off win percentage (53.3 percent). The Preds have been 50 percent or better in the faceoff circle in 46 of their 60 games.
15TH ANNIVERSARY MOMENT
March 1, 2003: Trotz coaches game No. 392, most-ever by the first coach of an expansion team
In a game where it became evident the giant strides that the franchise had made in its five-year history, Nashville Predators Head Coach Barry Trotz attained a milestone of his own by spending his 392nd career game behind the Preds bench. It set a new mark for games by the original coach of an expansion franchise, breaking the previous record held by Preds color commentator Terry Crisp when he was with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The team made the night memorable, downing the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 in overtime to make it the first time the franchise (26-25-9-4) had been above .500 that late in the season.
Rem Murray’s game-tying goal came about as late as it could in the second period – with two-tenths of a second remaining. Scott Walker provided the heroics with the game-winning tally 2:49 into the extra frame.
The victory kept a hot streak alive for the Preds, with it they had won four straight and were 8-1-0 in their last nine outings.
Trotz has nearly tripled that record as he remains the only coach in Predators history. His tenure has lasted 1,174 and counting, the second-most games coached by a single team in NHL history.
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