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Game Day Blog: Preds at Atlanta Thrashers

Tuesday, 03.9.2010 / 2:26 PM CT / Preview
By Tom Callahan  - Nashville Predators
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Game Day Blog: Preds at Atlanta Thrashers
Game Preview
Nashville Predators @ Atlanta Thrashers
6 pm CST
TV: FSTN Radio: 104.5 The Zone, Predators Radio Network

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Sitting an even 2-2 since the Olympic break is not quite what the Predators had in mind coming out of the two week hiatus, but admittedly there are no easy games left on the schedule and certainly Detroit and Vancouver are very good opponents. The challenge also got a bit stiffer with word that while Shea Weber may play some time on this four-game western road swing, Denis Grebeshkov will not, suffering a lower body injury during Sunday’s game against the Canucks. He did not make the trip and could be out for at least a week.

That said, the Predators have a chance to grab two points and start on a positive note against the Thrashers in Atlanta tonight, a club that since the trade of superstar Ilya Kovalchuk has still managed to stay within striking distance of an Eastern Conference playoff spot. That said, the Thrashers have looked bad in back-to-back losses against Tampa Bay and Carolina, and now rookie bright spot Evander Kane may miss significant time with a foot injury.

The Thrashers have struggled on special teams much the way Nashville has in recent games, allowing two power play goals while going 0-for-3 against the Hurricanes in a 4-0 loss. In an effort to get something going the Thrashers have juggled lines, but scoring has been hard to come by for Atlanta.

In net, Johan Hedberg played well enough to grab the starting spot from rookie Ondrej Pavelec and the since-traded Kari Lehtonen (who missed much of the season coming off back surgery). But Hedberg hasn’t figured out a way to score goals yet, and until he does the Thrashers have to find an answer. Even a shutout will only get you a tie if you don’t score.

Notes:
  • Atlanta’s three leading scorers are Nik Antropov (54 pts), Maxim Afinogenov (50 pts) and Rich Peverly (48 pts). Sounds great until you realize that despite Antropov’s amazing +19, the -8 Afinogenov and -11 Peverly completely negate that stat.
  • Carolina’s shutout of the Thrashers was the third time this season the team had been held scoreless, but the first time at home since November 22, 2008.
  • Nashville finishes off its season set with every opponent on this trip except the LA Kings, who will be back in Music City on March 30th.

Keys to the Game
  • Make sure the Thrashers spend time in the box, and the Preds have to stay out of it.
  • Come out hard and try to deflate whatever confidence they may have early.
  • Team defense – missing Weber and Grebeshkov means big minutes for Hamhuis, Klein, and Bouillon. Now would be a great time for Klein to go on a tear and answer his critics.

SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

SCHEDULE
 

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Wilson 14 5 8 8 13
R. Josi 14 1 8 -6 9
R. Johansen 14 4 4 0 8
J. Neal 14 4 4 1 8
M. Fisher 14 5 2 -1 7
M. Ekholm 14 3 4 2 7
S. Weber 14 3 4 -7 7
R. Ellis 14 0 6 0 6
F. Forsberg 14 2 2 -11 4
M. Salomaki 14 1 1 2 2
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 7 7 0 .906 2.63
C. Hutton 0 0 0 .667 3.00