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Game Day Blog: Preds vs. Dallas Stars

Tuesday, 03.23.2010 / 2:48 PM CT / Preview
By Tom Callahan  - Nashville Predators
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Game Day Blog: Preds vs. Dallas Stars
Game Preview
Nashville Predators vs. Dallas Stars
Bridgestone Arena, 7 pm CST
TV: Fox Sports TN  |  Radio: 104.5 The Zone, Predators Radio Network

Dare we say it? MAKE IT SEVEN!

Ah, yes, always fun to poke those who take themselves too serious. Actually, I’m stealing that from Dave Strader’s call earlier this year when the Phoenix Coyotes won seven in a row. Perfect irony and a well-placed reference! I don’t think anyone’s been to that web site or followed the movement since the summer, but just about every hockey market has to feel good about what the desert dogs have done this year.

And I would love to see the Predators make it seven tonight against the Dallas Stars, who come in with just 11 road wins and fading playoffs hopes. Missing Mike Modano hurts plenty, but head coach Marc Crawford openly admits his team isn’t good enough defensively. Goaltending has been questionable all season, special teams are not good either, and they’ve basically been the allas Stars because there’s just no “D”.

For Nashville’s part, they have to deal with the absence of Jason Arnott (precautionary scratch) and Joel Ward (upper body) tonight, and likely Nick Spaling will be here in time for the game from Milwaukee to take Ward’s place.

Pekka Rinne earned NHL first star honors this week as he continues to spark the Preds with his brilliant netminding, making key saves at important times and leading the team on its current six-game win streak. If Pekka can keep things going the way he is now, look out. Hot goaltenders = playoff survivors!

Also, Dustin Boyd looks not only comfortable but downright capable next to Erat and Wilson – and Wilson in his own right is turning heads after some needed seasoning in Milwaukee earlier this year. It would be really nice if for a change things can actually align for Nashville as they enter the post-season.

Notes:
  • Modano is not back yet from his appendicitis, but will likely try to make it back for the Stars when they head out to California for the back end of the team’s four-game road trip, which starts tonight. The 39-year-old has been rumored to be contemplating retirement at the end of this season.
  • Kari Lehtonen has posted an uninspiring 2-2-0 record with an .888 save % and 3.59 GAA for the Stars since being acquired from the Atlanta Thrashers. Supposed to shore up the goaltending, Lehtonen has only added another question mark on top of Marty Turco’s second straight mediocre season.
  • Brad Richards has a five-game point scoring streak going (3-5-8)
  • Patric Hornqvist’s 28 goals eclipsed the record for most goals by a homegrown Predators player, moving ahead of David Legwand’s 27-goal season in 2006-07.

Keys to the Game
  • Pressure the Dallas defense. Make them turn it over, fumble it away, or just make mistakes. The Stars have shown they will turn the puck over with pressure.
  • Get to Lehtonen. If he gets comfortable, it could be a long night. Stick a man around him at all times and make him fight to see the puck.
  • Keep your own end clean. Make sure Rinne sees what he can, and if he doesn’t hold it, clear it out. Don’t let the Dallas forwards become dangerous.
SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

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STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 55 35 16 4 153 127 74
2 DAL 52 33 14 5 169 137 71
3 STL 54 29 17 8 128 128 66
4 LAK 51 31 17 3 135 117 65
5 SJS 50 27 19 4 145 132 58
6 COL 54 27 23 4 146 148 58
7 ANA 50 25 18 7 111 115 57
8 NSH 52 24 20 8 130 137 56
9 MIN 51 23 19 9 126 122 55
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 51 20 19 12 119 138 52
12 CGY 50 22 25 3 130 147 47
13 WPG 51 22 26 3 132 148 47
14 EDM 52 21 26 5 130 151 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Josi 52 10 27 -4 37
S. Weber 52 13 20 -6 33
J. Neal 52 18 13 16 31
M. Ribeiro 52 6 25 1 31
F. Forsberg 52 14 16 -9 30
M. Ekholm 52 6 16 1 22
R. Ellis 51 6 15 0 21
C. Smith 52 11 6 -1 17
C. Wilson 36 4 12 0 16
C. Jarnkrok 51 8 7 -3 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 19 17 7 .903 2.51
C. Hutton 5 2 1 .916 2.36