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Post-Game Analysis: Preds at Washington Capitals (Preseason Game)

Sunday, 10.3.2010 / 3:34 PM CT / Training Camp Central
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators
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Post-Game Analysis: Preds at Washington Capitals (Preseason Game)
Well, make it three-for-three in second half of the preseason. The Preds coaches and hockey ops stated going in to camp that the three intra-squad scrimmages and first three preseason games would be heavily focused on individual performances and setting up the organizational depth chart; the final three preseason games would be more focused on winning and getting the Opening Night roster ready to go for the start of the regular season.

Forward Combinations Today
  Lombardi centering Erat, Wilson
  Legwand centering Dumont, Ward
  O'Reilly centering Hornqvist, Sullivan
  Goc centering Smithson, Tootoo


Defensive Pairings Today
  Suter - Weber
  Bouillon - Klein
  Franson - Parent
By all accounts training camp went according to plan. The Preds saw plenty from the intra-squads (guys like Taylor Beck and Ryan Flynn used the opportunity to earn preseason game appearances) and early preseason games (Matt Halischuk, just to name one, looks like a guy who can step in and help this season, if the need arises; Jonathon Blum and Ryan Ellis got key experience going head-to-head with NHL veterans; Anders Lindback nailed down the No. 2 goaltending job).

And then the Preds got down to business, winning their final three preseason games, including the last two on the road (4-3 at Atlanta on Wednesday night and 3-0 at Washington today).

Individually not a ton to talk about after today's game; the lineup was pretty much a cast of "regulars" for the Preds. Pekka Rinne went the distance in net (with a six day layoff until the Season Opener, the coaches wanted to get him a full 60:00 of action). Three of the forward lines were exactly the same as the coaches used in Wednesday night's game -- safe to say that's a strong leaning toward potential Opening Night combos. Martin Erat, Matt Lombardi, and Colin Wilson (they took the opening shift of all three periods in today's game) have been paired together in practice for much of the last 10 days and have been a regular trio in the preseason games; J-P Dumont, David Legwand, and Joel Ward were a line during the back stretch of last season and were effective during the playoff series vs. Chicago; Patric Hornqivst and Steve Sullivan were also effective linemates down the stretch run last season and have played the last two preseason games with Cal O'Reilly at center.

Heading into the final days before the Preds have to announce their Opening Night roster it appears as if the competition is down to a battle between six players for three spots. Aaron Johnson and Alex Sulzer appear to be competing for a final spot on defense (though the Preds could opt to send both to the AHL and open the season with just six defensemen) and forwards Jonas Andersson, Sergei Kostitsyn, Jamie Lundmark, and O’Reilly appear to be in competition for the final two slots up front (possibly three forward slots if Nashville opens with six defensemen). Of those six, only O’Reilly was in the lineup for Sunday’s preseason finale. O’Reilly made the most of his opportunity, though, figuring in the scoring of both of Nashville’s even strength goals, including netting the game-winner.

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 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 33 31 1 64
R. Josi 81 14 47 -3 61
J. Neal 82 31 27 27 58
S. Weber 78 20 31 -7 51
M. Ribeiro 81 7 43 11 50
C. Smith 82 21 16 4 37
M. Ekholm 82 8 27 14 35
R. Johansen 42 8 26 10 34
R. Ellis 79 10 22 13 32
C. Jarnkrok 81 16 14 1 30
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 34 21 10 .908 2.48
C. Hutton 7 5 4 .918 2.33