The Road Home: Preds Prep For First Home Game of 2011 Preseason

Saturday, 09.24.2011 / 12:07 PM CT / Training Camp Central
By Bryan Mullen
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The Road Home: Preds Prep For First Home Game of 2011 Preseason
Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne put it best.

“It’s a weird feeling,” he said.

Rinne was sitting in front of his locker on Saturday morning, a familiar place but an odd situation. The Predators have played four preseason games, but tonight’s against Winnipeg at 7 p.m. CT will be the first at Bridgestone Arena.

“Counting the rookie games, we’ve played six games on the road,” Rinne said. “But I think it’s actually better for our fans to see us for the first time tonight. Our game is a little more ready than it would be in Game 1 of the preseason. Hopefully we can play a good game in front of our fans.”

Playing well in front of opposing fans has been a Predators trend this preseason. Nashville (3-1-0) is one of only three teams to have three victories entering Saturday. The others are Buffalo (3-0-0) and Minnesota (3-0-0). Winnipeg is 1-1-0.

The Predators are coming off a 3-2 win at Carolina on Friday where a prospect-laden group showed tenacity against the Hurricanes.

As for tonight, most of the veterans will be participating and they expect to be right at home, even though there will be a few new wrinkles, including the new gold jerseys.

“The guys are excited to finally be home and in the new jerseys,” Predators forward Jerred Smithson said. “We have some of the best fans in the league and it’s an honor to play in front of them. You just go this like another home game, whether it’s the regular season or the playoffs, you prepare the same. You just put yourself in a position where you can do well out there and do whatever it takes to win.”

The forwards listed on tonight’s playing roster are Smithson, Martin Erat, Patric Hornqvist, Sergei Kostitsyn, David Legwand, Chris Mueller, Cal O’Reilly, Nick Spaling, Zack Stortini, Ryan Thang, Jordin Tootoo and Colin Wilson.

The defensemen are Mattias Ekholm, Ryan Ellis, Teemu Laakso, Jack Hillen, Ryan Suter and Shea Weber.

Rinne and Chet Pickard will handle the goaltending duties.

Tonight’s game will not be broadcast locally on radio, but a live web stream can be seen at nashvillepredators.com.

The Predators next home game is Wednesday against the Washington Capitals. Nashville handed Washington a 2-0 shutout in Baltimore on Tuesday. The game will be broadcast on 102.5 The Game and there will also be a web stream at nashvillepredators.com.

SCHEDULE
 

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 26 37 15 63
M. Ribeiro 82 15 47 11 62
R. Josi 81 15 40 15 55
S. Weber 78 15 30 15 45
C. Smith 82 23 21 11 44
C. Wilson 77 20 22 19 42
M. Fisher 59 19 20 4 39
J. Neal 67 23 14 12 37
R. Ellis 58 9 18 8 27
S. Jones 82 8 19 3 27
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 41 17 6 .923 2.18
C. Hutton 6 7 4 .902 2.61