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Preds Get Ready For Rematch With Washington

Wednesday, 09.28.2011 / 1:43 PM CT / Training Camp Central
By Bryan Mullen
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Preds Get Ready For Rematch With Washington
It’s become normal through the years. Players move from team to team, where better fits or more lucrative contracts await.

Still, it’s going to be weird tonight for the Nashville Predators to see Joel Ward in a Capitals sweater.

Nashville and Washington square off for a preseason game at 7 p.m. at Bridgestone Arena. Ward played the previous three seasons in Nashville and was the star during the team’s historic postseason run during the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

“It’s going to be different, for sure,” Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne said. “We all miss him. He was a great teammates and a great player for us. But it’s good to see him happy over there in Washington … You create relationships over a couple of seasons. So obviously you still stay friends with other guys if they move. It’s going to be a little different seeing him playing against us.”

Added Captain Shea Weber: “I played against him in the minors before he came here, but yeah, it’s going to be different playing against him after playing with him for three years.”

Predators Coach Barry Trotz said whenever Ward – whose nickname is ‘Wardo’ – was on the ice, the coaches would yell for him to move his feet. Trotz joked that there may be more of that tonight.

“The whole bench will be yelling, ‘Move your feet, Wardo!’ ” Trotz said with a laugh. “He was a great guy, a great guy for us, and a great Predators story.”

Trotz said part of the reason Ward appreciated his time in Nashville so much was because of the chance the club gave him.

“He was released from the Minnesota organization and didn’t really get a chance there,” Trotz said. “He came here and earned the right to play. He really started his career here, in a sense. He had a great foundation with lots of trust. His role was pretty significant here. He was sort of my Mr. Fix It. Whatever line that wasn’t going very well, you put Wardo on it and it seemed to stabilize it.”

Ward won’t be repaying any gratitude once the puck is dropped tonight, although Trotz joked that he wouldn’t mind if Ward did.

“Hopefully he will give us a turnover or something as a present,” Trotz said.

Rinne OK: Rinne is sporting some nice bruising under his right eye, but said he’s fine after taking 12 stitches after his mask was hit with a puck during the Winnipeg game on Saturday. There is a little irritation when the padding on his mask rubs against his eyebrow, but nothing that is keeping him from doing his job, Rinne said.

Broadcast info: Tonight’s game will be broadcast on 102.5 The Game, with pregame starting at 6 p.m. CT. A live web stream will be available at nashvillepredators.com. Per NHL regulations, only the states of Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and parts of Kentucky will be able to watch the stream.

SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

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WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 56 36 16 4 158 128 76
2 DAL 53 33 15 5 170 142 71
3 STL 55 30 17 8 132 129 68
4 LAK 51 31 17 3 135 117 65
5 SJS 51 27 20 4 147 138 58
6 NSH 53 25 20 8 136 139 58
7 COL 55 27 24 4 148 152 58
8 ANA 51 25 19 7 113 121 57
9 MIN 52 23 20 9 127 126 55
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 52 20 20 12 120 142 52
12 CGY 51 23 25 3 134 148 49
13 WPG 52 23 26 3 136 150 49
14 EDM 54 21 28 5 132 164 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Josi 53 10 27 -2 37
S. Weber 53 14 21 -4 35
F. Forsberg 53 15 18 -6 33
M. Ribeiro 53 6 27 3 33
J. Neal 53 19 13 18 32
M. Ekholm 53 6 16 3 22
R. Ellis 52 6 15 2 21
C. Smith 53 11 6 -1 17
C. Jarnkrok 52 9 7 0 16
C. Wilson 36 4 12 0 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 20 17 7 .904 2.50
C. Hutton 5 2 1 .916 2.36