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Morning Skate Report: March 24 vs Winnipeg

Saturday, 03.24.2012 / 2:53 PM CT / News
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Morning Skate Report: March 24 vs Winnipeg

It was a mostly optional morning skate today at Bridgestone Arena before tonight’s game against the Winnipeg Jets. The numbers of Anders Lindback, Colin Wilson, Craig Smith, Jordin Tootoo , Roman Josi, Jack Maclellan and Brian McGrattan were the only ones listed on the dry erase board in the locker room as required to participate. During his media availability, head coach Barry Trotz confirmed Wilson and Josi would not be in tonight’s lineup and that Pekka Rinne would be starting. So a betting man would wager that the rest of those listed on the dry erase board will be scratches tonight as well.

Trotz told gathered media that he feels his first two lines (Mike Fisher with Sergei Kostitsyn and Martin Erat; David Legwand with Alexander Radulov and Patric Hornqvist) are set. It’s a matter of figuring out who steps up and helps define the other two lines in the final two weeks of the regular season.


Better Starts: The Predators are focusing on being better out of the gate for each period after giving up goals 1:23 into the first period, 1:58 into the second and 2:03 into the third during Thursday night’s 5-1 loss in Pittsburgh. Some of the goals have come from bad bounces, but that’s little consolation to defenseman Hal Gill.

“It doesn’t matter how they go in, you’re giving up goals at bad times,” Gill said Friday. “You want to come out and set the tone for the period. I think that’s something about just having that focus that as soon as that puck drops, everyone is on the same page and everyone is going. I think we have to be a little sharper with that.”

“We know how important this game is [tonight],” Mike Fisher said Friday, on the heels of back-to-back regulation losses for the Preds—the first since Dec. 23 and 26 against Dallas and Detroit, respectively. “We’ve got to make sure we’re playing on top of our game. It’s gonna be huge. We’re going to be back home and energized again. We can’t let it happen again for sure.”

Early Start Time in Smashville: Tonight’s game against Winnipeg is starting at 6 p.m. CT, an hour earlier than usual for Predators home games. The reason: The game will be televised regionally in Canada as one of the early games on the famed “Hockey Night in Canada” broadcast—a veritable Canadian pastime. “Obviously those are big games, and lots of people watching,” center Mike Fisher said Friday. As a result of tonight’s earlier start, the Predators’ morning skate began today at 9:30 a.m., instead of the typical 10:15 start time.

No Place Like Home for the Jets: If one looks to recent history as a predictor of the future, the Predators stand a good chance to gain at least a point from tonight’s game. Winnipeg hasn’t won a road game in regulation since January 16, a span of 15 road games. By contrast, over that same time period the Jets are 9-3-2 at their home rink, MTS Centre. Facing the Capitals in Washington last night, the Jets rallied from an 0-3 deficit to score the game’s final four goals in a 4-3 overtime win. For the season, Winnipeg is 12-20-4 away from MTS Centre.

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STANDINGS
 

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 50 25 18 7 111 115 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 53 21 27 5 131 156 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