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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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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