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Post-Game Musings: at Colorado

Saturday, 04.7.2012 / 10:30 PM CT / Features
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators
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Post-Game Musings: at Colorado
The Nashville Predators had their playoff destiny determined before puck drop on Saturday when Chicago beat Detroit in a shootout securing the Preds the No. 4 seed, giving tonight's game a similar feel to the last game of the Preseason. Players on the fringe of the regular line-up getting a chance to make and/or stay in the lineup. And for the regular players, the primary goal was to stay healthy.

Still, the Preds never trailed all night. David Legwand scored 3:39 into the game and after Colorado tied the game 4:30 later, but Craig Smith gave the Preds the lead for good with 7:50 remaining in the first period, extended the lead with under one second left in the opening frame and then led by multiple goals the rest of the way out. Nashville scored once more in the second period and added two more goals in the third period.

Now on to the musings…

THREE MUSINGS:
Strong Finish For Anders: Anders Linback picked up his third consecutive win, stopping 34 shots tonight in Denver. Over his last three starts, Lindback has turned aside 89-of-92 shots for a .967 save percentage and 1.08 goals against average. Lindback had to leave the game early due to a collision in his crease 2:05 into the third period, but his performances the last three starts speak very well to Nashville’s goaltending depth heading into the playoffs.

Getting Some Rest: With the No. 4 seed locked up before puck drop, the Preds used tonight’s game to give some players a rest heading into the post-season. The entire Fisher line (Mike Fisher, Martin Erat, Sergei Kostitsyn) got the game off. As did physical defensemen Francis Bouillon and Hal Gill. That opened up ice time for defensemen Ryan Ellis and Matt Hillen as well as a few forwards on the fringe of the playoff lineup.

Stating His Case: Craig Smith made the most of his opportunity, primarily centering a line with Colin Wilson and Matt Halischuk. Smith scored Nashville’s go-ahead goal mid-way through the first period goal and assisted on Nashville’s second period goal with a pin-point cross ice pass to Roman Josi . Smith added a third point with another assist in the middle of third period. Smith also made a nice sliding block to prevent a potential goal early in the third period with Anders Lindback caught on the far post. Smith’s all-around play improved his chances to break the lineup for the playoffs. On a similar note, Halischuk, Smith’s linemate tonight, was solid with a goal and an assist to strengthen his bid to retain a spot in the lineup.


THREE STARS:
1) NSH G Anders Lindback – 34 saves
2) NSH F Craig Smith – 1 goal, 2 assists, +3 plus/minus
3) NSH F Matt Halischuk – 1 goal, 1 assist, +2 plus/minus

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