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Preds in Europe Tune-Up Before World Championship

Wednesday, 05.7.2014 / 12:48 PM CT / Features
By Alexis Tahara  - NashvillePredators.com (@AlexisTahara)
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Preds in Europe Tune-Up Before World Championship

Several of the Preds representing their countries at the World Championship in Belarus have already made an impact in pre-tournament games.

Goaltender Pekka Rinne, playing for his native Finland, went 2-0-0 with a 1.38 goals-against average and a .953 save percentage in two games at the Oddset Hockey Games, an annual spring event between the Finns, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Russia.

Finland, who in addition to Rinne, also has Preds prospects Miikka Salomaki and Juuse Saros on their roster, won the 2014 Oddset Hockey Games on Sudnay after a 2-1 shootout victory over the Czechs.

Sweden, also participating in the Oddset Hockey Games, finished the event with a 1-1-1 record, with their one win coming in their final game of the tournament against Russia (2-0). Preds defenseman Mattias Ekholm appeared in all three games for the Swedes. Forward Calle Jarnkrok, who was just named to the Swedish roster on May 2, did not play.

On Tuesday, the United States, coached by Preds new head coach Peter Laviolette and assistant coach Phil Housley, beat Germany 3-1 in their only pre-tournament contest. Preds forward Craig Smith notched the primary assist on Tyler Johnson’s goal, the U.S.’s third, midway through the second period. Laviolette, Housley and Smith are joined on Team USA by Preds defenseman Seth Jones and Video Coach Lawrence Feloney.

Canada beat Switzerland 4-0 on Wednesday, in the last of the pre-tournament games where Predators players are represented. Preds defenseman Ryan Ellis, representing Canada for the first time since becoming only the seventh player to play for Canada in three editions of the World Junior Championship, tallied his team’s second goal with less than two minutes remaining in the first period. Ellis was named Canada’s player of the game. Preds defenseman Roman Josi and forward Simon Moser both dressed for the Swiss.

The World Championship tournament begins on Friday at 8:45 a.m. CT with Switzerland vs. Russia and Canada vs. France, followed by Belarus vs. United States and Slovakia vs. Czech Republic at 12:45 p.m. CT. Finland (vs. Latvia) and Sweden (vs. Denmark) play their first games at 8:45 a.m. on Saturday.

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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