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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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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