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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 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 26 37 15 63
M. Ribeiro 82 15 47 11 62
R. Josi 81 15 40 15 55
S. Weber 78 15 30 15 45
C. Smith 82 23 21 11 44
C. Wilson 77 20 22 19 42
M. Fisher 59 19 20 4 39
J. Neal 67 23 14 12 37
R. Ellis 58 9 18 8 27
S. Jones 82 8 19 3 27
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 41 17 6 .923 2.18
C. Hutton 6 7 4 .902 2.61