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                                    VS.   

                                                                                                   

MATCHUP


The Nashville Predators face-off against the Chicago Blackhawks in their final home game of the 2013-14 season on Saturday night. This is the fifth meeting between the two teams this season with Nashville holding a 3-1-0 record against the Hawks on the year. The Preds hold a slight lead in the all-time series (41-39-(2)-8, 90gp).

The two teams met twice in March in the Windy City. On March 14, the Preds jumped out to a 2-1 lead after first-period goals by Patric Hornqvist and Mike Fisher. After a scoreless second, Ryan Ellis scored what would be the eventual game-winning marker in the 3-2 Nashville victory. Just nine days later on March 23, Fisher and Gabriel Bourque tallied the Preds two goals and Pekka Rinne backstopped the Preds to a 2-0 shutout of the defending Stanley Cup Champions.

Patric Hornqvist (6g-5a-11pts, 12gp) and Mike Fisher (5g-4a-9pts, 10gp) are both producing at nearly a point-per-game clip against Chicago since the beginning of the 2011-12 campaign… Viktor Stalberg played the previous three seasons with the Blackhawks, posting 90 points (43g-47a) in 203 games, and winning the 2013 Stanley Cup with them.


CAREER HIGHLIGHTS VS. CHICAGO

• Victor Barley recorded a career-high two assists on April 19, 2013 at Chicago.
• Carter Hutton made his NHL debut with Chicago on April 27, 2013 vs. St. Louis.
• Roman Josi posted a career-high three assists on March 14, 2014 at Chicago

TONIGHT'S STORYLINES




 ONE FOR THE RECORD BOOKS
Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne stopped all 29 Phoenix shots on Thursday night to notch his franchise-leading 162nd career win (surpassing Tomas Vokoun, 161) in a Preds sweater. In addition to setting the all-time wins mark, the shutout was the 32nd of Rinne’s career, putting him in sole possession of second in the League in the category since the start of the 2008-09 season.

Over his last three starts, Rinne has recorded a 1.30 goals-against average and a .955 save percentage.

The two-time Vezina Trophy finalist has recorded all but one of his victory total since 2008-09, including a League-leading 43 in 2011-12, and eight in 2013-14. Since his rookie campaign, Rinne ranks among the NHL leaders in wins, save percentage (.918), goals-against average (2.39) and shutouts (32).


 
SMITH SHINES
With his first period power play tally on Thursday night against Phoenix, Craig Smith tied Shea Weber and Patric Hornqvist for the team lead in goals (21). The goal, which stood as the eventual game-winner, was his fourth game-winner of the year and his sixth power play marker. Smith’s 46 points (21g-25a) place him in a tie for third in team scoring, and are 10 more than his previous career-high set in 2011-12 (14g-22a-36pts).



 VETERAN LINE FINDS SUCCESS ON SCORESHEET
The Predators line of Patric Hornqvist, Mike Fisher and Matt Cullen continue to find success on the score sheet. Hornqvist, who notched a pair of three-point efforts last weekend in the Preds games against the Ducks and Sharks, tallied his 21st goal of the season on Thursday night, placing him in a tie with Shea Weber and Craig Smith for team lead in the category. In his last eight games, the Sollentuna, Sweden native has 15 points (7g-8a). With 50 points on the season (21g-29a), he is just one shy of his career high in the category (set in 2009-10).

Fisher has points in eight of his last 10 games (3g-8a-11pts), and has surpassed the 20-goal mark for the sixth time in his career. His assist on Hornqvist’s third period goal Thursday night put him just two shy of tying a career high in assists (28, set in 2009-10 with Ottawa). He leads all Preds forwards in ice time (19:45) – nearly three minutes higher than the next closest forward (Hornqvist, 16:50). Fisher also leads the team forwards in blocked shots (72) and ranks second in hits (144).

Cullen, who also recorded an assist on Hornqvist’s goal on Thursday, has 13 points (3g-10a) in his last 10 games. Nashville’s most veteran skater (1,148 games) ranks second on the team in face-off percentage (56.2 percent) and is a League leader in the category. The Preds have not lost a game in regulation this season when he finds the back of the net (6-0-2).


THE CAPTAIN LEADS THE WAY
Predators Captain Shea Weber continues to put up career numbers this season; his assist Gabriel Bourque’s first goal on Tuesday night in Dallas tied a career high for points in a season (21g-29a-53pts set in 2008-09). Weber logged a team-high 26:27 in ice time on Thursday night against Phoenix while improving his plus/minus rating to +6 over the last five games, a span in which the Preds have not lost a game in regulation.
• In 40 games played in 2014, has recorded 31 points (12g-19a), three game-winning goals and a +10 rating.
• He is tied for fifth among NHL defenseman in points (21g-32a-53pts).
• He leads all NHL blueliners, in goals (21) and is tied for the team lead in the category (Patric Hornqvist, Craig Smith). According to Elias Sports Bureau, the last time a defenseman led his team in goal scoring was 2008-09, when Sheldon Souray tallied 23 times for the Oilers (tied with Ales Hemsky).
• Nashville’s captain is the 10th player in franchise history to hit the 20-goal mark more than once, and the first defenseman to achieve the feat.
• Weber leads his team and is tied for 10th in the NHL in blocked shots (171). He also leads the team in hits (162), making him the first player since the NHL started keeping the hits and blocked shots categories annually in 2005-06, to post 20 goals, 150 blocked shots and 150 hits.
• He is one of three defensemen (Karlsson, OTT and Yandle, PHX) to lead their team in scoring and last season (2012-13) became the first Preds defenseman to lead the team in points.
• His team-leading 25 power-play points (11g-14a) are good for fifth among League defensemen.
• The Preds are 15-1-2 when their captain finds the back of the net.
• The Sicamous, B.C, native ranks fourth in the League in average ice time (26:54).
• Weber played in his 600th career NHL game on March 28 in Dallas.


PENALTY KILLING PROWESS
For the fourth consecutive game on Thursday vs. Phoenix, Nashville achieved a perfect record on the penalty kill, killing nine straight penalties during that span. In the Preds latest run of successful penalty kills they have gone 3-0-1, including wins over two of the top five teams in the Western Conference, the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks.

The Preds have not allowed a shorthanded goal since March 21, 2013, when Calgary scored two shorthanded – a span of 98 games. Nashville is the only team in the League not to have allowed a shorthanded goal this season.


PLAYER QUICK HITS  
• Roman Josi has recorded seven points (3g-4a) in his last 10 games and 23 points (8g-15a) in his last 33 games to move into the Top 30 in scoring among League defenseman. The Bern, Switzerland native is second on the team – and fifth in the League – in average time on ice (26:24) and is one of just two League defenseman to record three shootout tallies this season.
• Gabriel Bourque has posted six points (3g-3a) in his last nine games and seven points (4g-3a) in his last 11.
• Carter Hutton, who entered the season with one game of NHL experience, has gone 19-11-4 this season, sitting just one win shy of the 20-goal plateau. His shutout victory against the Sharks on Saturday was the first shutout of his NHL career. He is 6-0-1 when facing 35 shots or more this season.
• Calle Jarnkrok has posted six points (1g-5a) in the first 10 games of his NHL career. The Preds are 7-1-2 with Jarnkrok in the lineup, and 10-6-2 since his acquisition (along with Patrick Eaves and a second-round pick in the 2014 Draft) for David Legwand.
• Barry Trotz, the only head coach in Preds history, is 13th all-time in coaching wins (555). The Dauphin, Manitoba, native is the longest tenured head coach in the NHL (1,194) and has the second-longest active tenure in all four major sports behind the San Antonio Spurs’ Head Coach Gregg Popovich.


MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
• Michael Del Zotto is one assist from 100 career helpers.
• Eric Nystrom is one goal from tying his career high (16).
• Patric Hornqvist is one point shy of reaching a career high in points (30g-21a-51pts set in 2009-10).
• Gabriel Bourque is two goals shy of tying a career high in NHL goals in a season (11, set in 2012-13).
• Mike Fisher is two assists from tying a career high in assists (28, set in 2009-10 with Ottawa).


LAST TIME OUT: Nashville 2, Phoenix 0 at Bridgestone Arena
• Thursday night’s shutout was the first on Bridgestone Arena ice since March 8, 2013 when Pekka Rinne blanked the Edmonton Oilers. In that span, the Preds have recorded six shutouts as the visiting team.
• The Preds improved to 23-0-4 when leading after two periods this season.
• Paul Gaustad went 15-of-24 in the faceoff circle (63 percent) to lead the team. The Preds 2014 Masterton Trophy nominee has gone 41-of-65 in the faceoff circle since returning from an upper-body injury on April 5 (63.1 percent).
• The Predators were outshot for the fourth straight game, but improved to 3-0-1 in those contests and 21-14-4 this season.
• Nashville has now earned points in eight of their last 10 games (6-2-2), and is 10-4-2 since March 10.


TEAM QUICK HITS
• Nashville has had a player or players record a two-goal game in six of their last eight games and in each of their last four games.
• Nashville is a combined 9-3-1 vs. San Jose (3-0-0), Chicago (3-1-0), Los Angeles (2-0-1) and Anaheim (1-2-0), four of the top six teams in the Western Conference.
• The team is 4-1-1 in its last six road games and 10-4-4 in its last 18. At 18-15-7 on the year, the Preds will finish over .500 on the road after going 5-14-5 last season.
• The Predators have four 20-goal scorers (Weber, Hornqvist, Fisher, Smith) for the first time since 2007-08.
• Nashville has the youngest defensive corps in the League (24.02 years). Only two other teams in the NHL have an average defensive age under 26 (including players on IR): Ottawa (25.32 years) and Washington (25.35 years).
• Nashville is tied for the League lead in team face-off win percentage (52.8 percent). The Preds have been 50 percent or better in the face-off circle in 61 of their 80 games.


STORYLINES VS. CHICAGO
The Nashville Predators face-off against the Chicago Blackhawks in their final home game of the 2013-14 season on Saturday night. This is the fifth meeting between the two teams this season with Nashville holding a 3-1-0 record against the Hawks on the year. The Preds hold a slight lead in the all-time series (41-39-(2)-8, 90gp).

The two teams met twice in March in the Windy City. On March 14, the Preds jumped out to a 2-1 lead after first-period goals by Patric Hornqvist and Mike Fisher. After a scoreless second, Ryan Ellis scored what would be the eventual game-winning marker in the 3-2 Nashville victory. Just nine days later on March 23, Fisher and Gabriel Bourque tallied the Preds two goals and Pekka Rinne backstopped the Preds to a 2-0 shutout of the defending Stanley Cup Champions.

Patric Hornqvist (6g-5a-11pts, 12gp) and Mike Fisher (5g-4a-9pts, 10gp) are both producing at nearly a point-per-game clip against Chicago since the beginning of the 2011-12 campaign… Viktor Stalberg played the previous three seasons with the Blackhawks, posting 90 points (43g-47a) in 203 games, and winning the 2013 Stanley Cup with them.


 15h Anniversary Moment 
April 11, 2004: Nashville’s first playoff win
Tomas Vokoun was spectacular, stopping 41 shots, and Adam Hall scored the game-winning goal with just 15 seconds left in the first period as the Nashville Predators knocked off the rival Detroit Red Wings, 3-1, to claim the first playoff victory in franchise history in front of a rocking sell-out crowd at Bridgestone Arena.

"To get the first win for the team in the playoffs was special," Vokoun said. "Anybody who was here felt the energy," Vokoun said. "The fans were unbelievable. It was the best moment since I've been in Nashville."

The Predators were outshot 42-21, but Vokoun was masterful, stopping 22 shots in the third period alone. David Legwand got the scoring started with a shorthanded marker at 18:23 of the opening frame, and Scott Hartnell added an insurance marker at 16:03 of the third.

"Vokoun played unbelievable," Detroit goalie Manny Legace said. "He stood on his head and stole the game."

The victory paved the way for another just two nights later, tying the best-of-seven series at 2-2 heading back to the Motor City.

"Obviously, this was an important game," Head Coach Barry Trotz said. "Detroit is a veteran team, and they wanted to put a nail in the coffin today, and we didn't let them."


 Fan Appreciation Night
 McDonald's Family Four Pack Night
 Predators GOLDWALK
Daily's "We win, You win"
Planet Fitness Goal
Wendy's Frosty "Score with Four"
Dunkin Donuts Shutout

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