Preds Close Out Homestand vs. Oilers
TONIGHT’S STORYLINES VS. EDMONTON
Nashville and Edmonton hook up for the first of four 2009-10 meetings tonight at the Sommet Center, the Predators first game against a Northwest Division foe this season. Nashville has had unmatched success against the Oilers since the 2006-07 season, having swept the season series twice (2006-07 and 2007-08), posting an 11-1-0 record in that span. On home ice, the Preds have not dropped a match to Edmonton since Oct. 29, 2005, claiming seven straight meetings. In 2008-09, Nashville posted a 3-1-0 record against the NHL’s northern-most franchise, with the most recent matchup (March 3, 2009) being an overtime win (6-5).
All-time series highlights: Martin Erat
registered his first career hat trick – and just the second road hat trick in franchise history – in a 5-1 victory at Rexall Place on March 4, 2008.
went 3-0-0 against the Oil in 2008-09, posting a 2.28 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage… J.P. Dumont led the offensive attack against Edmonton last season, putting up six points (1g-5a) in four games. He has 18 points (5g-13a) in 12 games against Edmonton since joining the Predators… David Legwand
(2g-3a) and Shea Weber
(2g-2a) both notched a point-per-game or greater in all four games played against the Oilers in 2008-09 as well. Legwand has more career points against Edmonton (10g-16a-26pts in 32gms) than any other non-divisional opponent in the League… Jason Arnott started his career with Edmonton in 1993-94, establishing a franchise rookie record for goals (33), breaking Jari Kurri’s mark set in 1980-81. He represented Edmonton in the 1997 All-Star Game and accumulated 239 points (100g-139a) in 286 games with the club before being traded to New Jersey on Jan. 4, 1998 along with Bryan Muir for Valeri Zelepukin and Bill Guerin. Since leaving the Oil, he has posted 23 points (9g-14a) in 26 games against his former team.
Career highs/highlights attained against the Oilers
– Career high two assists/points on March 3, 2009.
– First game as a Predator on Nov. 8, 2005.
Through Saturday’s games, goaltenders Dan Ellis and Pekka Rinne
have combined to post the second-lowest goals-against average (1.67) in the League…The Predators are also tied for second in the League in face-off efficiency (56.7 percent)… Nashville is one of three teams (along with Buffalo and Chicago) to have not given up a first-period goal… The Preds are averaging 9.3 penalty minutes per game, fourth-lowest in the League... Through three games, Shea Weber
is averaging 26:20 per game, the seventh-highest total in the league… Among players taking at least 10 draws, Marcel Goc
is tied for fifth in face-off efficiency (66.7 percent)
ARNOTT, WEBER MAKE UP ONE OF THE LEAGUE’S TOP FORWARD-DEFENSEMAN DUOS
In 2008-09, Jason Arnott (33) broke the franchise’s goals record, while Shea Weber
(23) tied with Sheldon Souray for the second-most markers among defensemen, in addition to snapping Nashville’s goals by a blueliner mark. Their combined 56 goals tied for the second highest total by forward and defenseman duo with Carolina’s Eric Staal (40) and Anton Babchuk (16), Detroit’s Marian Hossa (40) and Nicklas Lidstrom (16) and Boston’s Phil Kessel (36) and Zdeno Chara (19). Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin (56) and Mike Green (31) led all duos, and are the only other combination (with Arnott and Weber) that is reunited in 2009-10. Babchuk (KHL), Hossa (Chicago) and Kessel (Toronto) have all moved on from their former teams.
SHEA WEBER RECOGNIZED AS ONE OF THE NHL’S TOP 50 PLAYERS
Several sports/hockey publications have put out their “Top 50 Players in the NHL” rankings in recent weeks, and Predators defenseman Shea Weber
has cracked nearly every list. The 6-4, 234-pound blueliner showed up on the following lists: Sun Media (No. 32), The Hockey News (No. 35), Sportsnet (No. 36), Fanhouse.com (No. 44) and The Sporting News (No. 32).