Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. CT at Philips Arena
The Predators and the Thrashers, their closest geographical rivals, meet for the second time in the 2009 preseason tonight at Philips Arena. The teams have played twice in every preseason since Atlanta entered the league in 1999-2000 in non-NHL markets such as Columbus, Ga. (1999), Southhaven, Miss. (2000), Bossier City, La. (2002) and Richmond, Va. (2003). The teams have split the preseason series the last three years, with two of Nashville’s losses being of the overtime/shootout variety. Overall, the Predators are 7-7-(1)-4 in the all-time preseason series.
Tonight's game will be broadcast on the Preds Radio Network, including flagship station 104.5 FM The Zone (click here to listen live).
PREDATORS AGREE TO TERMS ON A PRO TRYOUT AGREEMENT WITH BOUILLON
On Tuesday, the Predators welcomed defenseman Francis Bouillon (FRAN-sihs BOO-liawn) to training camp on a professional tryout agreement. Bouillon, 33 (10/17/75), posted a career-high five goals, nine points and 53 penalty minutes in 54 games with Montreal in 2008-09. The 5-8, 196-pound blueliner has played 485 NHL games since 1999-2000, amassing 102 points (21g-81a) and 371 penalty minutes. Bouillon’s only NHL experience outside of a Canadiens sweater came in 2002-03, when he dressed for four games with the Predators. He was claimed on waivers by Nashville, from Montreal, on Oct. 2, 2002, then reclaimed by the Habs on Oct. 25, 2002. A native of New York, N.Y., Bouillon is also a veteran of 25 NHL Playoff contests, and has seen action in four of the last five postseasons.
WEBER’S LATE GOAL HELPS NASHVILLE SLIP PAST COLUMBUS, 3-2
Nashville rallied from a two-goal deficit in the second-half of its third preseason game against Columbus last Saturday at the Sommet Center to claim a 3-2 victory. Shea Weber scored the game winner with a power-play marker with just 29 seconds left in regulation to cap the comeback. Second-year forward Ryan Jones cut the Blue Jackets’ lead to 2-1 with his first goal of the preseason at 18:08 of the second period, and Jason Arnott teamed up with J.P. Dumont on a slick passing play at 16:06 of the third frame to even the score two apiece. Dumont then set up Weber for a one-time blast from the point on the game winner. Weber led all skaters in ice time (26:29) playing alongside Ryan Suter (26:05). The Predators outshot the Jackets 40-16, led by Weber’s game-high seven shots.
LEGWAND LEADS 4-2 VICTORY AT CAROLINA David Legwand (1g-2a) led the offensive charge and linemates Mike Santorelli (1g-1a) and Martin Erat (2a) also had multi-point efforts as the Predators doubled up the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-2, last Friday at the RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C. After relinquishing the contest’s first goal, a power-play marker by Erik Cole at 17:10 of the first period, Santorelli evened the score just 58 seconds later, and Legwand notched the go-ahead goal 3:20 into the middle frame. Defenseman Dan Hamhuis potted the game winner with just 1:03 left in the second, and Peter Olvecky pitched in an empty netter to seal the victory. Pekka Rinne (10 saves on 11 shots) and Mark Dekanich (18 saves on 19 shots) split netminding duties. Hamhuis led all skaters in ice time (23:56) and blocked shots (4), while newcomer Ben Guite doled out a game-high four hits. Patric Hornqvist put a game-high seven shots on net.
PREDATORS ROLL IN PRESEASON OPENER
The Predators kicked off the 2009 preseason in fine fashion on Thursday night, posting a 5-0 victory over their closest geographical rivals – the Atlanta Thrashers. Rookie Colin Wilson, Nashville’s first selection (seventh overall) in the 2008 Entry Draft, was impressive in his preseason professional debut, scoring the Predators final goal of the evening, while assisting on tallies by rookie defenseman Teemu Laakso and 2009 All-Star blueliner Shea Weber. Dan Ellis and prospect Mark Dekanich combined for a 22-save shutout, and the top line of Jason Arnott, J.P. Dumont and Steve Sullivan picked up where they left off at the end of last season, combining for two goals and three assists.
PREDATOR ROOKIES SPLIT PAIR OF GAMES IN ATLANTA
A 20-man unit of Nashville Predators rookies traveled to the Duluth IceForum outside Atlanta to take on a squad of Thrashers rookies on Sept. 14-15, and returned home with a split. After falling 6-3 on Monday, the Predators used a combined 28-save shutout by Chet Pickard and Jeremy Smith to blank the Thrashers, 3-0. The line of Colin Wilson (2g-1a), Nick Spaling (2g-1a) and Taylor Beck (1g-2a) were Nashville’s standout offensive performers during the two game set, with each prospect tallying three points.
NASHVILLE UNVEILS ITS NEW THIRD JERSEY
Prior to Thursday night’s preseason opener, the Predators unveiled their new third jersey with a look that has its roots in an Original 6 style, yet keeps a feeling that is distinctly Nashville. The sweater features a vintage-inspired lace-up front, a subtle checkerboard pattern lining the bottom of the jersey, and a bolder and more simplified color scheme. This new color scheme is evident in the Pred-head logo, which includes colors such as Nashville steel, navy blue, silver, white, and a glowing eye, all changes from its predecessor.