TONIGHT’S STORYLINES VS. DALLAS
Just 12 days into the 2009-10 season, the Predators make their second and final trip to Dallas, after opening the season at American Airlines Center with a 3-2 shootout victory on Oct. 3. The shootout went five rounds (10 shooters), the second-longest in franchise history – Mike Santorelli scored the game-deciding goal, the first shootout marker of his career, while David Legwand also solved Marty Turco in the penalty shot competition. It marked just the third time in series history the teams have gone to overtime/a shootout to determine a game’s outcome, with the other two coming Nov. 1, 2003 (1-1 ) and Jan. 17, 2001 (4-3 Dallas in OT). Since going 1-12-1 in a seven-season span at Dallas from 1999-2000 to 2006-07, the Predators have mustered a 3-2-0 record in Big D. Overall, Nashville is 6-3-0 since the start of the 2007-08 season, with J.P. Dumont (4g-6a) and Jason Arnott (4g-6a) posting 10 points in those nine games.
The Preds are 2-1-0 all-time in games played on October 14. After dropping a 5-1 decision to San Jose in 1999, Nashville has won its last two games on Oct. 14, edging Carolina 2-1 in 2000 and knocking off Phoenix 4-1 in 2006.
Jason Arnott recorded three assists, while Scott Hartnell, Paul Kariya, and Shea Weber chipped in two point efforts to lead the Predators to a 4-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes. Kariya and Martin Erat both scored in the middle of the first period to put Nashville up 2-0. After a late period power-play goal by the Coyotes, Hartnell answered with a mid-second period power-play marker. Ryan Suter closed out the scoring later in the second frame.
All-time series highlights: Dan Ellis has faced the team that drafted him 60th overall in the 2000 Entry Draft eight times in his career, posting a pair of shutouts on Dec. 13, 2008 (27 saves) and Dec. 31, 2007 (saves)… On Nov. 10, 2005, Steve Sullivan notched his fifth career hat trick – and second as a Predator – in a 5-3 victory at the Sommet Center.
Arnott had 184 points (79g-105a) in 236 games over parts of three seasons with Dallas from 2002-06. Since joining the Predators… Ellis is 5-3-0 with a 2.07 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage against his former team... Goaltender Pekka Rinne has never faced Dallas.
Career highs/highlights attained against the Stars Martin Erat – First NHL game on Oct. 5, 2001. Marcel Goc – Only career penalty shot on Oct. 26, 2005 against Turco ( no goal). Patric Hornqvist – First NHL goal on Oct. 15, 2008 against Turco.
Ryan Jones – First NHL goal/career-high two points (1g-1a) on Oct. 15, 2008. David Legwand – Second career hat trick on Oct. 6, 2007.
Both Jason Arnott and Patric Hornqvist have been in on five of Nashville’s six goals this season. Arnott has half the club’s goal output, while assisting on two others. Hornqvist has two tallies while pacing the club with three helpers. Through four games, Hornqvist is just two points shy of his 28-game output from a season ago (2g-5a)… Arnott has the most shots on goal among players dressing for four or fewer games this season, and is tied for 10th overall (22)… Shea Weber is tied for the defensemen lead in shots among players dressing for four or fewer games (13) and is also tied for 10th among blueliners…Weber also ranks ninth in the NHL in average ice time (25:53) and sixth in even-strength ice time (20:03)… The Predators rank fourth in team face-off efficiency at 55.4 percent. Two players – Marcel Goc (Eighth at 61.9 percent) and David Legwand (14th at 58.9 percent) rank among the League’s Top 15 in individual face-off success… The Predators rank fifth in fewest penalty minutes per game (9.8).
WILSON BECOMES THE EIGHTH FIRST ROUNDER TO SUIT UP FOR THE CLUB
Since the franchise selected David Legwand with its first-ever Entry Draft selection in 1998, the club has selected a total of 12 first-round picks – the Predators had no first rounder in 2006, and a pair in 2008. On Monday, Colin Wilson became the eighth of those 12 selections to suit up for Nashville, and the ninth to play in an NHL game – Ryan Parent has played all 59 games of his career with Philadelphia. With 2005 third rounder Teemu Laakso also making his debut this season, Nashville has seen 36 of its picks go on to play at least one NHL game. With many of the draftees from 2006-09 still developing in juniors, college and the AHL, 35 have come from the drafts between 1998-2005, an average output of more than four picks per year. In 2009-10, 12 of the 24 players to appear on Nashville’s active roster were selected by the club.
At 19 years, 357 days, Wilson is just the fourth teenager ever to play for the Predators, following Scott Hartnell (18 years, 172 days), Legwand (18 years, 243 days) and Scottie Upshall (19 years, eight days).
THE HOCKEY NEWS LISTS SUTER AND WEBER AMONG LEAGUE’S ELITE
In The Hockey News’ recent season preview edition, it listed the Top 20 players by position, and both Ryan Suter and Shea Weber made the cut among the League’s elite blueliners. The magazine listed Weber as the eighth-best d-man in the league, while Suter came in at No. 20. THN also constructed “all-division” teams, and both Suter and Weber, along with goaltender Pekka Rinne were featured on the Central Division’s team. Weber made the top defensive pairing with six-time Norris Trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom, while Suter was on the third pairing with another Red Wing d-man, Niklas Kronwall. Rinne was featured as the No. 2 netminder behind Columbus’ Steve Mason.
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.