TONIGHT’S STORYLINES VS. OTTAWA
Nashville visits Ottawa for just the seventh time in team history tonight at Scotiabank Place, the lone meeting between the Predators and Senators in 2009-10. The Preds’ last trip to Kanata – two seasons ago on Nov. 29, 2007 – proved to be a memorable one, as they squeezed out a 6-5 victory behind Martin Erat’s game-winning goal with just 23 seconds left in regulation. Nashville held a 5-3 advantage going into the second-half of the third period before goals at 11:39 (Jason Spezza) and 19:14 (Daniel Alfredsson) tied it up. J.P. Dumont tied a career high with four points (1g-3a) on the night, including an assist on the game winner, while Erat pitched in three points (1g-2a). Ryan Suter (1g-1a) and Jason Arnott (2a) also had multi-point outings. In last season’s lone matchup at the Sommet Center, Ottawa posted a 2-0 victory, marking just the second time in a 169-game span dating back to Jan. 13, 2004 that the Predators had been shut out on home ice.
The Preds are 2-1-0 all-time in games played on October 22. The Preds picked up a 4-2 road win at Edmonton on October 22, 2001 and then split 2-1 decisions in 2002 and 2005. In '02 Nashville dropped the one-goal decision to Phoenix. In '05 the Preds picked up the 2-1 win over San Jose.
All-time series highlight: On Dec. 14, 2006 when the Senators, who would win the Eastern Conference and play for the Stanley Cup that spring, came to town, Steve Sullivan notched a natural hat trick in a franchise-record 5:56 of the second as part of a 6-0 win by the Predators. It was Sullivan’s sixth career hat trick and third as a Predator, with Dumont providing the playmaking, setting up the Timmins, Ont., native on all three markers. The victory was the second of five in a row for the Predators where they outscored their opponent 16-6. It was the second of three winning streaks that saw Nashville win five or more games in row, as it went on to finish with franchise record 51 wins and 110 points.
Dumont has seven points (1g-6a) in three games against Ottawa as a Predator… Sullivan has five points (3g-2a) in just two games against Ottawa as a Pred. This will be Sullivan’s first trip to Kanata since March 6, 2004… Erat is averaging more than point per game against the Senators in his career with six points (1g-5a) in five games.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY COLIN Colin Wilson, who is the fourth-youngest player in franchise history to skate in an NHL game for the Preds, celebrated his 20th birthday on Tuesday and on Wednesday he scored his first career NHL goal. His tally came against the Bruins in front of plenty of friends and former teammates at TD Banknorth Garden. Wilson spent two seasons at Boston University and helped them win the 2009 NCAA National Championship. The 6-1, 215-pound center was named the 2009 USA Hockey College Player of the Year and was named one of three Hobey Baker “Hat Trick” Finalists in 2008-09.
The only players to appear in a game with the Predators at a younger age than Wilson are Scott Hartnell (18 years, 172 days), David Legwand (18 years, 243 days) and Scottie Upshall (19 years, 8 days). Wilson made his NHL debut back on Oct. 12 when he was 19 years, 357 days young.
FRANSON BECOMES FOURTH PICK FROM OTTAWA’S 2005 DRAFT TO SUIT UP FOR THE PREDATORS
In the 2005 Entry Draft in Ottawa, Nashville made seven selections, and on Saturday, Cody Franson became the fourth of the seven to suit up for the Predators and the fifth to play in the NHL. Franson played 12:54 and had one shot on goal in his NHL debut on Saturday at Washington. Fellow third rounder Teemu Laakso has appeared in seven games this season with Nashville. Fifth-round pick Cal O’Reilly has skated in the last three games with the Predators and seventh rounder Patric Hornqvist – the very last pick of the 2005 draft – is the team’s leading scorer through eight games (2g-5a-7pts) this season. Ryan Parent, Nashville’s first selection (18th overall) was moved to Philadelphia in the Peter Forsberg trade on Feb. 15, 2007 and is on the Flyers active roster.
Nashville has already seen 12 players from its draft classes between 2003 and 2005 go on to suit up for NHL contests. Nine have suited up for Nashville this season – Ryan Suter (seventh overall in 2003), Kevin Klein (37th overall in 2003), Shea Weber (49th overall in 2003), Mike Santorelli (178th overall in 2004), Pekka Rinne (258th overall in 2004). Laakso (78th overall in 2005), Franson (79th overall in 2005), O’Reilly (150th overall in 2005) and Hornqvist (230th overall in 2005). Two have played games for the Predators in the past couple of seasons – Alex Sulzer (92nd overall in 2003), Alexander Radulov (14th overall in 2004). One has 60 NHL games to his credit, all with Philadelphia – Parent (18th overall in 2005).
THIS DATE IN PREDATORS HISTORY… October 22, 2001: Predators battle back in Alberta
After falling behind 2-1 at Rexall Place in Edmonton, the Predators battled back with three straight goals, including two in the third period, to down the Oilers 4-2. Scott Hartnell, Scott Walker, Vladimir Orszagh and Kimmo Timonen all scored for Nashville as Mike Dunham made 24 saves. Orszagh’s goal at 9:20 of the third period proved to be the game winner.