SEVERAL SHOT RECORDS FALL IN SHUTOUT WIN
In outshooting the Montreal Canadiens by a 55-20 margin in Saturday’s 2-0 victory, the Predators essentially rewrote the shots in a game and shots in a period sections of the club’s record books. The previous shot record of 52 set on Oct. 14, 1999 in a 5-1 loss vs. San Jose held up for exactly 10 years and one month, while the 35-shot advantage snapped a mark of 30 set last fall in a 1-0 shootout loss vs. St. Louis (47-17). Nashville’s 24 shots in the first period edged out the mark of 23 set against the New York Rangers on Feb. 28, 2004 (second period), while the plus-20 shot advantage in the opening frame broke the record of plus-16, attained twice before.
All but one Nashville skater (Ryan Suter) registered a shot on net, led by Steve Sullivan’s career-high 11. Only Jason Arnott’s total of 12 shots on Dec. 4, 2007 is positioned higher in club history. Montreal netminder Carey Price turned 53 of the 55 shots, including 23 in the first period, which are not only Nashville records, but tied the franchise-best marks for the Canadiens franchise, which started play in 1909.
The Nashville Predators are 1-3-1 all-time in games played on November 17. The Preds fell at home to Columbus 2-1 in 1998 before beating Columbus at home 3-2 in 2001. The Preds dropped a 4-2 decision to Chicago in 2002 and were dealt a 3-2 shootout loss at home to St. Louis in 2007. Last Nov. 17 the Preds fell 4-1 to San Jose.
TONIGHT’S STORYLINES VS. SAN JOSE
San Jose visits the Sommet Center for the first time this season tonight, just seven days after the Predators and Sharks clashed at HP Pavilion. Last Tuesday, the game appeared to be headed for overtime until Dan Boyle scored at 19:00 of the third period to lift S.J. to a 4-3 win. In the game, the Predators were assessed just one penalty (a minor) for the second time in the last 98 games dating back to the start of the 2008-09 season. The six total penalty minutes by both teams combined were the fewest since the Predators (2) and Blues (4) combined for six PIMs on April 1, 2008. The game also featured Marcel Goc scoring his first goal as a Predator against the team he played the first 265 games of his NHL career with, and both Mike Santorelli and Patric Hornqvist notching goals. A season ago, Nashville split its two games with San Jose on Sommet Center ice, winning on March 26 by a 3-2 margin on goals by Radek Bonk, Martin Erat and Greg Zanon in a span of 2:38 in the second period, while falling 4-1 on this exact date a year ago. The Predators are 7-3-0 in San Jose’s last 10 visits to Nashville dating back to the start of the 2003-04 season, outscoring the Sharks 31-24 in that span. Overall, the Preds and Sharks have had six of their last seven meetings decided by a single goal going back to Feb. 9, 2008.
All-time series highlights: On Feb. 18, 2004, in his first game with the Predators after being acquired from Chicago, Steve Sullivan netted a hat trick and four points (3g-1a) in a 7-3 win at the Sommet Center. Blueliner Marek Zidlicky notched a franchise-record five assists/points in the game as well... On Oct. 14, 1999 – in game No. 9 of season No. 2 for the franchise, Nashville put 52 shots on goal in a 5-1 San Jose win at the Sommet Center. It was the most shots in franchise history prior to Saturday’s 55 shots against Montreal.
Shea Weber has seven points (2g-5a) in 12 games against San Jose for his career. A season ago, he posted three assists in four games against the Sharks… Goaltender Pekka Rinne posted a 1-0-1 record with a 1.92 goals-against average and a .942 save percentage against San Jose a season ago, and did not play in the first meeting of 2009-10… The Sharks are one of two teams Jason Arnott has 50-or-more points against, with Phoenix (53) being the other. Nashville’s captain has 50 points (26g-24a) in 51 games against S.J. entering tonight… Goc was drafted 20th overall in 2001 (highest ever by a German) by the Sharks. In 265 games with the Sharks from 2005-09, he posted 54 points (20g-34a), and in 37 postseason contested, he amassed eight points (3g-5a). One of the three playoff goals sent San Jose to its last appearance in the Western Conference Finals – he scored the series-clinching goal in Game Six of the 2004 Western Conference Semifinals against Colorado.
Career highs/highlights attained against the Sharks
Jason Arnott – Played in his first career game and notched his first career goal on Oct. 6, 1993 against Arturs Irbe.
J.P. Dumont – Scored his first career goal on March 6, 1999 against Steve Shields.
Dan Ellis – Saw a career-high 57 shots and made a career-high 54 saves on Nov. 11, 2008. Martin Erat – Had his only career penalty shot on Feb. 28, 2007 against Evgeni Nabokov (no goal). Marcel Goc – First goal as a Predator on Nov. 10, 2009. Steve Sullivan – Played in his first game as a Predator, notched his first goal as a Predator against Nabokov, and posted his fourth career hat trick on Feb. 18, 2004. Ryan Suter – Played in his first career game on Oct. 5, 2005.
RINNE POSTS NINTH CAREER WHITEWASH
By turning aside all 20 shots he faced on Saturday vs. Montreal, Predators second-year netminder Pekka Rinne notched the ninth shutout of his career, tying him with Dan Ellis for the third-most in franchise history. All nine of Rinne’s shutouts have come since Dec. 1, 2008, tying him with Evgeni Nabokov for the most since the start of last December. The 258th selection in the 2004 Entry Draft has gone 6-1-0 in his last seven appearances, and since Oct. 28, he’s posted a 1.25 goals-against average and a .949 save percentage, to move into the top 15 in both categories (2.34 GAA, .915 SV%). QUICK HITS
The Predators scored on the power play on Saturday to improve to 7-for-42 (16.7 percent) in their last 10 games, after starting the season 1-for-27 (3.7 percent). Nashville is 7-0-0 when it scores a man-advantage goal… The Predators penalty kill has been perfect the last three outings (6-for-6) and has killed 22-of-25 disadvantages (88 percent) over the last seven games… Nashville is tops in the NHL in fewest penalty minutes per game (9.1), and have been shorthanded the second-fewest times (62, 3.44 per game)… The Predators have held the opposition to fewer than 30 shots in seven of the last eight games. Nashville is giving up an average of 28.5 shots per game, seventh fewest in the NHL… The Predators are 9-2-1 when scoring more than one goal… Nashville is 6-1-0 when scoring the first goal of the game, the League’s sixth-best winning percent (.857) in that situation… All nine of Nashville’s wins have been decided by two goals or fewer. Of the nine, four of the wins have been by one goal, and two have been by two goals with one being an empty netter… Nashville scored its 13th third-period goal in the last nine games on Saturday vs. Montreal after starting the season with two third-period goals in their first eight outings. PLAYER QUICK HITS
J.P. Dumont notched his team-leading 12th point and ninth assist on Saturday, doing it in his 11th game of the season. Dumont’s .82 assists per game ranks among the NHL’s top 15. The helper also moved Dumont into sole possession of fifth on the franchise’s all-time list (146). He needs just five more to tie Scott Walker for fourth… Defenseman Shea Weber assisted on Steve Sullivan’s third-period insurance marker vs. Montreal, bringing his point total to seven (4g-3a) in his last eight games. Weber is tied for first on the club in goals (5), tied for second in scoring (10), and also ranks among the defensive leaders in both goals and power-play goals… Kevin Klein is expected to play in his 100th NHL game tonight.