TONIGHT’S STORYLINES VS. CALGARY
The Predators will be looking to get back into the win column against the Calgary Flames tonight at the Pengrowth Saddledome, Nashville’s first trip to the venue this season. The Flames took the first meeting of the season – a 5-0 decision on Nov. 30 in the Music City – extending their winning streak over the Predators to five games dating back to Oct. 23, 2008. The Predators are in search of their first win in Calgary since a 2-1 overtime victory on March 7, 2008 after dropping both games in the Stampede City a season ago. Overall, Nashville is 7-7-(3)-3 in 20 trips to Calgary, including a 4-3-1 mark since the start of 2005-06. Prior to last season, Nashville had posted a 9-2-1 stretch against Calgary from 2005-08, including a seven-game winning streak from Nov. 29, 2005-March 8, 2007.
Game No. 2 of the season series – and Nashville’s first trip to Calgary – in 2008-09 on Nov. 6 at the Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary was one of the Predators more unusual contests of the season, with the club falling 7-6. Calgary scored the game’s first five goals, before Nashville rallied to make it a one-goal game with three tallies in both the second and third periods. Seven of the game’s 13 goals were scored on special teams, including three shorthanded goals. Nashville tallied the game’s final two goals while a man down – just the fourth time in team history it has scored two shorties in a game – on the club’s lone penalty shot of the season by Vernon Fiddler, and one by Shea Weber with 20 seconds left in regulation. Seven Predators posted multi-point efforts in the loss, led by Martin Erat and David Legwand, who each had a goal and two assists.
All-time series highlight: The date of Nov. 6 has also produced some fond memories for the Predators franchise, as the club collected its first road victory in Cowtown on that day in 1998. Mike Dunham turned aside 31 shots in the victory, while Patric Kjellberg provided the game winner with a power-play goal late in the second period. Jan Vopat also scored for Nashville. John Slaney (26:19) led all Nashville skaters in ice time, and was second only to Calgary’s Phil Housley (27:20) in the game.
The Preds are 1-2-0 with one tie in four all-time games played on December 19. The Preds won in Vancouver 6-4 on Dec. 19, 1998 before leaving Philadelphia with a 1-1 overtime tie in 1999. Nashville dropped decisions in 2002 (3-1 to Vancouver) and 2007 (5-2 at Chicago).
Jason Arnott (3g-2a) and J.P. Dumont (1g-4a) each have five points in their last five games against the Flames, while Erat (1g-3a) has four points in the last five. Arnott has 15 points (10g-5a) in 13 games against the Flames as a Predator and his 26 career goals against them is tied for the most against a single opponent with San Jose. Dumont has amassed 14 points (5g-9a) in 13 games against Calgary while with Nashville… Weber had two goals in the Nov. 6, 2009 game, and finished with three points in four games last season against Calgary, and has eight points (4g-4a) in 13 career games against the Flames… Predator winger Wade Belak spent parts of three seasons with Calgary from 1999-2001, amassing 222 penalty minutes and three assists in 71 games. He was acquired by the Flames, along with Robyn Regehr, in the deal that sent Theo Fleury to Colorado on Feb. 28, 1999.
Career highs/highlights attained against the Flames David Legwand – Tied a career-high with three assists on March 18, 2006. Joel Ward – Career-high five penalty minutes on Nov. 6, 2008. NASHVILLE KEEPS PAIR OF STREAKS ALIVE
With its win at Edmonton on Thursday, the Predators garnered a point for the sixth consecutive game (5-0-1) – the second time this season they have had a point streak of that length (Nov. 12-25, seven games, 7-0-0). The win also gave the Predators points in six consecutive road games for just the second time in franchise history. They also went six away games with a point Jan. 4-24, 2006 (4-0-2) and went seven with a point Oct. 16-Nov. 4, 2006 (7-0-0). At 21-11-3 (45 points), Nashville is four wins/eight points ahead of last season’s 35-game record (17-14-3), and five wins/11 points ahead of the pace set by its 2007-08 (16-17-2) playoff team… The Preds enter Friday night’s games tied for first in the Central Division, and their win total is tied for fourth in the NHL, while their point total is tied for sixth… Nashville is 5-3-1 against the Northwest Division this season, including a 3-0-1 mark against the Northwest on the road. A season ago, the Predators went 7-13-0 against the Northwest with a 3-7-0 record on the road… Nashville plays seven of nine games on the road between Dec. 14 and Dec. 31 after being at home for 12-of-15 games between Nov. 14 and Dec. 14… Nashville is 18-5-2 in its last 25 games.
Nashville has scored five-or-more goals in three consecutive games, marking just the second time in franchise history that has occurred (with all three games in the same season). The only other time came Feb. 23-March 1, 2003, when it went four straight with at least five goals (Feb. 23 at Toronto, 5-0; Feb. 25 vs. Columbus, 5-0; Feb. 27 vs. Pittsburgh, 6-0; March 3 at Chicago, 5-4 OT)… Including shootout winners, the Predators have scored 62 goals in the last 17 games, an average of 3.65 goals per game. In the first 18 games of 2009-10, Nashville scored just 39 times, an average of 2.17 goals per game… The Predators have scored four-or-more goals 11 times in the last 17 games (including shootout winners). Prior to the current stretch, they had just three four-or-more goal games in the first 18 contests of 2009-10... Since Nov. 27 (12 game span), Nashville has scored 38 of its 43 goals (excluding shootouts) at even strength (88.4 percent)… The Predators rank seventh in the League in even-strength goals (65), tied for ninth in five-on-five goals (65) and 10th in five-on-five goals ratio (1.07)… The Predators have scored in six consecutive second periods, outscoring the opposition 14-7 in that span, putting it ninth in the League in second-period goals (29)… Nashville has scored in the first period 15 of the last 18 games (20 goals) and in eight of the last nine (11 goals)… Nashville has scored nine goals in the final minute of a period this season, with only two of them being empty netters – the club scored a goal in the last minute of play in both the second and third periods on Thursday at Edmonton.
In the past three-plus seasons, Nashville has gone 11-3-2 in afternoon games… The Predators are 12-4-2 when outshooting its foe, tied the League’s third-best record in that situation… Nashville is 14-1-1 when scoring on the power play, 21-3-3 when scoring more than one goal, and 15-2-1 when scoring the first goal of the game –the League’s fourth-best winning percent (.833) in that situation… Nashville is 18-7-3 in games decided by two goals or less. Its eight victories in two-goal games is tops in the League, while the club’s 9-3-3 record in one-goal contests is seventh… Nashville also has the League’s third-best record when leading after one period (11-1-0), and is one of just six teams to be perfect when leading after two periods (13-0-0). PLAYER QUICK HITS Martin Erat notched a point for the eighth time in Nashville’s nine December games. His seven goals this month tie him for second in the League, while his 12 points are tied for third (entering Friday’s play). Since Nov. 21, he has 17 points (10g-7a) in 15 contests, with his goal total in that span being second to only Sidney Crosby. This after he had four points (1g-3a) in his first 17 games of 2009-10. Erat is tied for the team lead in goals (11), with all but one of them coming on home ice. Of his 10 assists this season, nine have come on the road… After being held pointless in first 12 games of 2009-10, Ryan Jones now has goals in his last four games (4g-1a), tied for the longest goal-scoring streak by a Predator this season… Another sophomore, Patric Hornqvist, has points in three consecutive games (4g-2a). Fifteen (8g-7a) of his 17 points (10g-7a) this season have come at even strength, and his four game-winning goals is tied for third in the NHL… David Legwand has points in four consecutive games (2g-4a), giving him 17 points (6g-11a) in his last 17 games after starting the season with five points in the team’s first 18 contests of 2009-10. The club is 5-0-1 this season when he scores, and 19-4-2 this season when he skates 19:00-or-more… With a goal on Thursday, Marcel Goc has seven points (4g-3a) in his last 13 games after posting two points (1g-1a) in his first 20 outings of 2009-10. He’s only two points shy of last season’s point total (2g-9a), and has already bested his output from 2007-08 (5g-3a)… Steve Sullivan has 11 points (4g-7a) in his last nine games and 18 points (7g-11a) in his last 18 games after starting the season with five points (2g-3a) in the club’s first 17 games of 2009-10… Jason Arnott has 16 points (8g-8a) in his last 16 games… Ryan Suter has assists (3a) in back-to-back games, and seven helpers in his last eight outings… Pekka Rinne has points (3-0-2 record) in each of his last five decisions, and has a 14-3-2 record in his last 19 decisions… Since stopping 23-of-24 shots on Nov. 28 vs. Florida, Dan Ellis is 4-1-0 with a 2.18 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage.