PLAYOFF QUICK HITS
This is the third time in franchise history the Predators have entered a Game Three tied 1-1. It happened in both of the team’s series with San Jose in 2006 and 2007. They are 2-2 all-time in Game Threes, having won on home ice in 2008 (5-3 over Detroit) when they scored two goals in a nine-second span in the third period (Ryan Suter, 16:03 and Jason Arnott, 16:12) marking the first time in NHL postseason history that a team has gone from trailing to leading in less than 10 seconds, and in 2004 (3-1 over Detroit), when Tomas Vokoun stopped 41-of-42 shots… Nashville’s 1.50 team goals-against average was the lowest in the playoffs entering Monday’s games… The Predators are averaging 34 hits per game in the playoffs after averaging 17 hits per game in the regular season… Nashville entered Monday’s games as one of three teams (with Boston and Washington) to overcome a second intermission deficit to claim victory… J.P. Dumont is first on the franchise’s all-time postseason goals list (6), and playoff points list (6g-4a). Martin Erat (3g-6a) and Shea Weber (3g-6a) are tied for second on the points list… Shea Weber is one of 16 skaters to be averaging more than 25 minutes in this season’s playoffs (25:17). His nine blocked shots rank him among the postseason’s Top 10.
THE REGULAR SEASON VS. CHICAGO
Nashville draws Central Division foe Chicago for their fifth all-time trip to the postseason after playing both Detroit and San Jose twice each in its first four trips to the second season. The Predators posted a 2-4-0 record against the Blackhawks in 2009-10, claiming one game at both Bridgestone Arena (Oct. 29) and the United Center (Dec. 4). Four of the six games the teams played this season were determined by either one or two goals, with the exception being a pair of 4-1 decisions –
Nashville’s win on Dec. 4 and Chicago’s victory on Boxing Day. The teams also exchanged identical 2-0 victories in a six-day span on Oct. 24 (Chicago win, Huet – 27 saves) and Oct. 29 (Nashville win, Rinne – 22 saves). The teams have played each other 69 times since the Predators inception in 1998-99, with Nashville posting a 31-31-(4)-3 record. Seventeen of those wins have come on home ice, where Nashville is 10-5-2 in the past five seasons against Chicago. Nashville has held Chicago to three goals or fewer in 11 of the last 14 meetings dating back to March 22, 2008. In that span, Nashville goaltenders Dan Ellis, Chris Mason and Pekka Rinne have posted a 2.28 save percentage and a .926 save percentage.
Martin Erat led the team in both goals (4) and points (5) against Chicago this season. He has 10 points (5g-5a) in his last eight games against Chicago… Dan Hamhuis scored two of his five goals this season against Chicago. He has 19 career points (4g-15a) and 68 penalty minutes in 41 games against Chicago, his highest totals against any team… David Legwand has picked up more goals (18), assists (27) and points (45) against Chicago, than any other player in franchise history against any other team… Jordin Tootoo posted his lone multi-point game of 2009-10 in the Dec. 4 victory (1g-1a)… As a Predator, Steve Sullivan has 23 points (7g-16a) in 26 games against the team that traded him to Nashville on Feb. 16, 2004 in exchange for second-round picks in the 2004 (Ryan Garlock) and 2005 (Michael Blunden) Entry Drafts. On Jan. 10, 2009, after nearly two years on the sidelines with a back injury, Sullivan returned to the Predators lineup against the Blackhawks and played 41 of the club’s final 42 games. The comeback earned him the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which goes “to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey,” making him the first player in franchise history to win an NHL award … J.P. Dumont started his career as a Blackhawk, posting 33 points (19g-14a) in 72 games from 1998-2000, before being traded to Buffalo (with Doug Gilmour) for Michael Grosek on March 10, 2000. He has 23 points (6g-17a) in 33 career games against Chicago.
REGULAR SEASON SNAPSHOTS
The Predators finished the 2009-10 season with a 47-29-6 record (100 points), the third-best mark in franchise history. The victory total vaulted Nashville into an elite class of just five teams who have reached the 40-win mark in five consecutive seasons (San Jose, New Jersey, Calgary, and Detroit are the others).
Nashville finished with a 23-15-3 (49 points) mark on the road this season, tying the franchise record for road victories and points previously attained during the 2006-07 season. Nashville’s 23 wins was tied for the League’s fourth-highest total in 2009-10, and it was one of just five teams (along with Washington, San Jose, Chicago and Los Angeles) to gross at least 23 wins both at home and on the road.
The Predators posted a 14-6 record in their 20 games that required overtime or a shootout in 2009-10, setting a franchise record for OT/SO wins in a season. Nashville’s .700 winning percentage was good for second in the NHL.
The Predators went 42-19-6 in games decided by two goals or less – the most wins in the NHL in that situation. Their 28-9-6 mark in one-goal games ranked second. Starting with a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Feb. 10, the Predators posted a 14-0-1 record in one-goal games through the end of the season.
Nashville tied with Phoenix for the NHL lead when leading after one period (23-1-0), but also had the League’s top record when trailing after 20 minutes (10-9-2).
Nashville’s 28-6-1 record when scoring the first goal of the game ranked second in the League in 2009-10. It also tied for second in wins when giving up the first goal of the game (19).
The Predators averaged the fewest penalty minutes per game (8.7), a franchise record, and were shorthanded the second-fewest times (258), also a franchise record. Nashville went down a man on home ice a League-low 113 times. Excluding the shortened 1994-95 season, Nashville had the fewest regular-season penalty minutes (710) since the 1976-77 Pittsburgh Penguins (669).