JOEL WARD COMING ALIVE IN THE POSTSEASON Joel Ward has elevated his game to a new level in the playoffs, taking over the team lead in scoring with his fourth goal of the postseason in Tuesday’s Game Three. Ward’s seven points tie the most ever recorded in a single season in Predators playoff history, matching David Legwand (2010) and Paul Kariya (2006), while his four goals match Martin Erat (2010) and J-P Dumont (2007). Ward has been a model of consistency, tallying a point in seven of Nashville’s nine games and set a franchise mark in picking up points in five consecutive games against Anaheim (Games Two through Six).
TEAM QUICK HITS
Nashville has a 5-on-5 scoring ratio of 1.58 in the postseason, third-best behind Detroit and Boston...
Nashville has allowed the third fewest shots per game of the remaining teams (30.3). The Predators have won five of six games when outshooting the opponent... The Predators have won 51.5 percent of their face-offs, third best of the remaining teams. David Legwand is a team-best 52.5 percent... Legwand has all three of his postseason goals on home ice, but both of his assists on the road… Nashville is unbeaten in the playoffs when leading after two periods... Nashville has scored 13 goals in either the third period or overtime, tied with Tampa Bay for the most in the playoffs... Of the remaining teams, only Washington is averaging less time in the penalty box (7.7 PIM) than Nashville (10.8 PIM per game)... Patric Hornqvist is sixth in the playoffs with 35 shots... Shane O'Brien is fourth in the playoffs with 35 hits… Nashville has not lost consecutive games in the 2011 Playoffs… After 984 regular season games and 34 postseason contests, the Nashville Predators advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in 2011. Only three players have played in all six of the team’s playoff appearances – David Legwand, Martin Erat and Jordin Tootoo… Legwand and Erat are tied for first in franchise playoff scoring (18 pts), with Shea Weber one point back and Joel Ward moving into sole possession of fifth place (11 pts) by virtue of scoring seven points (4g-3a) in his last eight games. Ward had a five-game point streak (3g-2a) snapped in Game One of the WCS. The streak was the longest in Predators postseason history… Mike Fisher leads all Predators in playoff experience with 84 games – prior to 2011, all were with the Ottawa Senators… Rinne has more than doubled up Tomas Vokoun in franchise playoff victories, moving into first in the category with seven wins.
WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS GAME THREE
May 3, 2011: Vancouver Canucks 3, Nashville Predators 2 (OT) at Bridgestone Arena
The loss in overtime was the Predators’ first extra-time loss in this year’s postseason after winning in their two previous attempts. The team was 0-3 in postseason OT matchups heading into the 2011 Playoffs… In stopping 44 of 47 shots, Pekka Rinne posted a save percentage of at least .926 for a fourth consecutive game. The 47 shots by Vancouver were the most allowed at home in playoff history… The Canucks’ power-play goals were the first surrendered in the series by the Predators’ penalty killers. Nashville had successfully killed 22 of 23 Vancouver power plays in 2011 (regular season included) before Kesler’s first period goal… Legwand now has three career shorthanded points in the postseason, edging ahead of Kimmo Timonen for first in franchise history... Ryan Suter logged more than 30 minutes of ice time and leads the 2011 Playoffs in the statistic, averaging 29:34 per game.
REGULAR SEASON SERIES WRAP-UP
Defenseman Shane O’Brien was acquired along with forward Dan Gendur from Vancouver on Oct. 5 in exchange for Ryan Parent and Jonas Andersson… The teams played all four of their games in the 2011 portion of the schedule, splitting the season series at two games apiece and alternating wins. The Predators are 18-25-6 against the Canucks all time, but 5-5-0 in the last 10 meetings… Nashville outscored Vancouver 8-6 in the four games. Special teams goals were hard to come by, with Nashville going 0-for-14 on the power-play, and Vancouver scoring only once against the Predators penalty kill… Martin Erat led Nashville skaters with four points (1g-3a)… Pekka Rinne was 2-2-0 against the Canucks this season with a 1.26 goals-against average, .962 save percentage and a 29-save shutout… Nick Spaling and Blake Geoffrion scored the game-winners in the Preds’ victories. For Geoffrion, it was his first career game-winning goal… Ryan Suter played at least 26 minutes in three of the four games… The Canucks’ win on March 29 snapped a five-game winning streak for Nashville and was one of only two regulation losses in the Predators’ final 12 games of the regular season.
NOTABLES AGAINST VANCOUVER Steve Sullivan (15g-15a-30pts in 37 gp) and Martin Erat (8g-16a-24pts in 32 gp) lead the Predators in production against the Canucks in their careers… Pekka Rinne has an all-time regular season record of 4-4-0 with a 1.89 goals-against average and a shutout against Vancouver. Anders Lindback has never faced the Canucks… Shane O’Brien played two seasons with the Canucks, picking up 18 points (2g-16a) and a +21 rating in 141 games. He also had five points (2g-3a) in 22 playoff games for Vancouver… Jerred Smithson is a native of Vernon, B.C., while Shea Weber and Cody Franson both call Sicamous, B.C., home. Franson and Jonathon Blum both played their junior careers with the Vancouver Giants (WHL), capturing the Memorial Cup in 2007. Blum finished his career as the Giants’ all-time leader in points by a defenseman… Shea Weber (Canada), Ryan Suter (United States), Patric Hornqvist (Sweden), Marcel Goc (Germany), Martin Erat (Czech Republic), and Sergei Kostitsyn (Belarus) all participated in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.