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PREDATORS (10-9-6) AT STARS (12-10-2)
TV: Fox Sports Tennessee (Dish: 452/HD: 9574; Direct TV: 644/HD: 644-1 ; Comcast Nashville 1675; Comcast Chattanooga/Cleveland/Knoxville 401; Comcast Memphis 830; Charter Nashville 33/810; AT&T Nashville 724/1724)
Radio: Preds Radio Network Flagship - 102.5-FM The Game Radio Network; Network Affiliates
TONIGHT’S STORYLINES vs. DALLAS
The Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars hook up for the second of three times in 2012-13 on Tuesday night, with the Predators hosting the Stars in one month on April 12. Their first meeting of the season was an overtime thriller on Feb. 25 which saw Nashville rally from a two-goal deficit to claim a 5-4 victory. Roman Josi not only scored the game winner at the 28-second mark of sudden death, but posted the first four-point game by a Predators defenseman since Oct. 18, 2008 when his defensive partner, Shea Weber, had a goal and three assist against Columbus. Playing in his 500th career game on Feb. 25 against Dallas, Weber collected his 10th career overtime point (5g-5a) with a helper on Josi’s overtime winner.
The Feb. 25 victory gave Nashville a three-game winning streak against Dallas dating back to Feb. 19, 2012. That was also the date of the Preds’ last trip to American Airlines Center, with the visitors prevailing 3-2. Nashville is an even 5-5-0 in Big D over the last five seasons after going 2-13-1 in the Stars home venue during the franchise’s first eight seasons of existence.
Brandon Yip has the top points per game average against Dallas among active Predators with nine points (4g-5a) in 11 career games against the Stars. He scored his first career shorthanded goal as part of his second and most recent two-goal game on April 8, 2011. Also lists the Dallas Cowboys as one of his favorite sports teams growing up… Colin Wilson has seven points (4g-3a) in 10 career games against the Stars including his first career two-goal game on Dec. 28, 2011 vs. Dallas… Gabriel Bourque has two goals in four career games against Dallas, including the first of his career on Jan. 5, 2012 (Kari Lehtonen)… Chris Mason has a career record of 5-1-1 against Dallas with a 2.21 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage… Scott Hannan recorded an assist in his NHL Playoff debut in Game Five of the 2000 Western Conference Semifinals vs. Dallas on May 7.
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS vs. DALLAS
Gabriel Bourque – First career goal on Jan. 5, 2012 vs. Dallas (Kari Lehtonen)
Martin Erat – Played his first NHL game on Oct. 5, 2001 at Dallas
Mike Fisher – Took his first of two career penalty shots on Dec. 5, 2001 at Dallas (Marty Turco): Goal
Patric Hornqvist – A career high/franchise record 14 shots on goal on Dec. 28, 2010 vs. Dallas and scored his first career goal on Oct. 15, 2008 at Dallas (Marty Turco).
Roman Josi – Career-high four points (2g-2a) on Feb. 25, 2013 vs. Dallas
David Legwand – Most recent of two career hat tricks on Oct. 6, 2007 vs. Dallas.
RINNE CONTINUES STRONG RUN
Pekka Rinne is riding an even-strength shutout streak of 124:56 after allowing just one power-play goal against Minnesota on Saturday and posting his League-leading fourth shutout on the season on Friday against Edmonton. The Finnish netminder has posted the most shutouts (29) in the League since the beginning of the 2008-09 season, and has recorded at least four whitewashes in each of those seasons. Since Jan. 31, he has posted a 1.91 goals-against average and .926 save percentage while appearing in 18 of Nashville’s 19 games during that span. In addition to leading the League in shutouts, the Kempele, Finland native ranks third in minutes played (1,350:03), seventh in goals-against average (2.09) and is tied for 10th in save percentage (.920) among all starting goaltenders.
THE CAPTAIN STAYS HOT
Shea Weber has been a point-per-game player as of late for the Preds after posting 12 points (3g-9a) in his last 12 outings. That streak includes five points (5a) in his last three outings. Weber notched his 174th career assist on Saturday against Minnesota, tying him with J-P Dumont for fifth on the franchise’s all-time assists list. He also logged a team-high 26:49 of ice time to on Saturday night, and has led the Preds in ice time in 21-of-25 games this season and ranks 10th in the League in average ice time (25:45). Despite Weber’s high ice time, he has only been on the ice for 11 even-strength goals against this season. Nashville’s captain also dished out a team-high four hits on Saturday, and now ranks among the defensive leaders in the category (57).
EXTRA TIME HALF THE TIME
The Predators have gone to overtime or a shootout in an NHL-high 11 of their first 25 games in 2012-13, and hold a 5-6 record in contests that go beyond 60 minutes. The Preds are 3-1 in the five-minute, four-on-four session, and 2-5 in shootouts. Last season, Nashville needed extra time on 16 occasions in 82 games, tied for the third fewest in the NHL. The Preds didn’t go beyond 60 minutes for the 11th time in 2011-12 until game No. 54 on Feb. 7, 2012 vs. Vancouver.
LAST TIME OUT: Minnesota 2 at Nashville 1 in a shootout
- Nashville allowed two goals or fewer for the 15th time in its 25 games this season.
- Nashville was outshot for the first time in three games, and for the 16th time in 2012-13.
- The Preds finished 1-for-2 on the power play, giving them a 50 percent conversion rate over the last two games (3-for-6).
- David Legwand scored for the second consecutive game. It was his second power-play goal of the season.
- Sergei Kostitsyn assisted on Legwand’s goal, giving him helpers in back-to-back games.
- Colin Wilson left the game due to injury, and is out for Tuesday’s contest. He has 18 points (6g-12a) in his last 18 games and has been in on 19 of the last 41 Predator goals (46.3 percent).
- Victor Bartley took his first career penalty in his second career game.
- Mike Fisher is expected to play in his 800th career game on Tuesday.
- The Predators are 9-1-4 when scoring more than one goal.
- The Preds rank fourth in the League in team goals-against average (2.24). They’ve given up the second-fewest third-period goals (15).
- Nashville is leading the league in fewest penalty minutes per game this season (9.9). The Preds led the League in the category in 2011-12 (8.4) and 2009-10 (8.7), and ranked second in 2010-11 (8.8).
- Nashville has been shorthanded 84 times this season – sixth fewest in the NHL.
- Paul Gaustad is third in the league in face-off winning percentage (60.8 percent). He ranked sixth in face-off efficiency (57.3 percent) in 2011-12, his third consecutive season ranking among the League’s Top 10 in the category (third, 59.8 percent in 2010-11 and sixth, 57.4 percent in 2009-10).
- Rich Clune has posted three points (2g-1a) in his last six games. That total equals his point total (1g-2a) in his first 32 career games.
- Roman Josi has led the team in ice time in the four games that Weber has not, and his 2012-13 average ice time is up by nearly four minutes from his rookie season (from 18:23 to 22:18).