|NSH||3||0||1||0||0 (0 - 5)||4|
|PHX||0||2||2||0||1 (1 - 5)||5|
PREDATORS (6-5-1) at COYOTES (8-3-2)
TV: Fox Sports Tennessee (Dish: 446/HD: 9516; 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
SMITH LEADS THE PACK
Craig Smith has posted six points (2g-4a) in his last eight outings and is now tied for the team lead in points (2g-5a). The Madison, Wis., native also leads the team with a +3 rating and 40 shots on goal this season, ranking in the League’s Top 30 players in the category, after posting a game-high six shots against St. Louis last Saturday. With his success this season, Smith is seeing an increase in ice time to more than a minute above his average from 2012-13.
STRONG IN THE CIRCLE
The Predators won the face-off battle for the 10th consecutive game last Saturday versus St. Louis, and lead the League in team face-off win percentage this season (56.8 percent). Nashville is led in the face-off circle by Paul Gaustad, who has won 136-of-216 face-offs this season (63 percent) to lead the League in the category among players who have taken at least 100 draws. The 6-5, 220-pound center has ranked among the League’s Top 10 in the category in each of the last four seasons. Matt Cullen has also moved into the Top Five in the category (fourth, 59.7 percent), after going nine for 12 last Saturday night vs. St. Louis (75 percent).
• The Preds are 4-2-1 all-time on Halloween.
• Shea Weber posted 25:25 of ice time on Saturday night against St. Louis, and has led Nashville in ice time in six straight games to rank sixth in the League in the category (26:15).
• David Legwand has posted four points (4a) in his last five games to move into a tie with Smith for the team points lead this season (1g-6a). Legwand also ranks 22nd in the League in face-off win percentage (55.3 percent).
• The Predators have outshot their opponent by a total of 267-260 through the last nine games. They ranked 12th in the League in average shots against this season (29.8).
• Mattias Ekholm ranks fourth among all rookies in average time on ice this season (20:14).
• Kevin Klein leads the team and ranks 10th in the League with 31 blocked shots on the year.
• When the Preds score first they hold onto the lead, going 5-0-1 in those contests this season (tied for ninth).
A FRANCHISE RECORD CMA ROAD TRIP
Since 2006, it has been a staple of the Nashville Predators schedule – the annual extended road trip in early November to accommodate the Country Music Association Awards – being held this year on Wednesday, Nov. 6. Tonight is the first matchup of the franchise record tying seven-game road swing; the Predators also played seven straight on the road earlier this year from Jan.22-Feb. 5, 2013, and first played seven straight on the road from Oct. 30-Nov. 12, 2002. The trip will last 17 days, the longest stretch away from the Music City in franchise history, and see the team go to Phoenix, Los Angeles, Colorado, Winnipeg, New Jersey, New York and Pittsburgh to wrap things up on Nov. 15. Nashville’s next game at Bridgestone Arena will be Nov. 16 against the reigning Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.
Rookies Filip Forsberg and Seth Jones continue to impress this season as they see their workload expand. Forsberg currently ranks among the League’s Top 15 rookie forwards in average time on ice (13:11), while his four points (1g-3a) are tied for 14th among his peer group. All of Forsberg’s points this season have come on the man-advantage.
Jones leads all first-year players in average time on ice (24:42), and ranks 19th in the League in the category. Among rookies, Jones ranks seventh in power-play goals (1), eighth in shots on goal (23), and his five points (2g-3a) on the year are tied for 10th.
Nashville is one of two teams to field multiple teenagers in their lineup this season with Jones and Forsberg holding two roster spots (both 19). Buffalo is the only other team who has fielded multiple teenagers in its lineup this season (four total).
LAST TIME OUT: Nashville 1, St. Louis 6 at Bridgestone Arena
• The Predators continued their strong play in the face-off circle, winning 58 percent of the draws on the night.
• Nashville allowed a power-play goal for the first time since Oct. 10 vs. Toronto, keeping their opponents without a man-advantage goal for seven games, tied for the second longest stretch in franchise history.
• After allowing 17 shots in the opening 20 minutes, Nashville held St. Louis to four shots in the second frame - matching the team's stingiest period of the season (four shots allowed in the first period vs. NYI on Oct. 12).
• Nick Spaling's shorthanded goal was the Predators' second this season, and first career shorthanded goal for Spaling. The Predators are 20-5-1 when Spaling scores a goal and 34-9-3 when he records a point during his career.
• Spaling’s shorty was the Preds’ first shorthanded goal on home ice since Feb. 21, 2012 vs. Vancouver.
• Defenseman Mattias Ekholm earned his first NHL point with an assist on Spaling's goal.
• Rookie netminder Magnus Hellberg saw his first NHL action in relief of Carter Hutton. The young Swede stopped three of the four shots he faced, allowing a single power-play goal.
• Nashville was dealt its biggest defeat of the season, tying the franchise record for largest margin of defeat on home ice (Seven times – last, Dec. 18, 2010 vs. Los Angeles).
• The Predators allowed more than five goals for the first time since a 7-4 loss vs. Phoenix on March 28, 2013.
STORYLINES vs. PHOENIX
The Nashville Predators last visited Jobing.com Arena on Jan. 28, 2013, when the Coyotes shut out the Predators 4-0. The ‘Yotes got goals from Antonie Vermette, Lauri Korpikoski, Nick Johnson and Keith Yandle, while Chad Johnson made 21 saves on the night. Since the start of the 2003-04 campaign the Predators are 19-13-(1)-2 against Phoenix, while posting an 8-8-2 mark at Jobing.com Arena during that span.
These teams last met on March 28, 2013, at Bridgestone Arena, as the two teams combined for nine goals in the opening period in an eventual 7-4 Phoenix victory. The game set Nashville franchise records for most combined goals and most goals against in a single period. The Coyotes jumped out to a 5-0 lead within the first 8:26, but the Preds responded with goals from David Legwand and Rich Clune to cut the margin to 5-2 by the 9:33 mark. Yandle would open the gap once again, before Gabriel Bourque tallied the ninth goal of the first 20 minutes. Vermette would tally in the second, and Shea Weber would later find the board in the third.
Gabriel Bourque posted three points (2g-1a) in three games against Phoenix last season… Patric Hornqvist has 11 points (6g-5a) in 13 career games against the Coyotes, including one point (1a) in one game a season ago… David Legwand has faced the Coyotes more than any other Predator, posting 23 points (7g-16a) in 44 games… Matt Cullen has 26 points (7g-19a) in 41 career games against Phoenix.
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS VS. PHOENIX
• Gabriel Bourque posted his last two-point outing (1g-1a) against Phoenix on March 28, 2013.
• Matt Cullen converted his most recent penalty shot against Phoenix on Dec. 31, 2011 (McElhinney).
• Mattias Ekholm made his NHL debut against Phoenix on Oct. 13, 2011.