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Preds Begin Eastern Conference Portion Of Their Record-Setting Road Trip

Saturday, 11.09.2013 / 3:28 PM

Nashville Predators

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Preds Begin Eastern Conference Portion Of Their Record-Setting Road Trip
Nashville Predators vs. New Jersey Devils

PREDATORS (8-6-2) at DEVILS (4-7-5)

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

POWER PLAY PROWESS
After posting just five power-play goals in their first 10 games, the Nashville Predators have notched five power-play goals in their last four games, and six man-advantage markers in their last six outings. The Preds have converted 11-of-49 power-play opportunities this season to move into seventh in the League in the category (22.4 percent). The Preds 49 power-play opportunities are tied for the third-fewest in the League. Nashville has gone six for 29 away from Bridgestone Arena to rank eighth in the League in road power-play efficiency (20.7 percent).

Shea Weber leads the team with three power-play goals on the year. Nashville’s captain in one of only three defenseman to post three power-play goals (Torey Krug and Kris Letang), as he is tied for sixth in power-play goals this season. David Legwand leads the team and ranks among the League’s Top 20 players with six points (2g-4a) on the power play this season.

STRONG IN THE CIRCLE
The Predators are tied for second in the League in team face-off win percentage this season (55.4 percent). Nashville has been better than 50 percent in the face-off circle in 15 of its 16 games this season.

Nashville is led in the face-off circle by Paul Gaustad, who has won 187-of-306 face-offs this season (61.1 percent) to lead the League in the category among players who have taken at least 175 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 also ranks among the League’s top face-off men (sixth, 58.2 percent), winning 117-of-201 draws on the season.

QUICK HITS

Shea Weber has led Nashville in ice time in nine of the last 10 games to rank fifth in the League in the category (26:34). Weber’s four goals, all of which have come in the first period, on the season are tied for third among League defensemen. The Preds are 4-0-0 when he finds the back of the net.

Mattias Ekholm has four points (4a) in his last five outings. He has also averaged 18:52 of ice time this season to rank among the League’s Top 10 rookies.

Seth Jones leads all first-year players in average time on ice (24:40), and ranks among the League’s Top 20 in the category. His average time on ice is nearly four minutes more than the next closest rookie (Jacob Trouba). The Arlington, Texas native is tied for eighth in points among first-year players (2g-5a-7pts), while he ranks second in power-play points (1g-3a), seventh in power-play goals (1) and 13th in shots on goal (26) among rookies.

David Legwand has seven points (3g-4a) in his last four outings, and has 14 points (4g-10a) in 16 games this year to move into the team goals and points lead. Ten (4g-6a) of Legwand’s 14 points this season have come away from the Music City.

Patric Hornqvist has five points (1g-4a) in his last six games to move into a tie for the team goals lead and into second in team scoring (4g-6a-10pts).

Colin Wilson posted his second career four-point outing (2g-2a) on Wednesday against Colorado. The effort moved him into third place in team scoring (3g-6a-9pts) this season, while his two power-play goals on the year are tied for second.

Kevin Klein leads the team and is tied for sixth in the League with 43 blocked shots.

• With 48 hits on the year, Eric Nystrom is tied for 11th in the League in the category.

• When the Preds score first they hold onto the lead, going 7-0-2 in those contests this season.

• Six of Nashville’s eight wins this season have come by one goal – it is 6-0-2 in one-goal games.

• Nashville is 7-0-1 when scoring three or more goals this season.

• The Preds are 56-33-16 against the Eastern Conference since 2005-06, 32-16-9 vs. the East since 2009-10, and 3-1-0 in inter-conference matchups this season.

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 marks the fourth stop on 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.

LAST TIME OUT: Nashville 0, Winnipeg 5 at MTS Center

• The Predators fired a season-high 41 shots on goal, led by Patric Hornqvist (5), Roman Josi (5) and Craig Smith (5). Only two Nashville skaters failed to record a shot on goal in Winnipeg.

Marek Mazanec made his NHL debut in relief of Carter Hutton, turning away 22-of-24 shots in 51:37 of work.

• Nashville won the face-off battle (57-43), led by Matt Cullen, who went 14 for 22 in the circle (64 percent), and Paul Gaustad, who won 10-of-16 (63 percent).

Rich Clune led all skaters with five hits on the night.

• Nashville was shutout for the third time this season.

• It was the first time the Preds have lost a road game by five or more goals since Oct. 23, 2007 at Los Angeles.

STORYLINES VS. NEW JERSEY
The Nashville Predators and New Jersey Devils hook up for their first of two meetings in 2013-14 on Sunday at Prudential Center. The Devils will visit the Music City on Jan. 31, 2014 in just their 10th trip to Nashville all-time.

Dating back to Feb. 29, 2000, the Preds and Devils have played 14 times, with 12 of those games decided by one goal. Additionally, four of seven games since the start of the 2005-06 campaign have needed a shootout to determine the winner. Overall, the road team has won 12 of the 17 all-time meetings.

The Preds and Devils last met up on Oct. 15, 2011, as the post-overtime tiebreaker was needed once again. The Preds jumped out to an early lead with a two-goal first period, but the Devils responded with a two-goal period of their own in the third to force overtime. After a scoreless overtime period, Ilya Kovalchuk beat Pekka Rinne in the shootout to secure the win for New Jersey.

In their last trip to Newark, Nashville’s second trip ever to the Prudential Center on Dec. 17, 2010 – the Preds tallied three goals, including a pair on the power play, while Shea Weber notched a pair of assists in a 3-1 win. The victory stretched Nashville’s winning streak to five games, and point streak to seven (6-0-1).

Matt Cullen has faced the Devils more than any other Predator, posting nine points (2g-7a) in 32 career games against New Jersey… David Legwand has seven points (3g-4a) in 13 career games against the Devils… Viktor Stalberg has three points (1g-2a) in three games against the Devils… In three games against New Jersey, Colin Wilson has two points (1g-1a).

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS VS. NEW JERSEY

David Legwand made his NHL debut on April 17, 1999 vs. New Jersey.

15TH ANNIVERSARY MOMENT
A pair of hat tricks notched on November 10, seven years apart

The Predators have seen two of their 21 all-time hat tricks occur on Nov. 10 – the first, which occurred during the franchise’s second season by one of the most unlikely candidates – and the eighth, which came from one of the franchise’s top offensive producers.

In a routine early-season division game at the United Center in Chicago, in a span of just 11:12 in the opening period, Rob Valicevic turned the trick by beating Blackhawk starter Jocelyn Thibault first, then his backup Steve Passmore two more times.

“To this day it is still surreal,” Valicevic said when reflecting on the game. “It happened so fast, that oddly enough, it still hasn’t sunk in. In a matter of three shifts there were three goals. I was playing with Greg Johnson and Ville Peltonen at the time, and I can still see that third goal going in. It was quite an honor to be a part of the whole history-making process.”

The trio of goals in just more than 11 minutes still stands as the second-fastest three goals by an individual in club history.

“I guess the highlight of my career there was the hat trick in Chicago,” Valicevic said. “To this day I still can’t believe it happened.”

Steve Sullivan is the only Predator to notch more than two three-goal games for the club, with the second of four coming powering the Preds’ 5-3, third-period comeback win over the Dallas Stars on Nov. 10, 2005. Trailing 3-2, Nashville stormed back with three third-period strikes, including two goals in the final 10 minutes off the stick of the Timmins, Ont., native.

Sully’s final goal was one for the highlight reels, as he took an outlet pass on his side of the red line and stickhandled his way through Stars defenseman Sergei Zubov with three moves before getting around him to the right and firing a low shot past goalie Marty Turco.

"When I got the puck, they had a couple of Dallas guys backchecking," Sullivan said, describing his final tally. "There was only Zubov in front of me so I figured I might as well just try to play him one-on-one since I wasn't going to be able to wait for anyone else to catch up to me. So I made a couple of moves on him and I don't think Marty Turco thought I was going to be able to get the shot off. I think Zubov had me wrapped up pretty good so I don't think he was expecting the shot. I think I just beat him low, blocker side--just caught him off guard."

The game kept the wheels spinning on a four-game winning streak and span of 10 victories in 12 games for the 2005-06 Predators, who went on to set franchise records in wins and points to clinch their second playoff berth in franchise history.

2013-2014 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Jan 31 '14 NJD 2 at NSH 3 - OT S. Weber
Nov 10 '13 NSH 0 at NJD 5 J. Jagr
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
D. Legwand1741014-4621
P. Hornqvist174610+01012
C. Wilson17369+0421
C. Smith17358-7411
S. Weber17437-81630
S. Jones17257-5411
M. Fisher11257-22300
E. Nystrom17415-42101
F. Forsberg11145-8210
M. Cullen17224-7800
R. Ellis15134+0601
M. Ekholm17044-4000
P. Gaustad17303-31200
G. Bourque15123-5200
N. Spaling13123-1400
V. Stalberg11112-2200
M. Hendricks14101-22400
R. Josi7011-7200
K. Klein17000-8200
V. Bartley12000-11000
R. Clune9000-54000
T. Beck1000-1200
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
C. Hutton94-3-1282483.53.887
P. Rinne94-4-1192292.31.917
M. Mazanec10-0-02242.31.917
M. Hellberg10-0-0145.00.750
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
J. Jagr175813+5602
M. Zidlicky172911-31620
A. Henrique17527+2211
M. Ryder17527-5830
D. Brunner16437-71020
P. Elias10347+2400
T. Zajac15235-3410
A. Greene17145-4411
E. Gelinas8145+1210
D. Zubrus17224+31200
A. Loktionov16134-2201
S. Bernier17123-8000
A. Volchenkov16033+2800
C. Janssen3202+2000
R. Carter14022-51200
R. Olesz10022-1000
B. Salvador9022-1900
M. Tedenby8101-21000
S. Gionta16011-5400
A. Larsson14011-3200
P. Harrold12011-4400
R. Clowe6011-5500
M. Fayne8000-3200
J. Josefson5000+0000
J. Merrill1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
M. Brodeur94-3-2192072.09.908
C. Schneider81-4-3172002.09.915

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