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SHARKS (20-6-6) at PREDATORS (15-14-3)
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
STORYLINES VS. SAN JOSE
The Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks open their 2013-14 season series on Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena. The Sharks will return to Nashville on Jan. 7, 2014, while the Preds will travel to SAP Center on April 5, 2014. Nashville has picked up points in nine of its last 11 games against the Sharks, posting a 6-2-3 record in those games, and is 4-2-1 in the series since the beginning of the 2011-12 campaign. The Preds hold the 14-11-(1)-1 advantage on home ice.
In San Jose’s last visit to Music City on Feb. 12, Colin Wilson broke a scoreless tie at 2:08 of overtime and Pekka Rinne recorded a 25-save shutout in the sixth overtime/shootout game between these two games in their last eight meetings.
Paul Gaustad has seen greater goal-scoring success against San Jose than any other NHL team with five goals in 10 career games… Shea Weber has 18 points (5g-13a) in 26 career games against the Sharks, including five points (2g-3a) in his last seven games… Wilson led the Preds with two points (1g-1a) in three games against the Sharks in 2012-13, giving him eight points (4g-4a) in 12 career games against San Jose.
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS VS. SAN JOSE
• Matt Cullen scored on his second-career penalty shot on Feb. 5, 2009 at San Jose (Nabokov).
• Paul Gaustad last scored multiple goals in a game on Dec. 9, 2010 against San Jose. He also posted a career-high seven shots on Dec. 8, 2007 at San Jose.
• Colin Wilson fired a career-high six shots on goal on Nov. 5, 2011 at San Jose.
THE GOOSE IS LOOSE
With four points (2g-2a) in his last two games, Paul Gaustad has more than doubled his points output from the 30 games prior, and has moved within two points of hitting the 200-point plateau for his career.
• Gaustad recorded his fifth goal of the season on Thursday night against Dallas.
• The performance comes one game after tying his career high with his fourth-career three-point outing (1g-2a) on Tuesday in New York City.
• The Portland, Ore., native has won 327-of-544 face-offs (60.1 percent), to lead the League in the category (minimum 400 draws).
THE CAPTAIN LEADS
After posting his third multi-point outing of the season (2a) on Thursday, Shea Weber has now posted three points (3a) in his last three games.
• The two helpers against Dallas moved Weber into a tie for third in team scoring (7g-8a-15pts).
• Weber is tied with Zdeno Chara (BOS) and Michael Stone (PHX) for second in goals among blueliners (7). Nashville’s captain is the only defenseman in the League to lead his team in goals.
• Both of Weber’s helpers on Thursday night came on the power play, giving him 10 power-play points (5g-5a) to move into a tie for seventh among League defensemen. Weber’s five power-play goals lead all defensemen in the category.
• The Preds are 7-0-0 when their captain finds the back of the net.
• The Sicamous, B.C., native is tied with Patric Hornqvist and Craig Smith with nine points (4g-5a) on home ice.
• Weber has led Nashville in ice time in 17 of the last 23 games he’s played to rank fifth in the League in the category (26:18).
• Nashville’s captain leads the team and ranks 13th in the League in blocked shots (67), and ranks second on the team in hits (73) after dishing out six hits on Thursday.
• Fisher has four goals in his last nine outings. Five of Fisher’s seven goals have come on Bridgestone Arena ice.
• The Peterborough, Ont., native also leads all Preds forwards in ice time (18:28) – more than two minutes higher than the next closest forward (David Legwand, 16:18) – and blocked shots (25), while he ranks second in shooting percentage (14.3 percent) and ranks third in hits (49).
• Hornqvist moved into a tie for the goal-scoring lead with his first-period power-play goal on Thursday, giving him four points (1g-3a) in six games since returning from injury, and 12 points (4g-8a) in his last 18 games.
• Hornqvist is tied with Craig Smith and Weber with nine points (5g-4a) on home ice.
• The Sollentuna, Sweden native ranks second in team scoring (7g-10a-17pts), and he leads the team with 87 shots.
• Since becoming a father for the first time on Nov. 13, Gabriel Bourque has posted nine points (3g-6a) in 13 games.
• Matt Cullen has posted nine points (3g-6a), including three multi-point outings, in his last 13 games. Cullen also ranks among the League’s top face-off men (eighth, 57.2 percent), winning 218-of-381 draws.
• Seth Jones leads all first-year players in average time on ice (22:44). The Frisco, Texas native ranks among the League’s Top 20 first-year players in points (3g-7a-10pts), assists, goals and shots on goal (46), while ranking second in blocked shots (55), fourth in power-play points (5) and sixth in power-play goals (2) among rookies.
• David Legwand recorded his second consecutive multi-point game (1g-1a), and eighth multiple point outing of the season, on Thursday night, giving him 17 points (5g-12a) in his last 20 outings to lead the team with 24 points (6g-18a) in 32 games. Fifteen (5g-10a) of Legwand’s 24 points have come away from the Music City.
• Craig Smith, who has missed the past two games due to illness, has seven points (3g-4a) in his last 10 outings. The Madison, Wis., native is tied for the team lead with nine points (3g-6a) and a +5 rating in 14 home games. Smith’s tied for third in team scoring (6g-9a-15pts) and second shots (73).
• When the Preds score first they hold onto the lead, going 12-1-2 in those contests.
• Six of Nashville’s 15 wins this season have come by one goal – it is 6-0-3 in one-goal games.
• Nashville is 15-3-2 when scoring more than one goal, and 13-0-1 when scoring three or more goals.
• The Preds’ penalty kill ranks ninth in the League (84.8 percent), and has allowed the eighth-fewest power-play goals (16). Nashville’s road penalty kill ranks among the League’s best (ninth; 85.2 percent), while its home penalty kill continues to improve (14th; 84.3 percent).
• Nashville’s penalty kill has allowed just three goals in its last 39 times shorthanded (in 13 games).
• The Preds have not allowed a shorthanded goal since March 21, 2013, when Calgary scored two shorthanded goals – a span of 51 games. Nashville is the only team in the League not to have allowed a shorthanded goal this season.
• Nashville ranks second the League lead in team face-off win percentage this season (54.2 percent). The Preds have been better than 50 percent in the face-off circle in 27 of their 32 games.
• The Predators have had seven rookies appear in the lineup this season. They had eight rookies appear last season, and 11 during the 2011-12 campaign. Nashville is also one of two teams in the NHL to field multiple teenagers in its lineup (Filip Forsberg, 19 and Seth Jones, 19), only Buffalo has had more teenagers on its roster this season (four).
LAST TIME OUT: Nashville 3, Dallas Stars 1 at Bridgestone Arena
• Nashville scored multiple power-play goals in a game for the sixth time this season. The Preds are now 12-0-1 when scoring at least one power-play goal.
• Nashville's two power-play goals in the first period were its fourth and fifth goals scored with less than a minute remaining in the opening frame. All but one of the five goals have been power-play goals.
• Carter Hutton turned aside 33-of-34 shots on Thursday, and has stopped 70 of the 72 shots he has faced in December (two starts, one relief appearance), for a 2-0-0 record, with a 0.87 goals-against average and a .972 save percentage.
• Roman Josi picked up an assist on David Legwand’s power-play goal. That helper gives Josi five points (1g-4a) in his last five games.
• Gabriel Bourque and Colin Wilson each posted an assist on the night. Wilson has six points (2g-4a) in his last 11 games.
• Shea Weber posted a game-high six hits and tied with Patric Hornqvist for the team lead with four shots.
• It was the eighth time in 2013-14 in which both teams have put up at least 30 shots on goal. Sixteen of Nashville's 18 skaters had at least one shot attempt (includes misses and attempts blocked).
HOME ICE ADVANTAGE
The Predators have been one of the League’s best teams on home ice since the beginning of the 2005-06 season, compiling 199 home victories, and are tied for the fourth-most in the NHL in that span with Anaheim and Pittsburgh. Nashville is the only team in the NHL to post at least 23 home victories in seven consecutive full seasons.
15TH ANNIVERSARY MOMENT
December 14, 2006: Sullivan notches hat trick in franchise-record (5:56)
The Ottawa Senators would eventually win the Eastern Conference and play for the Stanley Cup, but on Dec. 14, 2006, the night clearly belonged to Steve Sullivan and the Nashville Predators. Nashville topped the Sens 6-0 behind Sullivan’s natural hat trick and a 22-save shutout by Chris Mason.
Sullivan’s sixth career hat trick and third as a Predator came in a span of 5:56 in the second period, making it the fastest three goals scored by an individual Nashville player. J-P Dumont provided the playmaking, setting up Sullivan on all three markers.
The victory was the second of five in a row for the Predators where they outscored their opponent 16-6. It was the second of three winning streaks that saw Nashville win five or more games in row, as it went on to finish with franchise record 51 wins and 110 points.