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PREDATORS (23-22-7) at FLAMES (17-27-7)
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.
NORRIS CALIBER CAPTAIN
Shea Weber has been one of the League’s top point-producing defenseman since Dec. 28, posting 13 points (4g-9a, 14gp) in that span.
• Weber leads all League defensemen in goals (13), while his nine power-play goals pace all blueliners and rank among the League’s Top Five skaters.
• Seven of Weber’s 13 goals have come in the first period. The Preds are 10-1-2 when their captain finds the back of the net.
• With 22 points (6g-16a) in his last 23 games, Nashville’s captain ranks among the League’s Top 10 defensemen in scoring (13g-21a-34pts).
• Six (2g-4a) of Weber’s 34 points have come on game-winning goals.
• His team-leading 18 power-play points (9g-9a) are good for third among League defensemen (tie) and rank among the Top 15 skaters in the League.
• Weber ranks fourth in the League in average ice time (26:50) and has played past the half-hour mark six times.
• Weber leads the team and ranks seventh in the NHL in blocked shots (115). He also ranks second on the team in hits (103).
• The Sicamous, B.C., native was named an alternate captain for the 2014 Canadian Olympic Team on Sunday – it is his second Olympic appearance for Canada. During the 2010 Olympics, he was named to the tournament’s all-star team after tying for second among blueliners in points (2g-4a) and helping Canada claim gold.
LAST TIME OUT: Nashville 2, Vancouver 1 at Rogers Arena
• The Preds improved to 11-3-7 in one-goal games and rank among the League’s Top 10 teams in the category (10th, .524).
• With two goals in the third period, Nashville has now posted 44 goals in the final frame – its most productive of the season.
• Carter Hutton posted his fourth straight win (the longest streak of his career) after turning aside 33-of-34 shots. Hutton has stopped at least 33 shots in seven of his 11 wins.
• Craig Smith opened the scoring at 3:28 of the third period with his team-leading 16th goal of the season. Smith has two goals in his last three outings.
• Nick Spaling has points in three straight games and five points (2g-3a) in his last five outings, including goals in back-to-back games after posting the game-winning power-play goal. He also added an assist on Smith’s goal to complete his second multi-point outing of the season. He is now just one goal shy of matching his career high (10g, 2011-12), and has moved into a tie for 29th in all-time goals for Nashville (36).
• Seth Jones posted the primary assist on Spaling’s game winner. The helper gives Jones nine points (1g-8a) in his last 16 games (since Dec. 23, 2013) as he ranks among the League’s top rookies in scoring during that span.
• Shea Weber led the team and tied his season high with five shots on goal.
• Weber and Roman Josi were both a +1 on the night, and have each posted a +7 rating over the last four games.
• Newly acquired defenseman Michael Del Zotto played his first game in a Preds sweater. He posted 13:15 of ice time with one shot on goal and two blocked shots.
• Nashville’s five times shorthanded were the most the team has posted since Dec. 17 – a 3-1 loss to Chicago.
POWER PLAY CLICKS
With Nick Spaling’s game-winning power-play goal, the Preds have posted six man-advantage goals in their last five outings (six-for-18, 33.3 percent). Nashville’s power play is among the Top 10 in the League (sixth, 21.2 percent), while its road power play is ranked 10th (19.7 percent) and its home power play ranks sixth (22.6 percent). The Preds are 18-5-2 when they score a power-play goal. Shea Weber leads the team with 18 points (9g-9a) on the man-advantage.
Roman Josi has amassed eight points (3g-5a) in his last 11 outings. His two-point effort (1g-1a) on Monday night helped him set career highs in goals, assists and points (6g-14a-20pts). After posting 29:30 of ice time in Vancouver, the Bern, Switzerland native ranks second on the team and fifth among all League skaters in average ice time (26:01). He was recently named to his second Swiss Olympic Team. He was named to the Swiss team in 2010, but missed the Vancouver Games due to injury.
Mike Fisher has compiled 14 points (6g-8a) since Dec. 28 (14gp) to rank among the League’s Top 10 players in point production during that span. The Peterborough, Ont., native ranks fourth in team scoring (13g-14a-27pts), while he leads all Preds forwards in ice time (19:02) – more than two minutes higher than the next closest forward (David Legwand, 16:47). Fisher also ranks second among club forwards in blocked shots (40) and hits (85).
PLAYER QUICK HITS
• In Nashville’s past five games (four victories), seven of its 17 goals have come from three defensemen: Shea Weber, Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis.
• Paul Gaustad has won 505-of-848 faceoffs (59.5 percent) to rank second in the League in the category (minimum 800 draws).
• With his assist on Thursday, Seth Jones is tied for 14th among first-year players in points (4g-15a-19pts), leads all rookies in games played (52), ranks third in average time on ice (20:54), and is among the League’s Top 10 rookies in blocked shots (72), power-play points (8) and power-play goals (2).
• David Legwand has nine points (2g-7a) in his last nine outings to lead the team with 35 points (8g-27a).
• Craig Smith has 14 points (10g-4a) in his last 18 games, moving him into first on the team in goals and third in points (16g-14a-30pts).
TROTZ CLIMBS ALL-TIME LISTS
Barry Trotz, the only head coach the Nashville Predators have ever known, tied fellow Manitoban Bill Reay for 14th on the all-times wins list (542) with his win on Thursday in Vancouver. Trotz is now seven wins shy of tying Marc Crawford for 13th all-time (549). The Dauphin, Manitoba, native is the longest tenured head coach in the NHL (1,166 games) and has the second-longest active tenure in all four major sports behind the San Antonio Spurs’ Head Coach Gregg Popovich. Trotz’s system has seen marked improvement over the past 10 seasons, as the Preds posted a 145-199-49-17 record through the club's first five seasons, and 377-249-11-71 in the 10 seasons since, in addition to posting a 21-21-7 record in the playoffs during that span.
TEAM QUICK HITS
• Nashville is 7-3-2 against the Pacific Division this season.
• With the addition of Michael Del Zotto (23), Nashville now has the youngest defensive corps in the Central Division (23.4 years) by more than two years – Dallas (29.4 years), Chicago (29.3 years), Colorado (28.8 years), St. Louis (28 years), Winnipeg (26 years) and Minnesota (25.8 years).
• The Preds have held the opposition to just two second-period goals in the last six games.
• Nashville is 17-2-4 when it scores first (.739), and has won its last three outings when conceding the first goal.
• Nashville is in the midst of a stretch of 17 games in a 31-day span (Jan. 2-Feb. 1). During this span, the Preds will play eight times at home and nine times on the road.
• The Preds have not allowed a shorthanded goal since March 21, 2013, when Calgary scored two shorthanded goals – a span of 70 games. Nashville is the only team in the League not to have allowed a shorthanded goal this season.
• Nashville leads the League in team faceoff win percentage (53.5 percent). The Preds have been better than 50 percent in the faceoff circle in 40 of their 52 games.
STORYLINES VS. CALGARY
After these two teams met in Nashville a little more than a week ago, the Preds stop by the Scotiabank Saddledome for the first of two meetings in Cowtown. Nashville has garnered points in three straight games against Calgary, but they have not won on Saddledome ice since Oct. 22, 2011 – a 2-0 win. The Preds are 10-11-(3)-3 in Calgary all-time.
In their last tilt in Calgary on March 15, 2013, the Flames downed the Preds 6-3 on a Curtis Glencross third-period hat trick. Calgary jumped out to a 3-0 lead by the 3:38 mark of the second period before Gabriel Bourque got the Preds on the board with a power-play goal. The Preds scored twice in the third period on goals from Mike Fisher and David Legwand, but Glencross took over en route to the 6-3 win.
In 44 career games against the Flames, Matt Cullen has 21 points (2g-19a)… David Legwand has 30 points (11g-19a) in 46 career games against the Flames… Craig Smith posted a career-high seven shots against the Flames on Dec. 13, 2011… Shea Weber has posted 14 points (5g-9a) in 27 games against Calgary… Eric Nystrom was drafted by the Flames with the 10th overall pick in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. Nystrom posted 39 points (19g-20a) in 204 games with Calgary from 2005-06 to 2009-10.
15TH ANNIVERSARY MOMENT
January 24, 1999: Krivo becomes team’s first all-star; six others follow suit
By notching 13 goals and 24 points in the first half of the Predators inaugural season, Sergei Krivokrasov became the first player in franchise history to be invited to the NHL All-Star Game, held that year at the Ice Palace in Tampa Bay. He did this despite missing 10 of the first 42 games due to injury.
In the years since, Kimmo Timonen (three times in 2000, 2004, 2007), Shea Weber (three times in 2009, 2011 and 2012), Tomas Vokoun (2004), Jason Arnott (2008) and Ryan Suter (2012) have been selected for the prestigious mid-season event, in addition to Head Coach Barry Trotz, who served as an assistant coach for the Western Conference squad in 2007.
More than just a game, the annual festivities are a three-day event, showcased by the always entertaining Super Skills Competition and Young Stars Game, featuring the brightest prospects in the game, the night before the always high-scoring affair.
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