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52-23-7
Nashville
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38-32-12

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Preds and Blues Face Off

Thursday, 03.06.2014 / 4:29 PM

Jimi Russell - Nashville Predators

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Preds and Blues Face Off
St. Louis Blues vs. Nashville Predators

BLUES (41-14-6) AT PREDATORS (26-26-10)

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.

RINNE RETURNS
After missing 51 games due to an infection in his surgically repaired hip, goaltender Pekka Rinne made his first start since Oct. 22 on Tuesday night against Pittsburgh. Rinne turned away 16-of-19 shots in 59:21 of work, as the Preds fell to the Pens, 3-1.

Rinne recently completed a two-game conditioning stint with the American Hockey League’s Milwaukee Admirals (Feb. 28-March 3). The Kempele, Finland won both outings, turning away 33-of-35 shots against to post a 0.99 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage.

The two-time Vezina Trophy finalist is just five wins shy of surpassing Tomas Vokoun's mark in all-time wins (157; Vokoun, 161), and has been among the League’s elite since becoming a full-time starter in 2008-09, ranking first in shutouts and among the Top 10 in wins, save percentage and goals-against average prior to his injury.

HORNQVIST MOVES UP
With the Preds lone goal on Tuesday night, Patric Hornqvist moved into a tie for sixth on the franchise’s all-time goals list (96, Scott Walker). The goal was also the Sollentuna, Sweden native’s sixth point (2g-4a) in his last eight outings. He is now four goals shy of becoming the Preds fourth draftee to hit the 100-goals plateau, one goal shy of the sixth-most power-play goals in franchise history (35) and one helper shy of 100 career assists. Hornqvist is fourth in team scoring (12g-20a), while his 183 shots lead the team and rank among the League’s Top 30 skaters. Six of Hornqvist’s 12 goals this season have come in the second period.

NORRIS CALIBER CAPTAIN
Shea Weber
has been one of the League’s top point-producing defensemen since Dec. 12, 2013, posting 27 points (8g-19a) in 31 games during that span.
• Weber has hit the 40-point mark for the fifth consecutive full season, and he ranks among the League’s Top Five defensemen in scoring (15g-25a-40pts).
• He is one of just three defensemen (Erik Karlsson (OTT) and P.K. Subban (MTL)) to lead their team in scoring.
• Weber ranks second among League defensemen in goals, while his nine power-play goals pace all blueliners and rank among the League’s Top 10 skaters.
• His team-leading 21 power-play points (9g-12a) are good for third among League defensemen and rank among the Top 15 skaters in the League.
• Eight of Weber’s 15 goals have come in the first period. The Preds are 11-1-2 when their captain finds the back of the net.
• Weber ranks fourth in the League in average ice time (26:49) and has played past the half-hour mark seven times.
• Weber leads his team and ranks eighth in the NHL in blocked shots (135). He also ranks second on the team in hits (121), making him the only player in the NHL this season with more than 100 hits, 100 blocked shots and 10 goals.
• Since the beginning of the 2008-09 season, Weber ranks first among NHL defensemen in goals (98), second in points (261), first in power-play goals (45), first in game-winning goals (15) and eighth in hits (978).

PLAYER QUICK HITS
Mike Fisher has points (1g-3a) in four straight games, and 20 points (9g-10a) in his last 24 outings. Fisher’s current four-game streak is his second longest of the season (five games, Dec. 28-Jan. 5 (4g-6a-10pts)). The Peterborough, Ont., native leads all Preds forwards in ice time (19:19) – nearly three minutes higher than the next closest forward (Patric Hornqvist, 16:36). Fisher also leads team forwards in blocked shots (54) and ranks second hits (103).
Roman Josi has 11 points (5g-6a) in his last 14 outings. He ranks second on the team and fifth among all League skaters in average ice time (26:18). The Bern, Switzerland native is one of just three blueliners in the NHL this season (Ryan Ellis and Kevin Shattenkirk), and one of three in franchise history, to record multiple shootout tallies.
Craig Smith has compiled seven points (2g-5a) in his last nine outings. The Madison, Wis., native set a career points high (18g-19a-37pts) last Thursday with an assist against Tampa Bay. Smith ranks first in goals, and second in team scoring and shots (156). Twenty-one (9g-12a) of Smith’s 37 points have come on home ice, where he also paces the team with a +9 rating.
Seth Jones is fifth in points (5g-16a-21pts), first in games played (62) and third in average time on ice (20:44) among first-year defensemen. Jones also ranks among the League’s Top 10 rookie skaters in blocked shots (87), power-play points (8) and power-play goals (2).

TROTZ CLIMBS ALL-TIME LISTS
Barry Trotz, the only head coach the Nashville Predators have ever known, ranks 14th on the all-time coaching wins list (545). Trotz is now four wins shy of tying Marc Crawford for 13th all-time (549). The Dauphin, Manitoba, native is the longest tenured head coach in the NHL (1,176 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 380-253-11-74 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 20-6-2 when it scores a power-play goal, and 8-0-1 when it scores multiple power-play goals. Nashville’s power play ranks among the League’s Top 10 teams (ninth, 20.5 percent), while its home power play ranks sixth (22.3 percent).
• The Preds have posted seven third-period goals in their last eight games. The final frame has been the Preds most productive this season (52 goals).
• Nashville ranks among the League’s Top 10 in average penalty minutes (seventh, 10.3). The Preds have also been shorthanded the fifth-fewest times in the League (190).
• Nashville has the youngest defensive corps in the League (24 years, 25 days). The only other team in the NHL with an average defensive age under 26 (including players on IR) is Columbus (25 years, 351 days).
• The Preds have not allowed a shorthanded goal since March 21, 2013, when Calgary scored two shorthanded – a span of 80 games. Nashville is the only team in the League not to have allowed a shorthanded goal this season.
• Nashville is first in the League in team face-off win percentage (53.4 percent). The Preds have been 50 percent or better in the faceoff circle in 48 of their 62 games.

LAST TIME OUT: Nashville 1, Pittsburgh 3 at Bridgestone Arena
• The loss was only Nashville’s second regulation loss when tied after two periods (9-2-4).
• The Preds played a game for the first time this season without an injured player on their roster (game No. 62).
Nick Spaling notched an assist in his return to the lineup after missing five games with a lower body injury, setting a career high in points (10g-13a-23pts). The helper also gives Spaling seven points (3g-4a) in his last eight games.
Ryan Ellis played a season-high 20:12 and finished the night with a +1 rating.
• Nashville won the faceoff battle by a narrow margin of 33-32 (51 percent). It was led in the circle by David Legwand, who went nine for 13 (69 percent).
• Nashville’s 25 penalty minutes tied its season high (25 vs. Anaheim on Feb. 8).

STORYLINES VS. ST. LOUIS
On Thursday night, Nashville and St. Louis play the second of three games at Bridgestone Arena this season; the Blues will return to the Music City in nine days to close out the series. The Preds have posted a 22-13-9 mark all-time against the Blues on home ice, but have lost four straight going back to Feb. 23, 2012. Two of Nashville’s home losses during that span came via the shootout, a common theme in the series – the teams have needed the post-overtime tiebreaker to determine a winner 14 times, with Nashville posting an 8-6 record.

The Preds and Blues last met on Feb. 1 in St. Louis, when the Preds battled back from a two-goal deficit to take the lead late in the third period. But, Vladimir Tarasenko would score just 16 seconds after Roman Josi gave Nashville the lead, and again in the shootout to down the Preds, 4-3.

In their previous tilt at Bridgestone Arena on Oct. 26, as the Blues posted three goals in the first 31 minutes, and three goals in the final 16 minutes of play, to bookend Nick Spaling’s shorthanded goal in a 6-1 decision.

Patric Hornqvist has 15 points (5g-10a) in 23 career games against St. Louis… Nashville’s Director of Player Development Scott Nichol played the final two seasons of his career with the Blues, posting nine points (4g-5a) in 110 games for the Bluenotes.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS vs. ST. LOUIS
Patric Hornqvist
– First career NHL game on Oct. 10, 2008 at St. Louis.
Carter Hutton
– Made his NHL debut against St. Louis on April 27, 2013 (with Chicago).
Seth Jones
– Made his NHL debut against St. Louis on Oct. 3, 2013.
Shea Weber
– First career NHL goal on April 6, 2006 at St. Louis (Reinhard Divis).

2013-2014 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 15 '14 STL 4 at NSH 1 P. Berglund
Mar 06 '14 STL 2 at NSH 1 M. Paajarvi
Feb 01 '14 NSH 3 at STL 4 - SO V. Tarasenko
Oct 26 '13 STL 6 at NSH 1 T. Oshie
Oct 03 '13 NSH 2 at STL 4 T. Oshie
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
A. Steen51292049+143658
T. Oshie62153348+173434
J. Schwartz60192746+252131
D. Backes57202444+128783
A. Pietrangelo6263743+161620
V. Tarasenko59191837+151253
K. Shattenkirk6192837+92465
D. Roy6092736+32442
J. Bouwmeester6242832+211610
P. Berglund59111627+93020
C. Stewart58151126+211233
V. Sobotka4671825+174611
B. Morrow56101121+24632
S. Ott6291221-255561
B. Jackman6131114+175601
M. Lapierre527411+14401
M. Paajarvi416410-3401
I. Cole383710+152300
R. Polak52369+103700
R. Reaves43246-18000
J. Leopold24156+2400
D. Jaskin9112+0400
A. Cracknell17022+2000
C. Colaiacovo13022-1800
C. Porter10011+2000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
J. Halak4024-9-48310022.23.917
R. Miller4318-22-311314742.64.923
B. Elliott2515-5-2475652.08.917
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
S. Weber60152540-134493
D. Legwand62103040-83042
C. Smith60181937+51853
M. Fisher56161834-125242
P. Hornqvist58122133-102064
R. Josi5391726-121431
N. Spaling54111324+31021
C. Wilson6271724-11722
M. Cullen5861723-42611
S. Jones6351621-232021
G. Bourque5651217-8801
R. Ellis6131417+51601
E. Nystrom6011516-224901
V. Stalberg527916-122801
P. Gaustad638614-84200
M. Del Zotto5421113-61410
P. Eaves26235-5210
M. Ekholm43145-12600
F. Forsberg12145-8210
V. Bartley38055-21400
M. Hendricks44224-55400
R. Clune40213-712201
K. Klein47123-112100
S. Moser6112+0200
C. Sissons4011+2200
T. Beck7000-2600
J. Piskula2000+1000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
C. Hutton3214-10-4808212.85.903
D. Dubnyk3411-18-31039453.43.891
M. Mazanec258-10-4646502.80.902
P. Rinne114-6-1242702.36.911
M. Hellberg10-0-0145.00.750

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