|STL||1||2||1||(0 - 0)||4|
|NSH||0||1||0||(0 - 0)||1|
BLUES (45-14-7) AT PREDATORS (29-28-10)
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.
The Nashville Predators defensive corps has continued to be an offensive catalyst as of late. On Nashville’s recent three-game road swing, its defensemen registered 13 of the 29 total points on the trip. All six defensemen recorded at least a point and all three game-winning goals were scored by a blueliner (Seth Jones, Shea Weber and Ryan Ellis).
• Roman Josi has 15 points (5g-10a) in his last 19 outings after registering a career-high three assists on Friday night in Chicago. He ranks second on the team and fifth among all League skaters in average ice time (26:24). The Bern, Switzerland native is one of just three blueliners in the NHL this season (Ellis and Kevin Shattenkirk), and one of three in franchise history, to record multiple shootout tallies.
• Ellis established a career high in goals (4) with his third-period game-winning goal on Friday. The goal was Ellis’ first since Oct. 12, 2013 in a 3-2 victory over the Islanders. Ellis has two points (1g-1a) in his last three games.
• Jones is fifth in points (6g-17a-23pts), first in games played (66) and fourth in average time on ice (20:20) among first-year defensemen. Jones also ranks among the League’s Top 10 rookie skaters in blocked shots (88), game-winning goals (2), power-play points (8) and power-play goals (2).
NORRIS CALIBER CAPTAIN
Shea Weber continues to be the League’s top point-producing defenseman since Dec. 12, 2013, posting 30 points (9g-21a) in 36 games during that span.
• Nashville’s captain has surpassed the 40-point mark for the fifth consecutive full season, and he ranks among the League’s Top 10 defensemen in scoring (16g-27a-43pts).
• He is one of 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 23 power-play points (9g-14a) are good for third among League defensemen and rank among the Top 10 skaters in the League.
• Eight of Weber’s 16 goals have come in the first period. The Preds are 12-1-2 when their captain finds the back of the net.
• The Sicamous, B.C, native ranks fourth in the League in average ice time (26:53).
• Weber leads his team and is tied for 12th in the NHL in blocked shots (142). He is also leads the team in hits (135), 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 (99), second in points (265), first in power-play goals (45), first in game-winning goals (16) and eighth in hits (992).
PLAYER QUICK HITS
• With his power-play goal on Friday night, Patric Hornqvist moved into a tie for sixth on the franchise’s all-time power-play goals list (35). He has eight points (3g-5a) in his last 13 games to move into fifth in team scoring (13g-21a-34pts). His 194 shots lead the team and rank among the League’s Top 30 skaters. Six of Hornqvist’s 13 goals this season have come in the second period.
• Mike Fisher has nine points (4g-5a) in his last 13 outings after tallying the game’s first goal on Friday in Chicago. The Peterborough, Ont., native leads all Preds forwards in ice time (19:30) – nearly three minutes higher than the next closest forward (Hornqvist, 16:34). Fisher also leads team forwards in blocked shots (59) and ranks second hits (119).
• Craig Smith has compiled 10 points (4g-6a) in his last 14 outings, and recently became the eighth Preds draftee to post at least 20 goals and 20 assists in a season in franchise history. With his two point effort on Tuesday in Buffalo, Smith also hit the 40-point plateau (20g-20a) for the first time in his career. The Madison, Wis., native ranks first in goals, and second in both team scoring and shots (174).
• Nick Spaling has posted five points (3g-2a) in his last six games, and 11 points (6g-5a) in his last 13 outings. The Preds are 10-2-1 when Spaling scores a goal this season, as well as 31-6-2 when he scores a goal and 42-14-5 when he records a point all-time.
• Pekka Rinne has been among the League’s elite since becoming a full-time starter in 2008-09. Prior to missing 51 games this season, he ranked first in shutouts and among the League’s Top 10 in wins, save percentage and goals-against average.
MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
• Michael Del Zotto is two assists from 100 career helpers.
• Patric Hornqvist is three goals shy of becoming the fourth Preds draftee to hit the 100-goal plateau. He is also four points shy of 200 career points.
• Eric Nystrom is four points shy of establishing a career high.
• Viktor Stalberg is set to play in his 300th career game on Saturday night against St. Louis.
• Colin Wilson is one assist from setting a career high (21).
LAST TIME OUT: Nashville 3, Chicago 2 at United Center
• Nashville won three games in a row, tying its season high (three times), for the third time this season and the first time since Dec. 10-14, 2013.
• The victory was also the Preds’ first on United Center ice since March 25, 2012 (6-1).
• The Preds have now posted power-play goals in back-to-back games with Mike Fisher’s first-period man-advantage goal. The Preds power play ranks ninth in the League (20.4 percent).
• Matt Cullen picked up an assist on Fisher’s first-period goal. The helper snapped a six-game pointless streak.
• Pekka Rinne turned away 30 of 32 shots against to record his second consecutive win. Rinne is 2-3-0 with a 2.20 goals-against average and .925 save percentage since returning to the lineup on March 4.
• Seventeen of Nashville’s 18 skaters registered a shot on goal, led by Patric Hornqvist’s four shots.
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 (548), and is one win shy of tying Marc Crawford for 13th all-time (549). The Dauphin, Manitoba, native is the longest tenured head coach in the NHL (1,181 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 383-255-11-74 in the 10 seasons since, in addition to posting a 21-21-7 record in the playoffs during that span.
TEAM QUICK HITS
• The Predators swept their recent three-game road swing with wins over Ottawa (Monday), Buffalo (Tuesday) and Chicago (Friday). Nashville outscored its opposition 11-6 en route to winning three straight road games for the first time since Nov. 19-27, 2013 (at Detroit, Toronto and Columbus).
• The Preds have outscored the opposition 5-0 in the past three second periods.
• Nashville ranks among the League’s Top 10 in average penalty minutes (ninth, 10.3). The Preds have also been shorthanded the sixth-fewest times in the League (203).
• Nashville has the youngest defensive corps in the League (24.02 years). Only two other teams in the NHL have an average defensive age under 26 (including players on IR): Ottawa (25.32 years) and Washington (25.35 years).
• The Preds have not allowed a shorthanded goal since March 21, 2013, when Calgary scored two shorthanded – a span of 85 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 percent). The Preds have been 50 percent or better in the face-off circle in 52 of their 67 games.
STORYLINES VS. ST. LOUIS
On Saturday night, the Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues play the final game of their five-game season series. The Preds have posted a 22-14-9 mark all-time against the Blues on home ice, but have lost five 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 met at Bridgestone Arena just nine days ago as the Blues used two goals in the first 29 minutes of play to defeat the Preds, 3-1. Ian Cole and Nick Spaling traded goals in the first period, but it was Magnus Paajarvi who sealed the game with his goal at 8:18 of the second period.
Patric Hornqvist has 16 points (5g-11a) in 24 career games against St. Louis… Mike Fisher has 13 points (8g-5a) in 22 career games against the Blues… 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).
15th ANNIVERSARY MOMENT
March 16, 2004: Adam Hall scores with 22 seconds left to earn tie in Vancouver
With every point being precious in their drive to make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, forward Adam Hall scored with 22 seconds left in regulation while goaltender Tomas Vokoun was pulled for an extra attacker, to salvage a point and a 2-2 tie with the Vancouver Canucks at GM Place.
The point gave Nashville 80 with nine games left in the regular season, equaling a franchise record and moving them into a seventh-place tie with St. Louis for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, one point ahead of ninth-place Los Angeles.
"Maybe this one tie is going to be the point that puts us over the edge and into the playoffs," Hall said. "Hindsight is 20-20, you sit down after the season and say `If we just had a tie here or a win here it would have been the difference.' You really never can tell until the very end."
The tie was part of seven road games in the final 10 contests of the 2003-04 season, and sparked a 5-3-2 run to end the 82-game schedule, enough to edge out ninth-place Edmonton for the eighth and final playoff berth.
|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|
|M. Del Zotto||59||2||12||14||-7||14||1||0|