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PREDATORS (30-31-10) AT BLACKHAWKS (41-15-15)
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.
PILING UP POINTS
The Nashville Predators and Calgary Flames combined for 11 goals on Friday night in Calgary. The 11 combined goals were a season high for the Preds, and the first time they have combined for 11 or more goals since March 28, 2013 – a 7-4 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes. Twelve of the Nashville’s 18 skaters posted at least a point on the night. Friday night’s effort was the fourth time the Preds have posted six or more goals this season, including a high of seven goals on Nov. 16 vs. Chicago (7-2 win).
• Matt Cullen led the Preds with four points (1g-3a) on the night, including the game-winning goal at 17:08 of the third period. The effort was second four-point outing of the season (Nov. 21 at Toronto) and the fourth of his career. Cullen has five points (1g-4a) in his last five games.
• Victor Bartley opened the scoring with his first career NHL goal. Bartley is the fifth Preds player to post their first career goal this season (Mattias Ekholm, Filip Forsberg, Seth Jones and Simon Moser). The marker gives Bartley four points (1g-3a) in his last five outings.
• Roman Josi tallied an assist on Cullen’s game-winning goal. He has 16 points (5g-11a) in his last 23 outings.
• Craig Smith set up the game’s opening goal, and has compiled 11 points (4g-7a) in his last 18 outings. The Madison, Wis., native ranks first in goals, and second points and shots (182).
• With an assist on the night, Mike Fisher has posted 10 points (4g-6a) in his last 17 outings.
HORNQVIST PASSES 200
Patrick Hornqvist tallied his second three-point effort of the season (1g-2a) on Friday night , tying his career high for a single game (hit 11 times, last Nov. 2, 2013 at Los Angeles (3a)). With the effort Hornqvist also became the sixth Preds draftee to surpass the 200-point mark for his career (98g-103a-201pts). The Sollentuna, Sweden native has 12 points (4g-8a) in his last 17 games to move into third in team scoring (14g-24a-38pts). His 210 shots lead the team and rank among the League’s Top 25 skaters. Half of Hornqvist’s 14 goals this season have come in the second period.
NORRIS CALIBER CAPTAIN
Shea Weber posted his 11th career two-goal performance, and his second of the season, on Friday night in Calgary. He has been one of the League’s top point-producing defensemen since Dec. 12, 2013, posting 33 points (11g-22a) in 40 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 (18g-28a-46pts).
• He is one of four defensemen (Erik Karlsson, OTT; P.K. Subban, MTL; and Keith Yandle, PHX) to lead their team in scoring.
• Weber is tied for the top spot among League defensemen in goals, while his 10 power-play goals pace all blueliners and rank among the League’s Top 10 skaters.
• His team-leading 24 power-play points (10g-14a) are good for third among League defensemen and rank among the Top 10 skaters.
• Half of Weber’s 18 goals have come in the first period. The Preds are 13-1-2 when their captain finds the back of the net.
• The Sicamous, B.C, native ranks fourth in the League in average ice time (26:49).
• Weber leads his team and ranks 11th in the NHL in blocked shots (148). He also leads the team in hits (142), 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 (101), second in points (267), first in power-play goals (46), first in game-winning goals (16) and eighth in hits (999).
JARNKROK MAKES HIS CASE
Rookie forward Calle Jarnkrok made his NHL debut on Friday night in Calgary becoming the eighth rookie to appear for the Preds this season. Jarnkrok posted an assist and a +2 rating in 16:20 of work in his first NHL outing. The Galve, Sweden native is the second Preds rookie to record a point in his NHL debut this season (Colton Sissons (1a) on Jan. 28 at Winnipeg).
Prior to his recall, Jarnkrok posted seven points (5g-2a) in five games with the Milwaukee Admirals (AHL) since being acquired on Deadline Day on March 5. He leads the Admirals with 43 points (18g-25a) in 62 games during his first North American season. He was recently rated No. 41 in The Hockey News’ Top 50 NHL-affiliated prospects.
PLAYER QUICK HITS
• Roman Josi ranks second on the team and fifth among all League skaters in average ice time (26:21). The Bern, Switzerland native is one of just three blueliners in the NHL this season (teammate Ryan Ellis and St. Louis Blues d-man Kevin Shattenkirk), and one of three in franchise history, to record multiple shootout tallies.
• Nick Spaling, who missed Friday’s game due to injury, has posted 11 points (6g-5a) in his last 16 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.
• Mike Fisher leads all Preds forwards in ice time (19:34) – nearly three minutes higher than the next closest forward (Hornqvist, 16:39). Fisher also leads team forwards in blocked shots (64) and ranks second hits (123).
• Seth Jones is sixth in points (6g-18a-24pts), first in games played (71) and fourth in average time on ice (20:07) among first-year defensemen. Jones also ranks among the League’s Top 10 rookie skaters in blocked shots (90), game-winning goals (2) and power-play points (8). He is the only Preds player to appear in each of the team’s games.
MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
• Michael Del Zotto is one assist from 100 career helpers.
• Patric Hornqvist is two goals shy of becoming the fourth Preds draftee to hit the 100-goal plateau.
• Eric Nystrom is three goals from tying his career high (16) and four points shy of establishing a career points high (currently 21 points (16g-5a) set during the 2011-12 season).
• Shea Weber is four games from 600 career NHL games. He is also seven points shy of tying his career points high (53 points (23g-30a) set during the 2008-09 season).
• Colin Wilson is one assist from setting a career high (21) and eight points shy of tying his career points high (35 points (15g-20a) set during the 2011-12 season).
LAST TIME OUT: Nashville 6, Calgary 5 at Scotiabank Saddledome
• Nashville improved to 8-7-3 against the Pacific Division.
• Viktor Stalberg snapped a 10-game scoreless streak with his second-period goal.
• Gabriel Bourque set a career points high (6g-14a-20pts) with his assist on Stalberg’s goal.
• Michael Del Zotto and Seth Jones both picked up an assists. Del Zotto posted his helper on Patric Hornqvist’s goal, while Jones tallied his on Bartley’s marker.
• Carter Hutton improved to 9-4-2 with a 2.45 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage since Jan. 14 (15 gp).
• Nashville won the faceoff battle 52-48, led by Matt Cullen (five-of-seven, 71 percent) and Colin Wilson (nine-of-15, 60 percent).
TROTZ CLIMBS ALL-TIME LISTS
With Friday night’s victory, Barry Trotz, the only head coach the Nashville Predators have ever known, tied Marc Crawford for 13th on the all-time coaching wins list (549). The Dauphin, Manitoba, native is the longest tenured head coach in the NHL (1,185 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 384-258-11-74 in the 10 seasons since, in addition to posting a 21-21-7 record in the playoffs during that span.
TEAM QUICK HITS
• Nashville has posted the League’s best record when leading after one period (19-1-1, .905).
• The Preds rank among the League’s Top 10 in average penalty minutes (seventh, 10.1). The Preds have also been shorthanded the third-fewest times in the League (211).
• 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 88 games. Nashville is the only team in the League not to have allowed a shorthanded goal this season.
• Nashville is tied for the League lead in team face-off win percentage (53 percent). The Preds have been 50 percent or better in the face-off circle in 55 of their 71 games.
STORYLINES VS. CHICAGO
The Nashville Predators and Chicago Blackhawks face off for the second time in nine days on Sunday night at United Center. The two teams will close out the five-game season series on April 12 in the Music City. The Preds hold a slight lead in the all-time series (40-39-(2)-8, 89gp), and are 18-23-(1)-3 in the Windy City all-time.
When these teams met just nine days ago, as the Preds jumped out to 2-1 lead after the first period on goals from Patric Hornqvist and Mike Fisher. After a scoreless middle frame, Ryan Ellis extended the lead just 45 seconds into the third on what would be the eventual game-winner in the 3-2 Nashville victory.
Patric Hornqvist (6g-5a-11pts, 11gp) and Mike Fisher (4g-4a-8pts, 9gp) are both producing at nearly a point-per-game clip or better against Chicago since the beginning of the 2011-12 campaign… Viktor Stalberg played the previous three seasons with the Blackhawks, posting 90 points (43g-47a) in 203 games, and winning the 2013 Stanley Cup with them.
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS vs. CHICAGO
• Victor Barley recorded a career-high two assists on April 19, 2013 at Chicago.
• Carter Hutton made his NHL debut with Chicago on April 27, 2013 vs. St. Louis.
• Roman Josi posted a career-high three assists on March 14, 2014 at Chicago.
15th ANNIVERSARY MOMENT
March 22-30, 2008 – Dan Ellis sets a franchise record with a shutout streak of 233:39
Having lost five of their previous six games, the Nashville Predators entered the final week of March – and their last seven games of the 2007-08 regular season – in need of strong performance to make the postseason for the fourth consecutive spring. Behind the play of rookie netminder Dan Ellis, they did just that.
Ellis, who was slated for the starting job with the American Hockey League’s Milwaukee Admirals during training camp, went 5-1-1 down the stretch, highlighted by a franchise-record shutout streak of 233:39 from March 22-30, which saw him shut out the Columbus Blue Jackets twice (March 22 and 28), and go to overtime against Detroit (March 30) before relinquishing a goal. He stopped 147 consecutive shots during the stretch, which at the time was the fifth-longest in the NHL since the 1943-44 season.
Ellis was named the Second Star of the Week following the streak, and would end the month of March with a 1.75 goals-against average and a .949 save percentage. The Preds would go on to clinch a playoff berth behind their first-year goalie with back-to-back wins against St. Louis in their first two games of April.
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