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38-32-12
San Jose
Sharks
51-22-9

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35 SOG
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GAMEDAY: PREDS VS. SHARKS

Saturday, 04.05.2014 / 10:56 AM

Alexis Witman - Nashville Predators

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GAMEDAY: PREDS VS. SHARKS
Nashville Predators vs. San Jose Sharks

PREDATORS (34-32-11) AT SHARKS (49-20-9)

TV: FOX Sports Tennessee (Dish: 446/HD: 9516; Direct TV: 644/HD: 646-2 ; 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.


HORNQVIST, CULLEN AND FISHER LIGHT THE NIGHT
In the Predators past two games, which saw them defeat Anaheim on Friday and Washington on Sunday, the line of Patric Hornqvist, Matt Cullen and Mike Fisher has combined for 14 points (5g-9a). Over the last two weeks in the NHL, only the Montreal Canadiens’ trio of Pacioretty, Desharnais and Vanek have combined for more goals.

Hornqvist notched three points on Friday (1g-2a), moving him to 13 points (6g-7a) in his last 10 games and 20 points (8g-12a) in his last 21 games dating back to Jan. 28. His two assists at Anaheim put him at 28 on the season, a career high (27, set in 2010-11). His 232 shots lead the team and rank among the League’s Top 30 skaters.

With his third three-assist performance of the season and second in the last seven games, Cullen has 11 points (3g-8a) in his last seven games. The Preds have not lost a game in regulation when Cullen finds the back of the net (6-0-2).

Fisher scored twice on Friday to reach the 20-goal mark for the sixth time in his career. He added an assist as well, and has points in six of his last seven games (3g-6a). He leads all Preds forwards in ice time (19:39) – nearly three minutes higher than the next closest forward (Hornqvist, 16:46). Fisher also leads team forwards in blocked shots (69) and ranks second hits (137).


GOALS A PLENTY
With two-goal showings from both Colin Wilson and Mike Fisher on Friday night in Anaheim, the Nashville Predators have had a player or players record two goals in four of their last five games. March 25 against Colorado, both Roman Josi and Matt Cullen achieved the feat, March 27 against Buffalo, Shea Weber tallied two and in the Caps visit to Music City on March 30, Patric Hornqvist found the back of the net twice. It was Wilson’s third two-goal performance of the season – and the fifth of his career – while Fisher scored twice in a game for the second time this season and the eighth time in his Predators career.

In addition to Eric Nystrom’s four-goal night in Calgary on Jan. 24, the Predators have had players tally two-goal appearances a total of 15 times this season. The Preds have taken home points in 13 of the 15 games this season when a player (or players) has recorded multiple goals, posting a 10-2-3 record.


NORRIS CALIBER CAPTAIN

With an assist on Friday night in Anaheim, Predators Captain Shea Weber moved into seventh among NHL defensemen in points (21g30a-51pts), and just two points shy of tying his career high in the category (21g-29a-53pts set in 2008-09). Weber has been one of the League’s top point-producing defenseman since the calendar turned to 2014. In 2014 (37 games), he has recorded 29 points (12g-17a), tallying three game-winning goals and is a +4. In comparison, in 2013 (37 games), he had 22 points (9g-13a), with one game-winning goal and was a -13.

• He leads the team, and all NHL blueliners, in goals (21), one more than forwards Mike Fisher and Craig Smith. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time a defenseman led his team in goal scoring was 2008-09, when Sheldon Souray tallied 23 times for the Oilers (tied with Ales Hemsky).

• Nashville’s captain is the 10th player in franchise history to hit the 20-goal mark more than once, and the first defenseman to achieve the feat.

• Weber leads his team and is tied for 12th in the NHL in blocked shots (160). He also leads the team in hits (156), making him the first player since the NHL started keeping the hits and blocked shots categories annually in 2005-06, to post 20 goals, 150 blocked shots and 150 hits.

• He is one of three defensemen (Karlsson, OTT and Keith Yandle, PHX) to lead their team in scoring and last season (2012-13) became the first Preds defenseman to lead the team in points.

• His team-leading 25 power-play points (11g-14a) are good for fifth among League defensemen.

• Weber has recorded two multi-goal games in his past seven outings (March 21 vs. Calgary, March 27 vs. Buffalo). The Preds are 15-1-2 when their captain finds the back of the net.

• The Sicamous, B.C, native ranks fourth in the League in average ice time (26:51).

• Since the beginning of the 2008-09 season, Weber ranks first among NHL defensemen in goals (104), second in points (272), first in power-play goals (47), first in game-winning goals (16) and eighth in hits (1,013).

• Weber played in his 600th career NHL game on March 28 in Dallas.


RINNE TIED VOKOUN ON THE FRANCHISE’S WINS LIST
Predators netminder Pekka Rinne picked up his 161st career victory by stopping 27-of-29 shots on Friday at Anaheim, moving him into a tie with Tomas Vokoun for first on the franchise’s all-time wins list. The two-time Vezina Trophy finalist has recorded all but one of his victory total since 2008-09, including a League-leading 43 in 2011-12, and eight in 2013-14. Since his rookie campaign, Rinne ranks among the NHL leaders in wins, save percentage (.918), goals-against average (2.39) and shutouts (31).


PLAYER QUICK HITS
Roman Josi recorded an assist on Friday, and has tallied six points (2g-4a) in his last seven games to move into the Top 30 in scoring among League defenseman. Josi has 22 points (7g-15a) in his last 30 games and is fifth in the League in average ice time (26:20).

Calle Jarnkrok has posted five points (1g-4a) in his last seven games, the first seven contests of his NHL career. The Galve, Sweden native’s five-game point streak is the second longest point streak by a Predators player in the first games of their NHL career (Marek Zidlicky, six games, Oct. 9-23, 2003).

Eric Nystrom has three points (2g-1a) in his last four games to bring him into a tie with his career points high (21), set in 2011-12 with Dallas.

• Barry Trotz, the only head coach in Preds history, is 13th all-time in coaching wins (553). The Dauphin, Manitoba, native is the longest tenured head coach in the NHL (1,191) and has the second-longest active tenure in all four major sports behind the San Antonio Spurs’ Head Coach Gregg Popovich.


MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
Michael Del Zotto is one assist from 100 career helpers.

Eric Nystrom is one goal from tying his career high (16).

Colin Wilson is currently tied for his career high in assists set in 2011-12 (20).

Shea Weber is two points shy of tying his career season points high (21g-29a-53pts set in 2008-09).

Pekka Rinne is tied with Tomas Vokoun for first on the franchise’s all-time wins list (161).


LAST TIME OUT: Nashville 5, Anaheim 2 at Honda Center
• The Predators scored four or more goals for the fifth time in the last seven games.

• Nashville’s penalty kill was a perfect three-for-three.

Ryan Ellis recorded an assist, giving him four helpers in his last six games.

Pekka Rinne improved to 10-3-4 all-time against Anaheim

• Fisher notched his fourth game-winning goal of the season, tying him for the team lead with Patric Hornqvist and Shea Weber.


TEAM QUICK HITS
• 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).

• Nashville is the only Western Conference team with two defenseman that have 10 or more goals (Shea Weber, 21/Roman Josi, 10), and one of only three teams in the NHL to have multiple defenseman reach double digits in goals (Boston, Pittsburgh).

• The Preds have not allowed a shorthanded goal since March 21, 2013, when Calgary scored two shorthanded – a span of 95 games. Nashville is the only team in the League not to have allowed a shorthanded goal this season.

• Nashville is tied for second in the League in team face-off win percentage (52.8 percent). The Preds have been 50 percent or better in the face-off circle in 59 of their 77 games.

• Four out of the Preds top five point scorers this season are Preds draft picks (Weber, Smith, Hornqvist, Josi).

• The Preds have scored a goal in 17 of the last 21 regulation periods, totaling 29 goals in that span. In their past seven games, the Preds have totaled 30 goals.


STORYLINES VS. SAN JOSE
The Nashville Predators travel to SAP Center on Saturday night for their final tilt of the year against the San Jose Sharks. Nashville has picked up points in 11 of its last 13 games against the Sharks, posting an 8-2-3 record in those games, and is 6-2-1 in the series since the beginning of the 2011-12 campaign.

When these teams last met on Jan. 7, the two traded chances, but ended the first period scoreless. The Preds opened the scoring 3:35 into the second period; the Sharks’ Joe Pavelski answered three minutes later, tying the score at one. The Preds added two more in the second, including Mattias Ekholm’s first NHL tally, taking a 3-1 lead into the second intermission. Patrick Marleau’s even-strength goal with less than three minutes left in the game would bring the Sharks within one, but Preds rookie goaltender Marek Mazanec stood tall, stopping 26-of-28 shots to lead Nashville to a 3-2 victory. Defenseman accounted for 17 of Nashville’s 28 shots, with Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis leading the way with five shots each. The five shots were a career high for Ellis.

In the first meeting between the Preds and Sharks on Dec. 14, goals from Eric Nystrom, Roman Josi and Viktor Stalberg propelled Nashville to a 3-2 victory. Goaltender Carter Hutton stopped 36-of-38 shots in the win.

Paul Gaustad has seen greater goal-scoring success against San Jose than any other NHL team with five goals in 12 career games… Shea Weber has 21 points (5g-16a) in 28 career games against the Sharks, including eight points (2g-5a) in his last nine games… Colin Wilson has nine points (4g-5a) in 14 career games against San Jose.


CAREER HIGHLIGHT VS. SAN JOSE
Mattias Ekholm scored the first goal of his NHL career on Jan. 7, 2013 against the Sharks (Niemi).

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 goal on Dec. 8, 2007 at San Jose.

Colin Wilson fired a career-high six shots on goal on Nov. 5, 2011 at San Jose.


15TH ANNIVERSARY MOMENT
April 5, 2012 – Preds set season sellout record in 2011-12 regular season finale

The 2011-12 season was one of the most successful in franchise history to date – the team advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals for the second consecutive spring after finishing with the NHL’s fifth-most wins. And while the Predators were picking up wins on the ice, the fans were coming out in unprecedented fashion to support their hometown team.

“I think fan support and team success parallel each other,” Head Coach Barry Trotz said. “Home-ice advantage is tremendous for us in this building; we’ve got a loud and boisterous crowd.”

Capped with a capacity crowd in a 2-0 victory over the Dallas Stars on April 5, 2012, the Nashville Predators sold out Bridgestone Arena for the final eight regular-season games of 2011-12, completing a franchise-record 25-sellout season. That crowd support went a long ways toward creating a home-ice advantage that helped the Predators post a 26-10-5 record in the Music City, making them the only team to post at least 23 home wins in each season from 2003-04 to 2011-12.

While the overall theme of the night was reflecting on the Predators success over the course of 41 home games, the play of goaltender Pekka Rinne was crucial on the evening. He was tremendous, stopping all 31 shots he faced against a desperate Stars team to help secure the Predators the No. 4 seed heading into the 2012 playoffs.

2013-2014 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 05 '14NSH 3 at SJS 0P. Hornqvist
Jan 07 '14SJS 2 at NSH 3R. Josi
Dec 14 '13SJS 2 at NSH 3V. Stalberg
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
S. Weber75213152-446114
P. Hornqvist72202949+02875
M. Fisher71202545-66044
C. Smith75202444+112253
D. Legwand62103040-83042
R. Josi68122537-41831
M. Cullen7392736+33012
C. Wilson77102131-22123
N. Spaling67131629-11231
S. Jones7361824-232222
G. Bourque7071623-5801
R. Ellis7641923+52202
E. Nystrom7515621-256001
V. Stalberg6681018-143201
P. Gaustad719716-96100
M. Del Zotto6631316-91810
M. Ekholm58167-12800
R. Clune54246-715201
V. Bartley47156+02100
C. Jarnkrok8156+6400
P. Eaves30235-7210
F. Forsberg13145-8410
M. Hendricks44224-55400
C. Sissons17134+0400
K. Klein47123-112100
S. Moser6112+0200
T. Beck7000-2600
J. Piskula2000+1000
M. Van Guilder1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
C. Hutton3919-11-4889772.61.910
D. Dubnyk3411-18-31039453.43.891
M. Mazanec258-10-4646502.80.902
P. Rinne218-10-2565612.84.900
M. Hellberg10-0-0145.00.750
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
J. Pavelski79393776+2230153
J. Thornton79116374+183223
P. Marleau79323567-318113
L. Couture62212849+162045
B. Burns66222446+243223
T. Wingels74162238+133507
D. Boyle72112233-73261
J. Demers7242933+153010
T. Hertl35151025+11233
M. Nieto65101424-31612
M. Vlasic7951924+303800
J. Sheppard6441620+63300
M. Havlat469918+101012
M. Irwin6021618+33510
J. Braun7941317+172011
T. Kennedy6441317-83401
A. Desjardins7831316-58601
S. Hannan543912+25300
B. Stuart583811+43303
R. Torres5325+4700
M. Brown55235-89400
B. Kearns22314+1610
J. McCarthy36112-11400
E. Hayes15101-2200
M. Pelech6101+12201
A. Burish15000-4600
F. Hamilton11000-5200
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
A. Niemi6238-16-714416542.37.913
A. Stalock2211-5-2375281.91.930

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