|NSH||0||1||1||0||0 (1 - 4)||2|
|DAL||1||1||0||0||1 (2 - 4)||3|
PREDATORS (35-32-11) AT STARS (38-29-11)
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.
In the Predators two games last week against Anaheim and San Jose, Patric Hornqvist notched a pair of three-point efforts and finished a +7, extending his current point streak to seven games – the longest by a Predator this season (7g-7a-14pts) – and his goal streak to four games (6g), also the longest by a Nashville player this season. His two-goal game on Saturday in San Jose was the 14th career multi-goal game, the third-most in franchise history.
On April 4 at Anaheim, the last pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft (7th round, 230 overall), picked up a pair of assists, scored his 18th goal of the season and finished with a +4 rating in a 5-2 win over the Ducks. The following night at San Jose, he helped Nashville complete a sweep of the Pacific Division’s top two teams by scoring twice in the second period, assisting on Nashville’s other goal and notching a +3 in a 3-0 victory. The Sollentuna, Sweden native’s first goal held up as the game winner, his team-leading fifth of the season, moving him into a tie for 20th in the NHL in game-winning goals since the start of the 2009-10 season (22). His second goal enabled him to hit the 20-goal mark for the fourth consecutive NHL season.
Hornqvist is ranked second on the team in points (49) – just two shy of his career high in the category, and sits in a three-way tie for second in goals (20). His seven power-play goals rank second on the club, and his 29 assists, good for the third on the Preds scoring list, are a personal best.
HUTTON SHUTS OUT THE SHARKS
Predators goaltender Carter Hutton entered the 2013-14 season with one game of NHL experience and with his win against the Sharks on Saturday night, is now one win away from the 20-win plateau (19-11-4). The Thunder Bay, Ontario native has won his last four starts, dating back to March 21 at Calgary. Hutton stopped all 35 of the Sharks shots, giving him his first career NHL shutout, and improving his record to 6-0-1 when facing 35 shots or more this season.
THE CAPTAIN LEADS THE WAY
Predators Captain Shea Weber continues to climb the list of scoring among NHL defensemen. His assist on Roman Josi’s second-period tally on Saturday night in San Jose moved into a tie for fifth among NHL defensemen in points (21g-31a-52pts), and just one point 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 (38 games), he has recorded 30 points (12g-18a), tallying three game-winning goals and is a +9. In comparison, in 2013 (37 games), he had 22 points (9g-13a), with one game-winning goal and was a -13.
• He has reached the scoresheet in each of Nashville’s three straight wins, shutting down some of the NHL’s top forwards in the process. He posted a goal, an assist and a +2 rating in 27:47 on March 30, keeping Alex Ovechkin pointless in the process. On Friday, he notched an assist and a +2 rating in 26:52 while holding Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf off the board, and did the same with Joe Pavelski, Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton in addition to recording a helper in 28:30 of ice time on Saturday at San Jose.
• He leads the team, and all NHL blueliners, in goals (21), one more than forwards Patric Hornqvist, 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 11th in the NHL in blocked shots (165). He also leads the team in hits (158), 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 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 eight 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 (26:53).
• Weber played in his 600th career NHL game on March 28 in Dallas.
With a two-goal showing from Patric Hornqvist on Saturday night in San Jose, the Nashville Predators have had a player or players record two goals in five of their last six and in each of their last three games. In addition to Eric Nystrom’s four-goal night in Calgary on Jan. 24, the Preds only hat trick of the season, the Predators have had players tally two-goal appearances a total of 16 times this season. The Preds have taken home points in 14 of the 16 games this season when a player (or players) recorded multiple goals, posting a 11-2-3 record.
At even strength in the last three games, the Predators have outscored opponents by a combined 11-3 margin – 3-0 at San Jose, 5-2 at Anaheim and 3-1 vs. Washington. The Preds have scored a goal in 18 of the last 24 regulation periods, totaling 34 goals in that span.
RINNE ONE AWAY FROM FRANCHISE BEST
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 the Preds third goal on Saturday, and has tallied seven points (3g-4a) in his last eight games to move into the Top 25 in scoring among League defenseman. Josi has 23 points (8g-15a) in his last 31 games and is fifth in the League in average ice time (26:21).
• Calle Jarnkrok has posted six points (1g-5a) in the last eight games, the first eight contests of his NHL career. The Preds are 6-1-1 with Jarnkrok in the lineup, and 9-6-1 since his acquisition (along with Patrick Eaves and a conditional third-round pick in the 2014 Draft) for David Legwand.
• Mike Fisher has points in seven of his last eight games (3g-7a), and with two goals on Friday, reached the 20-goal mark for the sixth time in his career. He leads all Preds forwards in ice time (19:40) – nearly three minutes higher than the next closest forward (Hornqvist, 16:45). Fisher also leads team forwards in blocked shots (69) and ranks second in hits (138).
• Matt Cullen has recorded two three-assist nights in his last eight games, tallying 12 points (3g-9a) in that span. The Preds have not lost a game in regulation when Cullen finds the back of the net (6-0-2).
• Eric Nystrom has three points (2g-1a) in his last five 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 (554). The Dauphin, Manitoba, native is the longest tenured head coach in the NHL (1,192) 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).
• Shea Weber is one point shy of tying his career season points high (21g-29a-53pts set in 2008-09).
• Patric Hornqvist is two points shy of reaching a career high in points (30g-21a-51pts set in 2009-10).
LAST TIME OUT: Nashville 3, San Jose 0 at SAP Center
• In his first game back from injury, Paul Gaustad recorded 15:43 of ice time, his most since playing time since he played 16:54 on Jan. 23 at Vancouver. Gaustad recorded six hits and won 19-of-28 draws (68 percent) in his return.
• The Predators were a perfect three-for-three on the penalty kill.
• Carter Hutton recorded his first career NHL shutout, stopping all 35 shots he faced in his second victory this season against the Sharks. He stopped 36-of-38 shots in a 3-2 win on Dec. 14.
• Nashville finished the season 3-0-0 against San Jose.
• With an assist, Colin Wilson now has 10 points (4g-6a) in 15 career games against San Jose.
• The Preds improved their record to 9-4-1 in the last 14 games.
TEAM QUICK HITS
• Nashville is a combined 9-3-1 vs. San Jose (3-0-0), Chicago (3-1-0), Los Angeles (2-0-1) and Anaheim (1-2-0), four of the top five teams in the Western Conference.
• The Predators are in the midst of their fourth three-game winning streak of the season, they do not have a four-game streak.
• The team is 4-1-0 in its last five road games and 10-4-3 in its last 17. At 18-15-6 on the year, the Preds will finish over .500 on the road after going 5-14-5 last season.
• The Predators have four 20-goal scorers (Weber, Hornqvist, Fisher, Smith) for the first time since 2007-08.
• 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 96 games. Nashville is the only team in the League not to have allowed a shorthanded goal this season.
• Nashville is 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 60 of their 78 games.
STORYLINES VS. DALLAS
The Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars square off on Tuesday night for the second time in a little more than two weeks, the final time that these two teams will face each other this season. Nashville is 25-31-2 all-time against the Stars, and the season series is even with both teams taking home two victories.
On Jan. 20 at Bridgestone Arena, Carter Hutton made 35 stops in a 4-1 Predators win. Shea Weber scored the game-winning goal with three minutes left to go in the first period, while Nick Spaling, Mike Fisher and Roman Josi also found the back of the net for Nashville. The Preds first win against Dallas this season came by a 3-1 score on Dec. 12. The Preds relinquished the first goal of the game before scoring three straight. Weber lead the Preds, tallying assists on both the game-tying and game-winning goals. Hutton made 33 saves in the win. The Stars claimed victories in the most recent meeting on March 28, and on Dec. 27, both of which came at American Airlines Center.
Patric Hornqvist has 13 points (8g-5a) in 19 career games against Dallas… Craig Smith has five points (1g-5a) in eight career games against the Stars… Colin Wilson has nine points (4g-5a) in 13 career games against the Stars… Eric Nystrom played the previous two seasons with Dallas, posting 32 points (23g-9a) in 95 games.
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS vs. DALLAS
• Gabriel Bourque scored his first NHL goal on Jan. 5, 2012 (Kari Lehtonen).
• Rich Clune converted his first career penalty shot on March 12, 2013 (Kari Lehtonen).
• Mike Fisher scored on the first of two career penalty shots on Dec. 5, 2001 (Marty Turco). He also played his 800th career game on March 12, 2013.
• Michael Del Zotto scored his first goal as a Predator on March 28.
• Patric Hornqvist posted a career-high/franchise-record 14 shots on Dec. 28, 2010, and scored his first career goal on Oct. 15, 2008 (Marty Turco).
• Roman Josi recorded a career-high in goals and points (2g-2a-4pts) on Feb. 25, 2013.
• Viktor Stalberg tallied a career-high three assists on March 16, 2013, and attempted his first career penalty shot on Jan. 5, 2011 (no goal).
• Shea Weber appeared in his 500th career NHL game on Feb. 25, 2013, and 600th career game on March 28, 2014.
15TH ANNIVERSARY MOMENT
April 7, 2004: Nashville’s first playoff game
Playing In their first playoff game in franchise history against the daunted Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena, one would assume the underdog Nashville Predators would come out of the gate hesitant and caught in the moment. That was the farthest from the case as Adam Hall gave the Preds a 1-0 lead just 16 seconds into the game – the quickest Detroit has been scored on in its playoff history.
"I was worried how we would start the game," Hall said. "I was afraid we would be in awe of the Detroit Red Wings and the atmosphere."
Hall’s goal made the 20,066 in attendance eerily quiet until Detroit’s Kris Draper scored the first of three third-period goals to lift the home team to a 3-1 win to take a 1-0 advantage in the series.
Goaltender Tomas Vokoun kept the Preds in the game with an unreal performance, stopping all 18 shots he faced through 40 minutes and a total of 26 for the game.
“That is what you ask your goaltenders to do every night – give you an opportunity to steal a game,” Head Coach Barry Trotz said.
Though Nashville would fall in the series, four games to two, they provided countless memorable moments in their first appearance in the playoffs, including wins in games three and four at Bridgestone Arena. The six-game series earned the Predators respect around the league, and showed that they would be a team to be reckoned with in the years to come.
|M. Del Zotto||66||3||13||16||-9||18||1||0|
|M. Van Guilder||1||0||0||0||+0||0||0||0|