New-look Preds head to Carolina
Tuesday, 02.28.2012 / 1:42 AM
Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing EditorPREDATORS (37-19-7) at HURRICANES (23-26-13)
: FS-TN, FS-CR (HD)
: Nashville 5-2-3; Carolina 5-1-4.
: This is the second and final meeting between the teams this season. Nashville earned a 5-2 victory against Carolina on Jan. 7 at Bridgestone Arena.
: The Predators are all in.
Nashville general manager David Poile acquired two more pieces prior to Monday's trade deadline, landing Andrei Kostitsyn
from Montreal and Paul Gaustad
from Buffalo. Both will likely be in the lineup at the RBC Center on Tuesday night.
"Size is a little bit of an issue for us," Poile said. "I think with (Hal) Gill and with Gaustad and even (Andrei) Kostitsyn, he's a big thick body and a hard player, we addressed that area so you learn from experiences. You look at your strengths, you look at your weaknesses. I think we've plugged in some of the things we were probably missing when we went up against Vancouver (last year) and I'd like to get the opportunity this year."
: Doing its best to remain in the Central Division race, the Preds picked up two more valuable points in the standings Monday night with a 2-1 victory against the Los Angeles Kings at Bridgestone Arena. Roman Josi
and Patric Hornqvist
scored for Nashville, while Pekka Rinne
made 30 saves to earn his League-best 35th win of the season.
"We're happy to get the win, but we were kind of sloppy a couple of times," Josi said. "Third (period), we made it way closer than it should be."
: Carolina extended its point streak to three straight games (1-0-2) with Saturday night's 3-2 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers at the RBC Center. With points in nine of their last 10 games, the Hurricanes are within single digits of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, just 9 points behind eighth-place Winnipeg with three games in hand.
"When you're scratching and clawing … it’s frustrating to lose a point," Carolina center Eric Staal
said after the loss to Florida.
: Since the first of the year, Preds forward Sergei Kostitsyn
has notched 20 points (10 goals, 11 assists) in 24 games. … Staal has an eight-game point streak for the 'Canes, notching 6 goals and 7 assists over that span.
: Preds winger Brian McGrattan
is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. … Carolina goalie Cam Ward
is questionable with a lower-body injury, while right wing Chad LaRose
(upper body) is day-to-day. Right wing Tuomo Ruutu
(upper body), defenseman Joni Pitkanen
(concussion) and goalie Brian Boucher
(lower body) are out.
: Nashville has posted a 19-5-3 record in its last 27 games, outscoring the opposition 82-57. … Carolina is 9-0-6 in its last 15 games in which it scored first.
: "Honestly, I can easily look at the balanced scorers that (the Predators) have right now. Playing against them is very hard. They play hard. They play the system hard. You look from the goaltender to the defensemen, the forwards, it's a balanced attack. I'm excited to join that group. Wherever they want to fit me and whatever role they need me at, I'll try my best to execute it." -- Paul Gaustad on joining the Predators