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Posted On Thursday, 10.09.2014 / 2:52 PM

By John Manasso -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Senators at Predators

NASHVILLE -- Ottawa Senators center David Legwand said he was unsure whether he would receive a Ryan Suter-type reception or a different kind Thursday when the former longtime member of the Nashville Predators plays his first game in a visiting uniform at Bridgestone Arena.

Suter, of course, was the Predators' first-round pick (No. 7) in the 2003 NHL Draft and an All-Star defenseman who left Nashville via free agency for the Minnesota Wild in 2011, and has been booed mercilessly every time he returns.

Legwand's circumstances are different. A pending unrestricted free agent last season, Legwand, a native of the Detroit suburbs, was traded by the Predators at the NHL Trade Deadline to the Detroit Red Wings for a package that included center Calle Jarnkrok, who now counts highly in the Predators' current and future plans.

"We'll see what happens," Legwand said, "but it's always fun to come back."

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Posted On Saturday, 04.12.2014 / 7:13 PM

By John Manasso -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blackhawks rest four regulars in season finale

NASHVILLE -- Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville will rest four regulars in the regular-season finale against the Nashville Predators on Saturday night: defensemen Duncan Keith and Niklas Hjalmarsson and centers Michal Handzus and Marcus Kruger.

With goalie Corey Crawford starting the night before (and getting replaced to start the third period), Antti Raanta was slated to start on Saturday.


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Posted On Saturday, 04.12.2014 / 1:30 PM

By John Manasso -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Predators' Jones will play for U.S. at worlds

NASHVILLE Nashville Predators rookie defenseman Seth Jones missed earning a spot on the U.S. team for the 2014 Sochi Olympics but he has accepted a spot to play for his country at the IIHF 2014 World Championship in Belarus.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.10.2014 / 1:45 PM

By John Manasso -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Coyotes' Erat reaches milestone against former team

NASHVILLE – It is a fitting coincidence that Phoenix Coyotes right wing Martin Erat will play his 800th NHL game Thursday.

It will also be Erat's first game back in Nashville against the organization with which he suited up for his first 723 games.

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Posted On Sunday, 03.30.2014 / 2:44 PM

By John Manasso -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Grabovski set to return to Capitals lineup

NASHVILLE -- Washington Capitals forward Mikhail Grabovski will return to the lineup for the second time in more than two months Sunday when the Capitals play the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena.

Grabovski, who has 12 goals and 21 assists in 50 games this season, has dressed once since Jan. 24 because of a lingering left ankle injury. He had 2:20 of time on ice on Feb. 27 against the Florida Panthers, but reinjured himself and has not played since.

The Capitals entered Sunday two points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings, who are seventh and eighth, respectively, for the second Eastern Conference wild-card spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They are 4-1-2 in their past seven games, but winless in their past two (0-1-1).

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Posted On Thursday, 03.27.2014 / 2:12 PM

By John Manasso -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Predators shift struggling Spaling back to left wing

NASHVILLE -- One game after Nashville Predators versatile two-way forward Nick Spaling uncharacteristically went minus-3 playing the right wing, coach Barry Trotz changed up his lines Thursday ahead of his team's game against the Buffalo Sabres.

Spaling can play all three forward positions but is a left-handed shot. He had been playing right wing on the third line, centered by Colin Wilson with Eric Nystrom on the left. In a 5-4 shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, the line was a combined minus-7. Spaling's minus-2 rating ranks fourth-best on the Predators among players who have played at least 15 games.

Trotz dropped Nystrom to the fourth line, which is centered by rookie Colton Sissons and features Rich Clune on the right, and elevated right wing Viktor Stalberg to Wilson's line so Spaling could move back to the left side.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.25.2014 / 2:10 PM

By John Manasso -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Predators' Jones to miss first game of season

NASHVILLE -- Rookie defenseman Seth Jones, who was the only member of the Nashville Predators to play in every game this season, will miss his first game, due to concussion-like symptoms, Tuesday when the Predators host the Colorado Avalanche at Bridgestone Arena.

Jones sustained the injury Sunday in a 2-0 win against the Chicago Blackhawks when he was on the receiving end of a hard body check along the boards. He logged a season-low 5:48 of ice time and did not return. In his place will be Michael Del Zotto. Del Zotto was a healthy scratch for two of the past three games and played 3:13 in the one he did play when Nashville dressed seven defensemen.

Nashville also has a game Thursday against the Buffalo Sabres but it is unlikely Jones will play in that game either.

Coach Barry Trotz said the Predators would be careful with Jones, the fourth pick of the 2013 NHL Draft.

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Posted On Saturday, 03.15.2014 / 1:53 PM

By John Manasso -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Goaltender Rinne hoping to start back-to-back games

NASHVILLE -- Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne has not played in back-to-back games since sitting out more than four months with a hip infection. But he said he felt good enough Saturday to play against the St. Louis Blues at Bridgestone Arena.

Nashville did not conduct a morning skate after getting in late following a 3-2 road win Friday against the Chicago Blackhawks. Predators coach Barry Trotz said after a team meeting that he had decided which goalie would start but did not want to make the decision public. Trotz said he had not spoken to Rinne at that point.

Rinne, asked if he felt healthy enough to play in consecutive nights, replied, "Absolutely."

"No issues," he said. "I think now I've had enough time to get back in kind of the game shape and all that, so I feel really good."

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Posted On Saturday, 03.08.2014 / 2:19 PM

By John Manasso -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blue Jackets shuffle lines against Predators

NASHVILLE -- Coming off a disappointing 6-1 loss Thursday to the Chicago Blackhawks that snapped a three-game winning streak, the Columbus Blue Jackets are looking to shuffle their forwards when they visit the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

The Blue Jackets also might have a new face on defense, as well, owing to a slew of injuries to their blue line.

Columbus coach Todd Richards said forward Blake Comeau, who has played in one of the past 20 games because of a knee injury, would return, as would Corey Tropp.

"Adding Tropp in the lineup, Comeau in the lineup, some physical players … getting some guys in the lineup, some straight-line players that can hopefully provide a physical edge for us but also just a spark in getting in on the forecheck," Richards said.

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Posted On Thursday, 03.06.2014 / 1:20 PM

By John Manasso -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Predators' Wilson gets new role after Legwand trade

NASHVILLE – For the first time in more than 15 years, the Nashville Predators woke up without center David Legwand as a member of the organization.

That means if the Predators hope to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, they will have to do so with new players in key roles.

Principally, that means Colin Wilson.

The 24-year-old forward was the No. 7 pick in the 2008 NHL Draft and has played a variety of roles, but has never truly had the opportunity to center the Predators' top line.

Now he does. At the Predators' morning skate, Wilson worked between right wing Craig Smith, who leads Nashville in goals with 18, and Gabriel Bourque. He also took Legwand's spot on the top power-play unit on the right half wall.

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Quote of the Day

[He's] real confident with the puck now, getting it off his stick quick and no second-guessing. We need that. He's such a good guy in the room. He works so hard. That's the big thing. For not a big man, he just fights for every puck and when he scores, the guys appreciate that even more.

— Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice on Mathieu Perreault, who scored two goals in win against Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday