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At the Rink blog

Predators continue road trip against Devils

Sunday, 11.10.2013 / 1:48 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Predators continue road trip against Devils

The Nashville Predators will make their fifth stop of a seven-game road trip against the New Jersey Devils on Sunday at Prudential Center (7 p.m. ET).

Coach Barry Trotz will be without starting goaltender Pekka Rinne, who remains out at least one more month with a spontaneous bacterial infection in his left hip. The two-time Vezina Trophy finalist had undergone arthroscopic surgery on that hip on May 9, which required approximately four months of recovery before the season. He is on injured reserve.

Rinne is 4-4-1 with a 2.31 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in nine games this season. He's sixth in the NHL with 152 wins since 2008-09.

Backup goalie Carter Hutton (4-2-1, 3.32 GAA, .898 save percentage) will be making his seventh straight start. The 27-year-old Hutton was pulled in the first period of a 5-0 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Friday and has allowed three or more goals the past five games.

"I've won some games and statistically it's not where I want to be, but getting wins right now is the biggest thing," Hutton told NHL.com. "You just have to keep battling. It's a tough situation going in and filling in for a guy like Pekka, but at the same time it's a challenge and something we're excited about it."

Hutton is excited to face Devils goalie Martin Brodeur for the first time in his career.

"I grew up emulating him all the time," Hutton said. "I'm really looking forward for the chance to play against him."

Rookie goalie Marek Mazanec (2.31 GAA, .917 save percentage) will serve as Hutton's backup.

Over the past five matches, the Predators (8-6-2) have allowed 4.4 goals-per game and the team is 2-2-1 over that stretch. Trotz, who moved rookie defenseman Seth Jones to the third defensive pair midway through the third in the loss to the Jets, acknowledged the 19-year-old will be reunited with partner Shea Weber to begin the game against the Devils.

Jones has two goals, seven points and a minus-3 rating in 16 games for the Predators this season.

Here are the projected lineups for Nashville:

Eric Nystrom - David Legwand - Patric Hornqvist

Gabriel Bourque - Colin Wilson - Viktor Stalberg

Taylor Beck - Matt Cullen - Craig Smith

Richard Clune - Paul Gaustad - Nick Spaling

Seth Jones - Shea Weber

Roman Josi - Kevin Klein

Mattias Ekholm - Ryan Ellis

Carter Hutton

Marek Mazanec

Scratched: Victor Bartley

Injured: Mike Fisher (lower body), Matt Hendricks (upper body), Pekka Rinne (hip)

Quote of the Day

What we expected is what we got. Very mature young individual that's focused. He is on the right track. He's not only a great hockey individual, but he's a good person off the ice. He seemed to take a leadership role with this group right off the hop and ran away with it, and was vocal, was respectful, was everything it takes to be a Panther. His future looks bright.

— Florida Panthers director of player development Brian Skrudland on defenseman Aaron Ekblad's performance at development camp