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Bruins host Predators in battle of struggling teams @NHLdotcom

PREDATORS (2-4-1) at BRUINS (3-4-0)

Season Series -- This is the only meeting of the season between the Bruins and Predators. Nashville won the lone meeting between the clubs last season, 3-2 in a shootout at SommetCenter. This is only the seventh visit by the Predators to Boston since they entered the NHL in 1998-99

Big Story -- Neither squad is off to a particularly sizzling start, but perhaps most surprising is the Bruins' 3-4-0 showing through seven games. They didn't lose for the fourth time in regulation last season until Nov. 26. Boston has been on a lose-one, win-one streak, but it might be time for a win considering the Bruins lost 4-1 in Phoenix on Saturday. Nashville took a point in Washington on Saturday, losing 3-2 in a shootout but is still struggling to find some offense and has dropped its last five.

Team Scope:

Predators -- They scored two goals in Washington -- only the third time this season and the first since Oct. 8 that they had at least that many in a game. The good is that Shea Weber and J.P. Dumont scored the goals, the first of the season for both players. Dan Ellis also played a strong game in goal, stopping 33 of 35 shots. The bad is that Jason Arnott was injured in the game and has been placed on IR. It's an upper body injury that should keep the captain out for a week or two.

"It's tough. It's part of the game, though," Arnott told The Tennessean. "I'm glad it's not overly serious and it's not going to be a real long injury. Hopefully I'll be back soon, playing with the guys and helping them out."

Bruins -- The B's shook things up Sunday by shipping Chuck Kobasew to Minnesota for minor-leaguer Craig Weller, collegiate prospect Alexander Fallstrom and a draft pick. On Monday, they added forward Daniel Paille in a trade from Buffalo. The Kobasew deal frees up some cap space they might need now that powerful wing Milan Lucic is on long-term IR with a broken right index finger. He had surgery Monday and is out 4-6 weeks. That could be a crushing blow. Brad Marchand and Vladimir Sobotka have been recalled from Providence. The good news is defenseman Dennis Wideman (left shoulder injury) has been skating and could return tonight. He hasn't played since Oct. 10.

"I work with the players at my disposal and we've got a couple of new faces here in our lineup that will hopefully give us a boost and some energy," Boston coach Claude Julien said according to Bish's Blog on the Bruins' team Web site.

Who's Hot -- Ellis is coming off his best outing of the season, and since Pekka Rinne hasn't been solid as of yet he could win the starting job with more consistent play. Weber has a goal and an assist in the last two games and he played a season-high 29:14 in Saturday's loss at Washington. Boston defenseman Mark Stuart has been a surprising contributor. He has a goal and an assist in the last two games and owns a team-best plus-6 rating.

Injury Report -- The Predators list Arnott and Jordin Tootoo (quad injury) on IR. Defenseman Dan Hamhuis (upper body) missed the Capitals' game and is questionable for this one. Lucic and Wideman headline the injured Bruins.

Stat Pack -- Nashville forward David Legwand, pointless so far this season, had both regulation goals and the shootout winner in the Predators' 3-2 win over the Bruins last season. … Faceoffs have haunted the Bruins so far this season. They are at 47.8 percent, which was 23rd in the League. By comparison, the Predators were fifth in the League at 53 percent. … The Bruins are just 15.6 percent on the power play and are compounding that with just a 69.7 percent success rate on the PK. … The Predators are worse are special teams. They are a League-worst 4.2 percent on the power play and 66.7 percent on the PK.

Puck Drop -- "Once we scored, it was like a sigh of relief for us,'' Predators coach Barry Trotz told The Tennessean after Saturday's game. "We haven't scored much lately.''

-- Dan Rosen,

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