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Predators try to start new streak vs. Panthers

by John Kreiser /

PANTHERS (10-10-4) at PREDATORS (14-9-1)

Last 10 - Florida 5-2-3; Nashville 8-2-0

Season series - The teams are meeting for the first time this season; Nashville comes to the BankAtlanticCenter on March 29. They played twice in 2008-09, with each team winning its home game.

Big story - Both teams saw streaks end on Friday night. The Panthers had gotten at least one point in their previous eight games before blowing an early 2-0 lead in a 6-4 home loss to Toronto. Nashville had won seven in a row before the St. Louis Blues came to town and left with a 3-1 victory behind the play of former Predator Chris Mason, who made 37 saves.

Ironically, Nashville may well be facing Mason's predecessor, Tomas Vokoun, who played Friday night.

Team Scope:

Panthers - When your team doesn't score much to begin with and you get four goals, you expect to win the game, right? Florida coach Peter DeBoer sure does, which is why he was so upset after his team blew leads of 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3 in the loss to the Leafs.

"For us, four goals has to be enough to win," DeBoer said. "We didn't do enough tonight, keeping the puck out of our own end, as a group, to deserve a win."

Leaving town might not be the worst thing for the Panthers, who are 7-4-1 on the road but just 3-6-3 at home.

Predators - Nashville's power play, or lack thereof, was a big reason for the demise of its winning streak. The Predators were 0-for-5 against St. Louis after going 9-for-21 with the extra man in its previous five games.

"Now we are on a one-game losing streak," coach Barry Trotz said. "The most important game of the season is Saturday night, plain and simple.

"We've got to start another winning streak. You don't want to go backwards at all. We will show our maturity in the way we respond these next couple of nights."

Who's hot - Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne took the loss on Friday, but he's won seven of his last eight decisions and is 11-2 in his last 13.

Injury report - Florida is still without center Gregory Campbell (upper-body injury). The Predators are healthy.

Stat pack - Vokoun was an original Predator and still holds the franchise record with 161 victories, He has split two decisions with his former team since going to Florida. … Dave Scatchard's goal for Nashville was his first in the NHL since 2006. … Nashville is 10-1-0 when scoring the game's first goal.

Puck drop - Don't expect a lot of goals. Neither of these teams scores a lot, and both are more than content to play a tight-checking game and wait for a mistake.

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