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Game Day: Canucks vs. Preds

by Thomas Willis & Brooks Bratten / Nashville Predators

(44-27-5) Vancouver Canucks vs. Nashville Predators (47-22-8)
  7 P.M. | Bridgestone Arena
TV: FS-TN | Radio: 102.5 The Game | Nissan Pregame: 6:30 P.M.
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The Nashville Predators welcome the Vancouver Canucks to town this evening for a 7 p.m. (CT) start at Bridgestone Arena in what will be the Preds final regular season game against a Canadian team on the campaign.

Nashville is looking for the season sweep of the Canucks, going 2-0-0 thus far with a 3-1 win in Vancouver, followed by a 5-1 victory in the Music City back in January.

The Preds fell to the Calgary Flames on Sunday evening by a 5-2 final, seeing their four-game win streak come to an end. Having already clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2012, Nashville has just five games remaining in the regular season.

Vancouver is set to play in their second game in as many nights, having won 4-1 over the St. Louis Blues on Monday.

With his assist on Seth Jones’ goal on Sunday, Mike Ribiero set a franchise record for assists in a season by a Preds’ center (45), surpassing former Pred Jason Arnott (44, 2007-08). With five games remaining in the regular season, Ribeiro is nine assists from matching Paul Kariya for most helpers in franchise history.

The Montreal native, who has six points (2g-4a) in his last four games, leads the Preds in points (15g-45a-60pts) and is the first Nashville player to hit the 60-point mark since the 2008-09 season (J-P Dumont, 65). Ribeiro is just one assist away from reaching 500 for his career.

Jones’ tally on Sunday against Calgary was his 25th point of the season (7g-18a), tying his career points high (25, set in 2013-14). Jones remains one assist shy from tying his career assists high (19, set in 2013-14).

Of Jones’ 13 career NHL goals, six have been scored against Canadian clubs. The only Canadian teams that Jones has not found the back of the net against are the Edmonton Oilers and the Canucks. On the season, the Preds are 5-1-1 when the Dallas native tickles the twine.

In the past eight games, Roman Josi has recorded eight points (4g-4a), including tallying his 15th multi-point game of the season on Sunday against the Flames (1g-1a). With Sunday’s two points, Josi boosted his lead among Nashville defensemen in points, now with 55 (15g-40a) on the season.

Pekka Rinne, who did not play on Sunday against Calgary, tallied his 41st win of the season on Saturday at Washington, a mark that ties him for the top spot in wins among League goaltenders. Rinne is two victories shy of tying the Preds franchise record, and Rinne’s career record, for wins in a season (43, 2011-12, led NHL).

Filip Forsberg, who has 14 multi-point games this season, is second among League rookies and second on the Preds in points this season (23g-36a-59pts). Forsberg leads NHL rookies in shots (222), power-play points (tied, 19) and power-play assists (13), and is second in assists (36).

After missing the postseason in 2013-14, the Canucks are poised to compete for the Stanley Cup once again this season, led offensively by the Sedin Twins. Daniel is ahead of his brother Henrik by two points for the club lead with 68. Radim Vrbata leads the Canucks in goals with 31, while Shawn Matthias has potted 18.

Vancouver goaltender Ryan Miller is currently on injured reserve, giving way to Eddie Lack, who has seen a majority of the action as of late. Lack boasts a 15-11-4 record to go along with a 2.44 goals against average and a .920 save percentage.

With five games remaining in the regular season, Nashville is eight points shy of tying the franchise record for most points in a season, which was set by the 2006-07 squad (110 pts, 51-23-8). The Preds are four games short of the franchise record for most wins (51), a mark that was also set by the 2006-07 team.

All-time, Nashville has posted a 23-31-(2)-5 record against Vancouver, including a 12-13-(1)-5 record in the Music City.

Predators Game Day Video:

Preds Players: Anton Volchenkov, Viktor Stalberg and Mike Santorelli


What to Watch for: Brent and Willy's Breakdown


Coach Presser: Head Coach Peter Laviolette



Morning Skate Update:

The Preds held a morning skate at Bridgestone Arena prior to this evening's contest against the Vancouver Canucks. Forwards Eric Nystrom (lower-body, out four weeks with an injury sustained on March 3), Matt Cullen (lower-body, day-to-day) and James Neal (upper-body, day-to-day) all participated in the skate, but there has been no change in status for those players. Preds Captain Shea Weber (lower-body, day-to-day) did not skate this morning.

Nashville Morning Skate Lines:

Forwards:


Forsberg - Ribeiro - Smith

Wilson - Fisher - Arvidsson (Cullen rotated in)

Stalberg - Jarnkrok - Santorelli (Nystrom rotated in)

Bourque - Gaustad - Beck

Defensemen:

Josi - Jones

Ekholm - Franson

Ellis - Volchenkov

Bartley

Goaltenders:

Pekka Rinne*

Carter Hutton

*Probable Starter


Vancouver Projected Lines:

Forwards:


D. Sedin - H. Sedin - Burrows

Higgins - Bonino - Vrbata

Kenins - Horvat - Hansen

Matthias - Vey - Dorsett

Defensemen:

Edler - Tanev

Sbisa - Bieksa

Hamhuis - Weber

Goaltenders:

Eddie Lack*

Jacob Markstrom

*Projected Starter
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