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Game Day: Canucks vs. Preds

by Thomas Willis & Brooks Bratten / Nashville Predators

(27-33-12) Vancouver Canucks vs. Nashville Predators (37-23-13)
  7 P.M. | Bridgestone Arena | #VANvsNSH
TV: FS-TN | Radio: 102.5 The Game | Pregame: 6:30 P.M.
Tickets | Subway Student Rush | Food Drive


The Nashville Predators continue their four-game home stand this evening when the Vancouver Canucks come to town for their only visit this season to Bridgestone Arena. It's the last of three meetings between the two clubs this season; Nashville is 1-1-0 against the Canucks so far.

The Preds are coming off a 5-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday and have points in eight consecutive home games. Vancouver fell 2-0 to Winnipeg on Tuesday night, are scoreless in their last three games, and winless in their last five. Vancouver's last win came on March 12, a 4-2 triumph over the Predators.

Nashville has scored 28 goals during their current 5-0-3 home stretch (3.50 per game), and allowed 17 (2.13 per game). The team has converted on 7-of-24 power plays (29.1 percent).

Tonight concludes Nashville's slate of games against Canadian teams, having posted a 13-2-4 record against them thus far. The club has averaged 3.05 goals-per game in that span and allowed an average of 2.05 goals. Additionally, the Preds have 12 power-play goals in 58 opportunities (20.7 percent).

Winger Filip Forsberg notched his 30th goal of the season on Monday night, becoming the fifth player in franchise history to post 30 in a single season and the first since 2009-10. He joins Jason Arnott, Steve Sullivan, Paul Kariya and Patric Hornqvist to reach the mark.

Goaltender Pekka Rinne has a 10-1-2 record over his last 13 games, posting a 2.06 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage in that span. Since Feb. 18, his 10 wins are tied for the third most in the League.

The Preds have not allowed a power-play goal in their last eight games (a season high), stopping all 26 opposition man advantage opportunities in that span. This is the third time this season that the club has had a streak of at least five games where they have killed off the opposing team's power play. In fact, the franchise record for most consecutive games without allowing a power-play goal is nine games, which occurred from No. 18-Dec. 4, 2010.

Forsberg's 30 goals and 54 points are tops among his teammates, followed by defenseman Roman Josi who has 53 points, including 41 assists. James Neal's 28 goals and 48 points rank second and third on the club, respectively. Mike Ribeiro has 40 assists and 47 points, while Shea Weber has added 17 goals and 46 points from the back end. Rinne is 30-19-10 overall this season between the pipes and has hit the 30-win mark for the fifth time in his career.

Mike Fisher is on a four-game point streak versus the Canucks (3g-3a); Neal has an assist in six of his last seven games against Vancouver (3g-5a).

The Sedin twins lead the offensive charge for the Canucks; Daniel is tops in goals and points with 26 and 58, while Henrik is second in points with 50. Jannik Hansen has 19 goals and 32 points; Bo Horvat has 31 points on the season. Ryan Miller is 15-22-8 between the pipes for the Canucks.
 
All-time, the Predators are 24-32-8 against the Canucks, including a 12-13-7 record at Bridgestone Arena.

The Predators and Second Harvest Food Bank will be fighting hunger in the community by collecting non-perishable food items and monetary donations from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (CT) today at Bridgestone Arena. The most-needed items include the following: canned chicken and tuna, soups, stews, canned vegetables and fruit, cereal, peanut butter, pasta and rice. In addition to food and monetary donations, food trucks will also be on 5th Avenue from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a percentage of the sales going to Second Harvest Food Bank. All donations will benefit Second Harvest Food Bank, whose mission is to feed hungry people and work to solve hunger issues in our community. To learn more, fans can visit secondharvestmidtn.org.


Predators Game Day Video:

Preds Players: Miikka Salomaki and Eric Nystrom


What to Watch for: Preds Web Team Breakdown


Coach Presser: Head Coach Peter Laviolette


Projected Lineups:

Nashville Predators:

The Predators held an optional morning skate on Thursday with Paul Gaustad (upper-body) and both goaltenders taking part. The below lineup is based on the rushes seen at Wednesday's practice.


Forwards
Calle Jarnkrok Ryan Johansen James Neal
Filip Forsberg Mike Ribeiro Craig Smith
Colin Wilson Mike Fisher Viktor Arvidsson
Miikka Salomaki Colton Sissons Eric Nystrom
Defense
Roman Josi Shea Weber
Barret Jackman Ryan Ellis
Mattias Ekholm Petter Granberg

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Goaltenders: Pekka Rinne is the projected starter in net after leaving the morning skate first. Carter Hutton is expected to serve as the backup.

Extra: (D) Anthony Bitetto (lower-body), (F) Gabriel Bourque (IR; upper-body), (F) Austin Watson, (F) Paul Gaustad (upper-body)


Vancouver Canucks:

NHL.com reports that forward Daniel Sedin left Canucks practice early on Wednesday and is questionable to play tonight. Forward Jannik Hansen (ribs) appears close to returning to the lineup, while winger Derek Dorsett (upper-body) and d-man Yannick Weber (upper-body) may join him in re-entering Vancouver's on-ice roster.


Forwards
Daniel Sedin Henrik Sedin Jannik Hansen
Sven Baertschi Bo Horvat Jake Virtanen
Alexandre Burrows Linden Vey Emerson Etem
Derek Dorsett Jared McCann Chris Higgins
Defense
Ben Hutton Alex Biega
Dan Hamhuis Nikita Tryamkin
Matt Bartkowski Yannick Weber

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Goaltenders: Ryan Miller is the projected starter in net with Jacob Markstrom serving as the backup.

Extra: (F) Brandon Prust, (F) Christopher Tanev, (F) Brandon Sutter, (D) Alexander Edler, (F) Radim Vrbata, (D) Luca Sbisa, (F) Markus Granlund, (D) Andrey Pedan, (F) Alexandre Grenier, (D) Brendan Gaunce

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