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Game Day: Ducks vs. Preds

by Thomas Willis & Brooks Bratten / Nashville Predators

(1-3-1) Anaheim Ducks vs. Nashville Predators (5-1-0)
  7 P.M. | Bridgestone Arena | #ANAvsNSH
TV: FS-TN | Radio: 102.5 The Game | Pregame: 6:30 P.M.
Tickets | Subway Student Rush Night


The Nashville Predators continue their three-game home stand tonight as they host the Anaheim Ducks at Bridgestone Arena. It's the first of three meetings between the two clubs this season and only the second time Nashville has faced an opponent from their own conference on the campaign.

The Preds are coming off of a 5-4 shootout victory over Tampa Bay on Tuesday night, a win that pushed their record to 5-1-0. Anaheim, who has been off since Sunday, has just one win through their first five games of the season, scoring a total of five goals.

Preds Forward James Neal is currently riding a three-game point streak, having posted five goals, two assists and 18 shots over that span. This is the first time Neal has posted a point streak of at least three games since Dec. 16-23, 2014 (3a). His longest point streak with the Preds came from Nov. 8-15, 2014, when he had points in four-straight games (2g-3a). Neal has scored five of the last eight Nashville goals.

Neal leads the club with seven points overall, followed by his linemate Filip Forsberg who has six points (2g-4a). Defensemen Roman Josi and Shea Weber follow up with five and four points, respectively, while Craig Smith is second on the team in goals with three.

Preds goaltenders Pekka Rinne and Carter Hutton have combined for a .940 save percentage and a 1.77 goals-against average, ranking near the top of the NHL in that category.

The Predators have scored the game's first goal in all six contests they've played, scoring within the first 10 minutes of the game on three occasions. On the contrary, Nashville has not allowed a first-period goal this season, outscoring the opposition 6-0 and outshooting it 74-53 (plus-19).

Anaheim has struggled to find offensive production, with forward Mike Santorelli and defenseman Hampus Lindholm sharing the team lead with two points apiece. Forwards Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry have each recorded one assist thus far. Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen owns an impressive 1.57 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage but is 0-2-1 on the season.

The Predators have won one of their last nine games against the Ducks (1-5-3 record) and are looking for their first victory at home against them since Dec. 10, 2011.  All-time, the Preds are 24-27-10 against the Ducks.


Predators Game Day Video:

Preds Players: Barret Jackman, Cody Hodgson and Roman Josi


What to Watch for: Preds Web Team Breakdown


Coach Presser: Head Coach Peter Laviolette


Projected Lineups:

Nashville Predators:

Defensemen Ryan Ellis (lower-body) and Barret Jackman (upper-body) along with forward Austin Watson (upper-body) all participated in Thursday's optional morning skate. Jackman and Ellis are expected to rejoin the Predators lineup after missing Tuesday's shootout win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. With Viktor Arvidsson staying after the morning session to get in extra work, it also appears that Watson will make his return to Nashville's lineup.

Preds Captain Shea Weber, d-man Roman Josi and center Mike Fisher were all on the ice on Thursday after being given maintenance days on Wednesday and missing yesterday's practice.

With this morning's skate being optional, no definitive line rushes or d-pairings were shown.

Goaltenders: Pekka Rinne is the expected starter in net with Carter Hutton serving as the backup.

Extra: (D) Victor Bartely, (D) Anthony Bitetto), (F) Viktor Arvidsson


Anaheim Ducks:

Forwards
Carl Hagelin Ryan Getzlaf Corey perry
Andrew Cogliano Ryan Kesler Jakob Silfverberg
Jiri Sekac Rickard Rakell Chris Stewart
Patrick Maroon Shawn Horcoff Mike Santorelli
Defense
Hampus Lindholm Kevin Bieksa
Cam Fowler Josh Manson
Clayton Stoner Sami Vatanen

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Goaltenders: Anton Khudobin is the expected starter in net with Frederik Andersen serving as the backup per Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register.

Injured:
(D) Simon Despres (IR), (F) Nate Thompson (IR)

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