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Game Day: Ducks vs. Preds

by Thomas Willis & Brooks Bratten / Nashville Predators

(6-8-4) Anaheim Ducks vs. Nashville Predators (10-3-3)
  7 P.M. | Bridgestone Arena | #ANAvsNSH
TV: FS-TN | Radio: 102.5 The Game | Pregame: 6:30 P.M.
Tickets | Nissan Tuesday


The Nashville Predators close out their season-long, five-game home stand tonight at Bridgestone Arena as they host the Anaheim Ducks in what will be the third and final meeting between the two clubs in 2015-16.

It's been a productive stretch for the Preds, who have earned at least one point in each of their last three games, including a 7-5 victory over Ottawa last Tuesday and a 7-0 win versus Winnipeg on Saturday. Nashville is the only team in the NHL this season to post multiple seven-goal performances.

Anaheim skated last night in Carolina, defeating the Hurricanes 4-1. The Ducks carry a 6-8-4 record into tonight's contest, including a 1-1 mark against the Preds this season. Nashville defeated the Ducks 5-1 on Oct. 22 before the Ducks posted a 4-2 victory on Nov. 1 over the Preds.

Nashville has played in nine one-goal games, earning points in eight of those contests (5-1-3 record). The Preds have a 7-0-2 record when holding the opponent to two goals or less, and are 7-1-1 when scoring three goals or more.

The Preds blue line has been just as good on offense as on defense this season, leading the League in goals scored by a defensive corps with 16. Nashville's blueliners have also registered 39 points, tied for tops in the NHL. Roman Josi leads Nashville on the backend with 12 points (4g-8a) while Seth Jones scored his first goal of the season and recorded the first three-point contest of his career (1g-2a) on Saturday.

Forward James Neal leads the Preds with eight goals and 14 points, followed by Josi, and Filip Forsberg (2g-9a). Both Neal and Forsberg are on three-game point streaks. Jones and Mike Ribeiro (2g-8a) each have 10 points on the season. Shea Weber has potted five goals from the backend while Craig Smith and Calle Jarnkrok have four goals apiece.

Goaltender Pekka Rinne earned his 38th career shutout with his 20-save performance on Saturday against Winnipeg. His 38 shutouts (all since 2008-09) are tied for the second-most in the NHL with Jonathan Quick over that span, and are one behind Henrik Lundqvist. Rinne is 9-2-3 on the season with a 2.11 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.

Corey Perry leads Anaheim's offensive charge with five goals and 11 points on the season. Rickard Rakell has two goals and seven points while Sami Vatanen has four goals. Frederik Andersen has gone 3-5-4 for the Ducks while posting a 2.33 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage.

Colin Wilson leads the Preds in scoring against the Ducks this season, posting four points (1g-3a) in two games. Ryan Ellis and Mike Ribeiro each have three points (each 1g-2a), while Rinne and Carter Hutton have each split starts. All-time, the Preds are 24-28-10 against the Ducks.


Predators Game Day Video:

Preds Players: Mike Fisher, Mattias Ekholm and Austin Watson


What to Watch for: Preds Web Team Breakdown


Coach Presser: Head Coach Peter Laviolette


Projected Lineups:

Nashville Predators:

Eric Nystrom (IR; upper-body) and Paul Gaustad (day-to-day; lower-body) participated in Tuesday's morning skate but not line rushes.


Forwards
Colin Wilson Mike Fisher James Neal
Filip Forsberg Mike Ribeiro Craig Smith
Miikka Salomaki Calle Jarnkrok Cody Hodgson
Gabriel Bourque Colton Sissons Austin Watson
Defense
Roman Josi Shea Weber
Barret Jackman Seth Jones
Mattias Ekholm Ryan Ellis

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

Extra: (D) Victor Bartley, (D) Anthony Bitetto, (F) Paul Gaustad, (F) Eric Nystrom (IR)


Anaheim Ducks:

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

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Goaltenders: Frederik Andersen is the expected starter in net with Anton Khudobin serving as the backup.

Injured:
(D) Simon Despres (IR), (F) Nate Thompson (IR), (F) Jiri Sekac (IR), (F) Michael Sgarbossa, (D) Josh Manson

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