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Game Day: Preds vs. Canucks

by Thomas Willis & Brooks Bratten / Nashville Predators

(22-18-8) Nashville Predators vs. Vancouver Canucks (20-18-11)
  9 P.M. CT | Rogers Arena | #NSHvsVAN
TV: FS-TN | Radio: 102.5 The Game


The Nashville Predators continue their Western Canadian road swing tonight, as they meet the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena. It's the third of four games on the excursion for the Preds, having already defeated Winnipeg and Edmonton by identical 4-1 scores on the trip.

Nashville's victory over the Oilers on Saturday night was the club's fifth-straight victory against Edmonton. Mattias Ekholm scored twice, while Mike Fisher and Filip Forsberg also tallied in the win. Forsberg's goal, into the empty net, was his 100th career point. Pekka Rinne stopped 23 of 24 shots for his second win in as many games.

Vancouver is coming off a 5-4 loss at Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon and are 5-3-2 in their last 10 outings.

Since Dec. 1, the Predators have boasted the third-highest power-play percentage in the League at 23.7 percent. Over the last six games, the Preds are 5-for-17 on the power play and have killed of 19-of-20 opposition power plays. On the season, Nashville ranks eighth with the man advantage at 20.6 percent.
 
Vancouver native Ryan Johansen, who was acquired via trade from Columbus on Jan. 6, has had a highly-successful start to his career with the Preds, posting nine points (3g-6a) in his first eight games with the club. He notched his 200th career point (an assist) on Jan. 16 versus Minnesota.

The Preds also boast the League's highest-scoring defensive corps, with 119 points (36g-83a) having come from the blue line. Roman Josi leads Nashville with 34 points (10g-24a), while Shea Weber leads the d-corps with 11 goals. Preds defensemen are first in the NHL in goals with 34.

Second to Josi in team scoring is Forsberg, with 14 goals and 31 points on the season. Weber is third with 30 points, while Mike Ribeiro and James Neal are tied for fourth on the squad with 29 points. Neal's 17 goals lead the Preds in the category; Ribeiro's 24 assists are tied with Josi for first on the team. Rinne is 18-15-7 on the season between the pipes; Carter Hutton is 4-2-1. Fisher is on a two-game point streak versus the Canucks (2g-2a); Neal is on a five-game point streak against Vancouver (2g-5a).

Daniel Sedin leads the Canucks in scoring with 21 goals and 43 points on the campaign, followed by his twin brother Henrik with 37 points - however, Henrik is currently listed on Injured Reserve. Jannik Hansen has 15 goals and 26 points; Radim Vrbata has tallied 11 times. Ryan Miller is 11-13-7 this season; Jacob Markstrom is 8-5-4.

Tonight is the first time the two clubs have faced each other this season; Nashville posted a 2-0-1 record against the Canucks in 2014-15. Rinne played in all three contests last season, posting a 2-0-1 record with a .918 save percentage, and  a 2.15 goals against average. All-time, Nashville has a 23-31-8 record against the Canucks, including an 11-18-1 mark at Rogers Arena.


Predators Game Day Video:

What to Watch for: Pete and Chris Breakdown


Projected Lineups:

Nashville Predators:

Forwards
Miikka Salomaki Ryan Johansen James Neal
Filip Forsberg Mike Fisher Craig Smith
Mike Ribeiro Calle Jarnkrok Austin Watson
Eric Nystrom Paul Gaustad Cody Bass
Defense
Roman Josi Shea Weber
Barret Jackman Ryan Ellis
Mattias Ekholm Petter Granberg

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

Extra: (D) Anthony Bitetto, (F) Gabriel Bourque (IR; upper-body), (F) Kevin Fiala, (F) Colin Wilson (IR; lower-body)


Vancouver Canucks:

Forwards
Daniel Sedin Brandon Sutter Jannik Hansen
Sven Baertschi Bo Horvat Radim Vrbata
Alexandre Burrows Linden Vey Emerson Etem
Derek Dorsett Michael Zalewski Jake Virtanen
Defense
Alexander Edler Christopher Tanev
Ben Hutton Luca Sbisa
Matt Bartkowski Alex Biega

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

Extra: (D) Dan Hamhuis, (F) Henrik Sedin, (D) Yannick Weber, (F) Brandon Prust, (F) Adam Cracknell

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