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Game Day: Stars vs. Preds

by Thomas Willis & Brooks Bratten / Nashville Predators

(38-19-7) Dallas Stars vs. Nashville Predators (31-21-11)
  7 P.M. | Bridgestone Arena | #DALvsNSH
TV: FS-TN | Radio: 102.5 The Game | Pregame: 6:30 P.M.
Tickets | Nissan Tuesday


The Nashville Predators continue their three-game home stand tonight as they host the Dallas Stars at Bridgestone Arena. It's the third of five meetings between the two clubs this season; the Preds are 0-1-1 against the Stars thus far.

Nashville has won four games in a row and has points in their last nine outings, going 6-0-3 over that span. The Predators topped the St. Louis Blues 5-0 on Saturday afternoon in a game that saw forward Filip Forsberg record his second natural hat trick in three games. Forsberg was named the NHL's First Star of the Week for his efforts.

Dallas fell 3-2 in overtime to the Detroit Red Wings last night and are 1-3-1 in their last five games. .

In their current streak, the Preds have allowed two goals or fewer on seven occasions during the stretch, shutting out the opposition three times. During the nine-game streak, Nashville is 5-for-24 on the power play (20.8 percent) and has killed off 20-of-22 (90.9 percent). The longest point streak in franchise history is 10 games, which has happened on four previous occasions (most recently from Nov. 27-Dec.17, 2010 (8-0-2 record).

Forsberg became the first player with multiple natural hat tricks in three or fewer games since Vancouver's Petri Skirko (Nov. 18, 1986 vs. Calgary and Nov. 21, 1986 vs. NY Rangers). The hat trick was the 26th in franchise history and the third to occur in a single period for the club. Forsberg joins Steve Sullivan and Rob Valicevic as the only Nashville Predators to ever record a hat trick in a single period.

The Swede led the Preds – and tied for first among all NHLers – with 12 goals during the month of February. His 16 points also leads the team. Forsberg's 12 goals in February was the most in a month in franchise history (Jason Arnott, 10 in February 2009; Martin Erat, 10 in December 2009).

Preds Captain Shea Weber, who has missed the last three games due to a lower-body injury, participated in practice with his teammates on Monday. Weber's status for tonight's game against Dallas is unknown.

Forsberg leads the Preds in goals and points with 26 and 46, respectively. Defenseman Roman Josi is one point behind Forsberg with 45 on the season, followed by former Stars forwards Mike Ribeiro and James Neal, who have 42 and 37 points, respectively. Neal's 21 goals are second on the team, followed by Weber with 15 and Craig Smith with 14. Goaltender Pekka Rinne is 24-18-9 on the season and has three career shutouts against the Stars.

Forsberg and Ryan Ellis each have a point in three of their last four games against the Stars; Ribeiro has an assist in four of his last five against Dallas.

Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin are tied for the Dallas lead in goals with 32; Benn leads the team with 70 points, while Seguin is two behind with 68. Defenseman John Klingberg has 10 goals and 52 points from the blue line on the season and Jason Spezza has 21 goals and 45 points. Goaltender Antti Niemi took the loss last night and is 22-11-6, while Kari Lehtonen is 16-8-1.
 
The Predators are 6-1-2 in their last nine home games versus the Stars. The last time the Stars won in regulation at Bridgestone Arena was April 12, 2013. All-time, Nashville has a 28-34-5 record against Dallas.


Predators Game Day Video:

Preds Players: Filip Forsberg, Miikka Salomaki and Ryan Ellis


What to Watch for: Preds Web Team Breakdown


Coach Presser: Head Coach Peter Laviolette


Projected Lineups:

Nashville Predators:

The Preds held an optional morning skate on Tuesday morning after practicing the day before. The below lineup is based on Monday's practice session.


Forwards
Calle Jarnkrok Ryan Johansen James Neal
Filip Forsberg Mike Ribeiro Craig Smith
Colin Wilson Mike Fisher Viktor Arvidsson
Miikka Salomaki Paul Gaustad Austin Watson
Defense
Roman Josi Shea Weber
Mattias Ekholm Petter Granberg
Anthony Bitetto Ryan Ellis

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Goaltenders: The Predators have not announced a starting goaltender for tonight. Pekka Rinne is the projected starter in net with Carter Hutton serving as the backup.

Extra: (D) Shea Weber (lower-body), (F) Gabriel Bourque (IR; upper-body), (F) Eric Nystrom (IR; lower-body)


Dallas Stars:

Forwards
Jamie Benn Tyler Seguin Patrick Sharp
Mattias Janmark Jason Spezza Valeri Nichushkin
Antoine Roussel Cody Eakin Ales Hemsky
Radek Faksa Vernon Fiddler Colton Sceviour
Defense
Alex Goligoski John Klingberg
Johnny Oduya Jason Demers
Patrik Nemeth Jordie Benn

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Goaltenders: Antti Niemi is the projected starter in net with Kari Lehtonen serving as the backup.

Extra: (D) Kris Russell, (D) Jamie Oleksiak, (F) Travis Moen (IR), (F) Patrick Eaves

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