WHO: Nashville Predators (50-23-8) vs. Colorado Avalanche (43-30-7)
WHEN: 8:00 p.m. CT
WHERE: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colo.
TONIGHT THE PREDS WEAR: White
TELEVISION: FSN South (Comcast cable Ch. 28 in Davidson and Williamson counties, DISH Network Ch. 452, DirecTV Ch. 664), FSN South HD (Comcast cable Ch. 206)
RADIO: WGFX 104.5-FM; SATELLITE RADIO: XM Radio Ch. 205
PRED EXTRAS (require Flash Player):
Game Notes: Stats
Game Notes: Predators Info
Game Notes: Avalanche Info
Game Notes: Game by Game
The Nashville Predators close out the regular season in Colorado tonight, in an 8:00 p.m. CT game against the Avalanche that could determine whether or not the Predators carry home ice advantage into the first-round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Predators need at least a tie against Colorado or a San Jose loss this afternoon to Vancouver to insure that Round 1 will begin at Nashville Arena next week. The Avalanche, meanwhile, are playing desperate hockey and still have a chance to clinch the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Tonight's game will be televised on FSN South and FSN South HD and broadcast on WGFX 104.5-FM.
Colorado (43-30-7) is 8-1-1 over its last 10 games and has two regular-season tilts remaining including tonight's contest. Goaltender Peter Budaj, who has leapfrogged Jose Theodore this season to become the Avs' No. 1 netminder, is 13-0-2 with one no decision in his last 16 starts, posting a 2.20 goals-against average and .909 save percentage over that span. Rookie forward Paul Stastny has been hot lately too, racking up 7 points (2g-5a) on an active four-game point streak. Future Hall of Famer Joe Sakic leads Colorado in scoring, posting 95 points (35g-60a) in 80 games this season. He has five assists in three games against Nashville this season.
Nashville (50-23-8) will be looking for a strong finish to a season that saw the Preds establish new franchise records for wins and points. The Predators lost three home games in a row before downing the St. Louis Blues in a convincing 4-1 decision on Thursday. Left wing Paul Kariya continues to lead the balanced Nashville club in scoring, with 75 points (23g-52a) in 81 games. Tonight, Kariya, J.P. Dumont and Ryan Suter will become the only three Predators to have appeared in all 82 games this season.
Nashville went 1-2-0 against Colorado in the first three meetings of the four-game season series. The Predators took a 1-0 decision on Nov. 11 in Nashville before dropping two January games against the Avs.
Dan Hamhuis is on a three-game point streak (1g-2a-3pts)... David Legwand scored two goals in Nashville's 4-1 vs. St. Louis on Thursday. His first goal set a franchise record for the fastest goal from the start of a game (11 seconds). Legwand has three points (2g-1a) in his last three games, ranks second on the club in goals (26) and leads the team in game-winning goals (7)... Ryan Suter established a career high in assists with his 16th of the season in Nashville's win on Thursday. Suter has now established career-highs in games played (81), goals, assists and points (8g-16a-24pts) this season... Paul Kariya posted his 500th career NHL assist on Thursday... Scott Nichol skated in his 300th career NHL game on Thursday.