WHO: Nashville Predators (46-20-6) vs. Dallas Stars (42-23-5)
TICKETS: Sold out! Thank you Predators fans.
WHEN: 7:00 p.m. CT
WHERE: Nashville Arena, Nashville, TN
PROMOTION: Baptist Sports Medicine Youth Helmet for the first 4,000 kids 12 and under; Scout Night; Predators Cup high school hockey championship, 1 p.m.; St. Patrick's Day; green beer at all concession stands; Pot O' Gold intermission
TONIGHT THE PREDS WEAR: Gold
TONIGHT'S ANTHEM PERFORMER: Sarah Darling
TONIGHT'S INTERMISSION BAND: Small Time Rock Stars
TELEVISION: FSN South (Comcast cable Ch. 28 in Davidson and Williamson counties, DISH Network Ch. 447, DirecTV Ch. 664), HDNet
RADIO: WNSR 560-AM, WGFX 104.5-FM joins in progress after Vanderbilt basketball; SATELLITE RADIO: XM Radio Ch. 209, SIRIUS Radio Ch. 110
PRED EXTRAS (require Flash Player):
Game Notes: Stats
Game Notes: Predators Info
Game Notes: Stars Info
The Nashville Predators host the Dallas Stars tonight for the first time this season. The two teams played twice in Dallas during the first half of the 2006-07 campaign and will close out the four-game season series two weeks from tonight with another tilt at Nashville Arena.
Tonight's game, which faces off at 7:00 p.m. CT, will be televised on FSN South and broadcast on WNSR 560-AM. Radio station WGFX 104.5-FM will join the game in progress following the conclusion of the Vanderbilt University basketball game.
The Predators will be looking to snap a five-game losing streak vs. the Stars. Mike Modano and Jeff Halpern scored for Dallas and Mike Smith stopped 17 shots as the Stars shut out the Predators 1-0 at American Airlines Center back on November 22. On December 29, Antti Miettinen led Dallas with two goals as the Stars downed Nashville 4-1. Dallas will be back in Music City next Saturday night (March 31) to close out the season series.
"Dallas won both games so far this year in Dallas and they have a good team," Predators center Peter Forsberg said Saturday morning. "They are a hard-working team and it's going to be a good measuring stick here tonight. We'll see how we can do against these guys. They've been playing well lately. I think they've won four in a row so it's going to be a tough game."
Nashville will try to get back on track tonight after back-to-back losses to Detroit on Tuesday and Wednesday night. The Predators, who are 7-2-3 in their last 12 games, enter tonight's game one point behind Detroit in the Central Division. The Red Wings are in Vancouver tonight to take on the Canucks, who have won six of their last eight games.
The Stars come into Nashville with a four-game win streak and a 13-4-3 record over their last 20 games. Dallas entered last night's games tied with San Jose (89 points) in a battle for second place in the Pacific Division. The Stars will be buoyed by the expected return of captain Brenden Morrow to the lineup after he missed 33 games with a wrist injury.
"He's a hard player," Predators head coach Barry Trotz said Saturday morning. "He brings emotion. He's their captain. He's one of their core leadership guys. He'll have a big impact on their team. Maybe not on the ice essentially--he's missed a lot of games. He may come back and be great; he may take two games to get back. But he will have a big impact on their [locker] room and their culture."
Nashville's room should get a lift from the return of Peter Forsberg as well (see related story, "Forsberg to return to lineup tonight"). Trotz, who has dressed seven defenseman in a number of recent games, will decide at gametime whether to use the extra blueliner or go with a full complement of 12 forwards.
"We know that [Dallas is] making a number of changes," Trotz said. "We're trying to get a little bit of a reflection on what they're going to use for lines and we'll make that decision after warm-up."
Paul Kariya has 12 points (6g-6a) in his last 10 games. Kariya posted a team-high six shots on goal on Wednesday at Detroit but had his six-game point streak (3g-5a-8pts from Mar. 3-13) snapped after being kept of the score sheet. The Predators are 19-1-0 this season when he scores... Jason Arnott scored his team-leading 25th goal of the season on Wednesday, hitting the 25-goal mark for the sixth time in his career... Ryan Suter, who is one of three Preds (along with Kariya and J.P. Dumont) to play in all 72 games this season, established a career-high in games played on Wednesday. The second-year blueliner has already posted career-highs in goals and points (7g-15a-21pts) this season and has tied his career-high in assists. Suter had 16 points (1g-15a) in 71 games last season.... Alexander Radulov has a goal in each of his last two games. He ranks among NHL rookie leaders in goals (14), game-winning goals (3), game-deciding shootout goals (2) and plus/minus rating (+15)... J.P. Dumont has seven points (2g-5a) in his last seven games and 14 points (6g-8a) in his last 13 contests.
CAREER YEAR FOR THE CAPTAIN
Kimmo Timonen established a career-high in assists (40) and tied his career-high point total (50) with his helper at Detroit on Wednesday. The Nashville captain, who has at least a point in nine of his last 10 games (1g-10a-11pts), leads club d-men in scoring and ranks among league leaders with 50 points (10g-40a) from the blue line. Timonen recently tied a career-high point/assist streak of seven games (1g-9a-10pts) from Feb. 24-Mar. 8.
HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY
The Predators have played four times on St. Patrick's Day, going 2-2-0 on March 17:
March 17, 2000: 4-3 win in overtime at Phoenix
March 17, 2001: 4-1 win vs. Phoenix
March 17, 2002: 4-5 loss vs. Colorado
March 17, 2003: 3-5 loss vs. Edmonton