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Post-Game Analysis: Preds at Atlanta Thrashers (Preseason Game)

by Jay Levin / Nashville Predators
Heading into the start of training camp the Preds coaches and hockey ops staff stated the first three preseason games would be more about giving players a look, while the last three games would be more about getting the team rolling for the regular season. So far the Preds are two-for-two picking up wins over the final three games heading into the preseason finale on Sunday at Washington.

Forward Combinations Tonight
Lombardi centering Erat, Wilson
Legwand centering Dumont, Ward
O'Reilly centering Hornqvist, Sullivan
Goc centering Andersson, Kostitsyn

Defensive Pairings Tonight
Suter - Weber
Johnson - Klein
Franson - Sulzer
The Preds power-play converted for a pair of goals. Nashville has now scored three power-play goals in its last four periods of action. Special teams was a big area of emphasis this summer and will continue to be a focal point for Barry Trotz and his staff during camp; good to get some positive results out of that attention.

Individually there were some interesting developments from tonight’s game.

The line of Matthew Lombardi centering Martin Erat and Colin Wilson is really starting to click. They were solid in Monday night’s game and followed that up with another good showing tonight. Erat scored a pair of goals tonight, Wilson picked up an assist on the game’s opening goal, and Lombardi was on the ice for Nashville’s first three goals scored. At this point in the preseason development they are probably Nashville’s top offensive line.

Aaron Johnson is having a strong preseason. He was pretty good in tonight’s game, the continuation of strong play throughout his preseason – he was solid on Saturday night against Washington and impressive in Friday night’s game at Carolina. Not only is he making a strong claim for an Opening Night roster spot, but he may well be playing his way into the top-six rotation along the blueline.

Anders Lindback went the distance in net tonight for the Preds. Since Pekka Rinne is likely to go the distance in Sunday’s preseason finale at Washington, the coaches have all the views they’ll get this preseason to make the call on the No. 2 goalie battle. Lindback was pretty good in the first and untested through most of the third, but looked a little shaky during parts of the second period. Still, he got the last chance of the preseason, so not sure if that’s an indicator or where the coaches are leaning?
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