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The Week Ah-Pred: Dec. 2

by Jimi Russell / Nashville Predators

Last week was a busy one in Smashville as the Preds played four games in a six-day span, going 2-1-1.

Nashville began the week with a 4-2 defeat of the Phoenix Coyotes as the Preds celebrated Military Appreciation Night. Nick Spaling, Mike Fisher, Gabriel Bourque and Shea Weber all scored for the Preds.

The Preds traveled to Ohio on Wednesday to take on their old division rivals, the Columbus Blue Jackets. Fisher and Spaling scored again for Nashville, while Matt Cullen and David Legwand joined the party in a 4-0 shutout win. The shutout was Marek Mazanec’s second in five starts.

It was back-to-back games for the Preds as they returned to Bridgestone Arena to take on the Edmonton Oilers in a Turkey Day tilt. The Oilers and the newly-acquired Ilya Bryzgalov got the best of the Preds, shutting them out 3-0. It was Nashville first loss in a Thanksgiving Day game (3-1-0). The game’s biggest hit came as the Preds lost both Shea Weber and Kevin Klein to injuries.

The Preds rounded out the week with a 3-2 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. It was the first meeting between the two teams since a business transaction went bad for the Flyers in July 2012. Without Weber and Klein in the lineup, Nashville’s blue line was extreme young, but they proved to be up to the task, limiting Philly to just 24 shots on goal. Mike Fisher and Colin Wilson both scored for Nashville, but it was Vinny Lecavalier’s shootout goal that proved to be the difference maker.

Vancouver Canucks vs. Nashville Predators – Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m.

The Nashville Predators and Vancouver Canucks meet on Tuesday night for the only time at Bridgestone Arena in 2013-14; the Preds will travel to Vancouver on Jan. 3 and March 19, 2014. Vancouver won all three meetings in the shortened 2012-13 season. Nashville has posted an 11-12-6 all-time record against the Canucks on home ice.

In the last meeting on April 15, Vancouver jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first 20 minutes, before the Preds responded with two goals in the first 11:40 of the second period. The Canucks would go on to score three unanswered goals to defeat the Preds 5-2 at Bridgestone Arena.

Mike Fisher has had the hot hand of late against the Canucks, after posting seven points (5g-2a) in his last five games against Vancouver. In 21 career games against Vancouver, Fisher has 11 goals and 15 points.

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Nashville Predators – Thursday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m.

The Nashville Predators and the Carolina gusts of wind, I mean Hurricanes, face off on Thursday night in the first of two meetings this season. Nashville will travel to PNC Arena one month from Thursday on Jan. 5, 2014.

Nashville has posted wins in six of its last seven games against the Canes, and has points in eight of nine dating back to Dec. 3, 2003 (6-1-(0)-2 record). Nashville is 7-1-0 on Bridgestone Arena ice, and 11-4-(1)-1 in 14 all-time matchups against Carolina.

In their last meeting on Feb. 28, 2012, the Hurricanes escaped with a 4-3 win at PNC Arena. Gabriel Bourque, Craig Smith and Colin Wilson all scored for Nashville.

Nashville Predators at Washington Capitals – Saturday, Dec. 7 at 6 p.m.
(FOX Sports Tennessee and 102.5 The Game)

The Preds and Caps square off in the Nation’s Capital for the first time since Dec. 20, 2011, when the Capitals scored two goals in the first and a pair in the third to bookend the lone Nashville goal. The Preds are an even 6-6-(1)-4 in 17 all-time meetings with the Caps, but have posted a 2-4-(0)-2 in Washington D.C.

In the most recent activity between this two teams, President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile sent Martin Erat and Michael Latta to Washington for then-prospect Filip Forsberg. Since the trade, Forsberg has cemented himself in Nashville’s lineup, posting six points (1g-5a) in 17 games for the Preds, while the Caps have seen 14 points (2g-12a) in 49 combined games between the two players they received in the trade.

Fans in Nashville will have to wait until March 30, 2014 to see the Caps in action on Bridgestone Arena ice.

Filip Forsberg is in IR with an upper-body injury.
Pekka Rinne is on IR with a hip injury.
Shea Weber is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
Kevin Klein is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

After his Portland Winterhawks fell behind 4-1 early on Sunday night against Saskatoon, Brendan Leipsic (third round, 2012) notched five assists in the final 24:24 of regulation, helping the Winterhawks to a 6-5 comback victory.

Leipsic is riding a nine-game points streak (8g-11a-19pts), which includes five multi-point games. The Winnipeg, Man., native ranks 13th in Western Hockey League points, but is fifth WHL points per game (1.61). He also ranks 10th in goals, and third in goals per game (.78) this season. Portland finished last week ranked eighth in the BMO/CHL Top 10 rankings.

In the WHL’s recent split with the Russians in the 2013 Subway Super Series, Leipsic picked up one assist in each game.

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 30: Kimmo Timonen #44 of the Philadelphia Flyers checks David Legwand #11 of the Nashville Predators off the puck at Bridgestone Arena on November 30, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

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