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The Week Ahead... (Apr. 7)

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators
What to Watch For...
Tuesday –- Nashville vs Atlanta

The Nashville Predators and their closest geographical rivals, the Atlanta Thrashers, close out their two-game 2010-11 set. The Preds have earned at least one point in three straight vs. the Thrashers after sweeping the 2009-10 series set -- and are 4-1-1 over the last five seasons against Atlanta.

The game is also a Daily's Super Tuesday. Packages include two upper level tickets for $42 or two lower level tickets for $92. There will also be special concession stands (one in the upper level and one in the lower level) where all items are just $2, as well as a reduced $2 ticket service fee.

Friday – Nashville vs Columbus
The Preds will play a rare Friday-night tilt at home this week when the Columbus Blue Jackets come to town. The Jackets are a familiar opponent for the Preds as these teams have met five times this season, with Nashville leading the season series 3-2. In their last meeting, Nashville scored three third period goals to take the 3-2 lead and the win. Rookie Jonathon Blum's goal was the first of his NHL career.

Friday is also the last regular season home game for the Predators and Fan Appreciation Night at Bridgestone Arena. The fun begins with a 4 p.m. party on the plaza! Head inside to get your team poster courtesy of Fidelity Imagination In Print and 102.9 The Buzz. Also, stick around after the game for the annual Shirts Off Our Back promotion.

Saturday – Nashville at St. Louis
Nashville will close their regular season schedule in St. Louis when they take on the Blues this Saturday. The season series will be determined by the results of this season finale, with the Blues leading seven points to five through the first five match-ups. The match-ups between these two teams are always hard fought, close games - Nashville holds one shootout win and St. Louis holds another.
This Week...
In the final week of the regular season, Nashville will look to solidify their playoff position. The Preds will play three games this week as they close out the season. The team will welcome the Atlanta Thrashers to town tomorrow night for a tilt at Bridgestone Arena. The team then has two days of rest before their last back-to-back set of the season. First up is Columbus at Bridgestone Arena on Friday before heading to Missouri to take on the St. Louis Blues on Sunday to close out the 2010-11 season.

Injury Report
  • Francis Bouillon was injured Jan. 16 at Chicago and remains out of action.
  • Marcel Goc is out for the remainder of the season after having shoulder surgery.
  • Matthew Lombardi remains out and is not expected to join on-ice activities for the remainder of the regular season.
  • Cal O'Reilly, out with a broken leg sustained Jan. 2 vs. Columbus, re-joined full team practice on Monday. His status will be re-evaluated later in the week.
  • Steve Sullivan is recovering from sports hernia surgery and re-joined full team practice on Monday. His status will be re-evaluated later in the week.

The Week That Was...
Nashville ended last week still holding onto its 6th place position in the Western Conference standings. Last Tuesday, Nashville dropped a 3-1 decision to the Vancouver Canucks, snapping the Preds six-game winning streak. Nashville returned to the win column on Thursday with a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Jordin Tootoo scored for the second time in six games and Blake Geoffrion notched his second career assist, and first point since a hat trick on March 20 at Buffalo. Saturday’s game against Detroit saw both teams skate away with a point, before the Red Wings eeked out an overtime win. Sergei Kostitsyn extended his career-long scoring streak to nine consecutive games with a point -- five games longer than his previous long -- netting his team-leading 20th goal of the season. Defenseman Ryan Suter recorded his seventh multi-point performance of the season on Saturday, giving him nine points in his last nine games.

Mike Fisher led the team with four points on the week (1g-3a), while Martin Erat and Sergei Kostitsyn each chipped in three points. Matt Halischuk returned to the lineup on Thursday night and posted assists in each of his two games on the week, giving him points in five of his last seven games played.

Preds Play of The Week...
Watch -- Sergei Kostitsyn's rebound goal vs. Detroit.
Watch -- Pekka Rinne's game-ending save at Colorado.

Prospect of the Week...
Michael Latta -- Latta closed out his OHL career with seven points -- five goals and two assists -- in four playoff games this week. Despite his efforts, Guelph dropped its first round playoff series in six games (4-2 games). Latta had a hat trick and four points in the final game of the series, earning the game's No. 1 star honors in the loss. Latta was fifth among OHL scorers during the first round of the playoffs with 10 points in the series. Latta, a third round pick by the Preds in the 2009 Entry Draft, is already signed to a contract and is expected to join the Milwaukee Admirals for the AHL playoff run; he appeared in one playoff game last season with the Admirals.
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