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The Week Ahead... (Dec. 6)

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators
What to Watch For...
Monday- Preds at Atlanta

The Predators and their closest geographical rivals, the Atlanta Thrashers, play for the first of two times this season at Philips Arena. A season ago, the Preds swept the two-game series, improving to 7-4-1 all-time against Atlanta. Nashville has gained a point in three straight trips to the Thrashers’ barn, winning by one-goal margins in each of its last two visits. It’s an early start, with the puck being dropped at 6pm and you can catch all the action on FS Tennessee, 102.9 The Buzz, and the Preds Radio Network.

Monday- O'Charley's Hermitage
The Preds are hosting their third O'Charley's Chill Out Party of the season at the Hermitage location. Festivities start at 5:30 pm. Come out and join your fellow Preds fans as we watch the team take on the Atlanta Thrashers.

Wednesday- Preds at Detroit
Nashville travels to the Joe to face the familiar Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday. The foes have met once so far this season, with Detroit getting the 5-2 win. The Preds and Wings will face each other four more times during the season, three times at Bridgestone and twice in Detroit. The puck drops in Detroit at 6:30 and all the action can be found on FS Tennessee, 102.9 The Buzz, and the Preds Radio Network.

Saturday- Florida at Nashville
Nashville will welcome two familiar faces when the Florida Panthers visit Bridgestone Arena. Original Predator and fan favorite, Tomas Vokoun played in goal on-and-off for the Predators for near 10 years. Former Predators prospect Mike Santorelli is making an impact in Florida and has 11 points in 25 games this season. Puck drop is at 7pm and limited tickets are still available for this game at nashvillepredators.com. The game will be broadcast on FS Tennessee, 102.9 The Buzz, and the Preds Radio Network.

This Week...
Nashville has three games on tap this week, two on the road and one at home. The team starts the week early on Monday with a trip to Atlanta (6 pm CT start) before heading to Detroit to face the Red Wings on Wednesday (6:30 pm CT start). The Preds return home on Saturday night to face Tomas Vokun and the Florida Panthers at 7 pm at Bridgestone Arena.

Injury Report...
  • David Legwand is on Injured Reserve. He is not expected to play tonight at Atlanta, but did travel with the team on the current road trip and practiced on ice this morning. His status will be re-evaluated before Wednesday's game at Detroit, most likely targeting a return to the line up for this weekend.
  • Matthew Lombardi is on Injured Reserve. He is not expected to play this week.
  • Pekka Rinne was injured last week. His injury is expected to sideline him 2-4 weeks.

The Week That Was...

Nashville posted a perfect 3-0-0 week to improve to 7-3-2 in its last 12 games. The Predators put 39 shots on goal in Saturday’s 5-2 win over Carolina, their highest since October 16 vs. Washington. Nashville swept a mid-week back-to-back with a shutout of Phoenix on Tuesday and a shootout victory on Wednesday at the Columbus Blue Jackets. Nashville has needed extra time to determine a winner for a NHL-high ninth time.

Martin Erat led all Preds scorers with 5 points on the week, followed by Sergei Kostitsyn (1g-2a), Cal O'Reilly (2g-1a), and Steve Sullivan (1g-2a) with 3 points each. Sullivan also tallied a shootout winning conversion this week. O'Reilly and Shea Weber paced the team with two goals last week. On Saturday, Erat posted his first three-assist game since March 28, 2009 vs. Los Angeles, while Kostitsyn tallied two assists, his first multi-point game as a Predator.

In net Pekka Rinne turned aside 61-of-64 shots for a .953 save percentage and 1.44 goals against average in two starts. Anders Lindback made 28 saves for the win on Saturday night.


This Week In Preds History...
December 12, 2002: Dunham traded to Rangers
After a 6-14-8 start to the 2002-03 season, Predators General Manager David Poile pulled the trigger on the most high-profile trade in franchise history at that point. Goaltender Mike Dunham, who had played 217 games in net for Nashville over four-plus seasons, was dealt to the New York Rangers. Tomas Vokoun, who had served as the “1B” option to Dunham’s “1A” up until that point, had earned the No. 1 role. Vokoun went on to play in 57 of Nashville’s final 58 games in 2002-03, starting a franchise-record 38 in a row to finish the season. Meanwhile, with a win on March 7 of that season, the Predators had rebounded to a record of 27-25-15, the team’s best ever that late in the season. Vokoun became one of the league’s elite netminders in the Predators’ starting role. Upon his departure following the 2007-08 season, he had broken all of Dunham’s career franchise records in addition to leading Nashville to its first three playoff berths.


Preds Play of The Week...
Watch  -- Cody Franson's big hit vs. Carolina.
Watch  -- Steve Sullivan's deke move for the shootout winner at Columbus.

Prospect of the Week...
Craig Smith -- A member of Nashville's 2009 Draft Class, Smith picked up three points in two games last weekend for University of Wisconsin, including the game-winning goal in Friday night's 3-1 Badgers win. With points in both games this weekend, Smith has extended his scoring streak to six consecutive games with a point. Through the first 18 games of the '10-11 season, the sophomore ranks among the NCAA's top-10 in assists (14) and top-15 in points (21).
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