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The Week Ahead... (Feb. 20)

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators
What to Watch For...
Tuesday- Nashville vs Vancouver Canucks

The Canucks visited Smashville two weeks ago and picked up a shootout win, which the Preds look to avenge on Tuesday. With Nashville only a few points back from the Canucks in the Western Conference standings, these will be two crucial points to pick up. Tuesday is also a Daily’s Super Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena. Packages include 2 upper level tickets for $49 OR 2 lower level tickets for $99, along with a coupon for $5 off your Daily’s purchase. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Tennessee (Comcast HD 1675) with radio coverage on the Preds Radio Network including flagship station 102.5FM The Game. Puck drops at 7:00pm/CT.

Thursday- Nashville vs St Louis Blues
Crucial Western Conference points are also the name of the game on Thursday as the St Louis Blues come to town. The Blues sit 4th in the Conference and the Preds are 5th. Nashville is 4-0-0 against St Louis this season and will be looking to continue the trend in Thursday’s game.
Thursday is also College Night at Bridgestone Arena. With proof of a college ID, receive an upper bowl ticket for $15 or a lower bowl ticket for $25. Drink specials will be offered through the first intermission. Garden Supply Drive: The Nashville Predators and Hands on Nashville will be collecting garden supplies on Thursday before the game! Specific items needed: hand tools, gardening gloves, and rain ponchos.
Radio coverage of the game will be on the Preds Radio Network including flagship station 102.5FM The Game. Puck drops at 7:00pm/CT.

Saturday- Nashville vs San Jose Sharks
Nashville is 1-1-0 against the Sharks so far this season but the two teams have not met since early November. The Preds picked up the 4-3 OT win in their last meeting, with David Legwand scoring the game-winner. Saturday is also McDonald’s Family Four Pack night at Bridgestone Arena. This is a great way for families to experience Smashville for an affordable price. This ticket package includes 4 upper level tickets, 4 hot dogs and 4 soft drinks for only $99. Radio coverage of the game will be on the Preds Radio Network including flagship station 102.5FM The Game. Puck drops at 7:00pm/CT.
This Week...
The Predators begin a four-game home stand this week with games on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday against three big Western Conference rivals. Starting on Tuesday, the Vancouver Canucks come to town for an always-heated battle. Thursday sees the streaking St. Louis Blues hit the ice and Nashville will be looking to gain some much-needed points on the Blues. The week closes out with another heated match-up against the San Jose Sharks, who Nashville sits just ahead of in the standings.

Injury Report
  • Mike Fisher is probable for Tuesday night's game vs. Vancouver after missing Sunday's game at Dallas due to a cold/illness.
  • Patric Hornqvist is expected to re-join the team later this week after missing the last 3 games with an upper body injury (doubtful for Tuesday night's game vs. Vancouver).
  • Brian McGrattan has missed the past 5 games with an upper body injury.

The Week That Was...
Nashville went 2-1-0 on the week, coming a mere seconds from at least forcing overtime in the lone loss. The Preds started out the week at home with a big 3-2 win against the Chicago Blackhawks. With his second-period goal, Nick Spaling matched his career-high for goals in a season (8). Ryan Ellis notched his second career game-winning goal at 14:18 of the third period. That gave him two game winners on three career goals. David Legwand became the first Predator to post 300 career assists with his helper on Ellis’ game-winning goal. Friday’s game against Detroit ended as a heartbreaker for Nashville, who lost 2-1 to the Wings in the final five seconds. Nick Spaling set a career high in goals with his second tally in as many games. It was the first time he scored in back-to-back games. With an assist on the Spaling goal, Jordin Tootoo has three points (3a) in his last four games, after being held scoreless in the 10 games prior. The Preds ended the week on a positive note though, picking up the ‘w’ in Dallas. Despite giving up a goal in the opening minutes of play, the team notched three consecutive goals and held on down the stretch for a 3-2 win over the Stars. Nashville’s 34th win on the season was just its seventh all-time in the Stars’ home arena in 26 tries. The Predators were short a forward Sunday, with Mike Fisher out of the lineup with an illness. The team went with 11 forwards and seven defensemen.

Pekka Rinne stopped 81-of-87 shots on the week for a .931 save percentage and 2.01 goals against average, while adding an assist on the game-winning goal Sunday at Dallas. Jordin Tootoo paced the offense with three points on the week, while Nick Spaling led the team with two goals. Hornqvist led the team with four points in three games on the week and tied for team honors with two goals. Mike Fisher also netted a pair of goals on the week, while finishing with a team-best +4 plus/minus rating. Ryan Suter skated in almost 90 minutes of game action on the week, averaging 29:54 per game to raise his average ice time this month to 28:23, second-highest in the NHL.

Plays of the Week...
  Nick Spaling's game-winning goal vs. Chicago
  Shea Weber's last second goal to end the 1st Period at Dallas

2:00 for Tweeting...
Brian McGrattan (bigern10) - Just got to gnash vegas! (Feb. 15)

Michael Latta (latta17) - lovely day off today back to the grind tomorrow. Playing hockeys tough, being an injured hockey players tougher #bagskates (Feb. 17)

Blake Geoffrion (BlakeGeoffrion)- Want to thank all of the fans of nashville for all the support over the last two years.....going to miss you guys.... (Feb. 17)

Jon Blum (JonBlum7) - Hate to see @BlakeGeoffrion go but will be best for his career great team guy and roommate #shaboomin (Feb. 17)

Brandon Yip (B_the_yipper_18)- Just to let everybody know Hal Gill has twitter it's @skillsy75 Let's give him a great welcome to Smashville and a follow #thebigguy (Feb. 17)

Jordin Tootoo(Jtootoo22) - Home safe and sound. Thanks everyone for watching this weeks feature. Hope to help at least one individual life. #TeamTootooFund #Terence22 (Feb. 19)
      -Watch Jordin’s TSN feature here:

Prospect of the Week...
Mattias Ekholm -- A member of Nashville's 2009 Draft Class, Mattias Ekholm is a top offensive defenseman prospect. He opened the season in the NHL, but returned to Sweden in late October and has settled in to a top offensive role. Over his last eight games, Ekholm has scored 3 goals and 7 points to improve his season totals to 8 goals and 16 points in 34 games. Despite missing the first month and half of the season, Ekholm ranks fourth in the Swedish Elite League in goals by a defenseman and tied for 18th in points by a defenseman to help lead Brynas to the second-best record in the Swedish league with seven games remaining in the regular season. Ekholm is projected to return to North America next season.

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