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The Week Ahead... (Jan. 11)

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

Nashville and Minnesota have split their first two meetings of the series, both in Minnesota. The teams are separated by just three points in the standings, so the game will have major implications for both Conference standings and the season series. Puck drops at 7pm and all of the action can be found on 102.9 The Buzz and the Preds Radio Network.
Promotion: Daily’s Super Tuesday - 2 upper level tickets for $42 or 2 lower level tickets for $92; special concession stands where all items are just $2, as well as a $5 Daily's coupon good towards gas or merchandise to fans who purchase Super Tuesday tickets.

Thursday-Preds at Florida
Nashville heads south to face former goaltender Tomas Vokoun and the Florida Panthers. These two teams have met once this season, with Nashville picking up the 3-0 win on a shutout by rookie netminder Anders Lindback. All of the action can be found on FS Tennessee, 102.9 The Buzz, and the Preds Radio Network. Puck drops at 6:30pm.

Saturday-Nashville vs Chicago
In the first game of a back-to-back set with Chicago, Nashville will faceoff against the defending Stanley Cup Champions on Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena. These two teams have met three times this season and Nashville is leading the series 2-1. Very limited tickets remain so be sure and get yours before they are all sold out! All of the action can also be found on FS Tennessee, 102.9 The Buzz, and the Preds Radio Network. Puck drops at 7pm.

Sunday-Preds at Chicago
The rivalry continues as Nashville and Chicago meet at the United Center on Sunday. This will also mark the last regular season game Nashville will play in Chicago for the season. The two teams will meet once more, on February 24, in Nashville. You can catch all of the action on SportSouth, 102.9 The Buzz, and the Preds Radio Network. Puck drops at 6:00pm.

This Week...
It is a back-and-forth week for the Preds as they play 2 games at home and 2 games on the road. Nashville is back at Bridgestone on Tuesday to take on the Minnesota Wild before taking a quick trip to Florida on Thursday to take on the Panthers. The weekend holds a home-and-home match-up against the Chicago Blackhawks, Saturday in Nashville and Sunday at Chicago.

Injury Report
  • Martin Erat has missed time due to an injury sustained Dec. 23 vs. Ottawa. After practice on Monday he is unlikely to play in tomorrow's game, but is questionable for the games later in the week.
  • Matthew Lombardi remains out and is not expected to join on-ice activities this week.
  • Cal O'Reilly is out indefinitely with a broken leg sustained Jan. 2 vs. Columbus.
  • Steve Sullivan remains out and is not expected to return to action this week.
  • Nick Spaling was injured on Thursday night at Los Angeles. He is day-to-day and is expected to return to action at some point during this week.

The Week That Was...

Nashville hit the halfway point of the season by picking up a pivotal six points in their sweep of California. The wins bolted them up to 4th place in the Western Conference and the team also reached the 50-point mark for the season.

The week started with back-to-back wins in the LA area. Despite being outshot 41-24, Nashville picked up a 4-1 win on Wednesday in Anaheim due to stellar goaltending from Pekka Rinne. Patric Hornqvist and Sergei Kostitsyn each had a goal and an assist for the Predators. Jerred Smithson opened the scoring, confirmed by a lengthy video review. Nashville took their confidence across town with a 5-2 win over the Kings the next night. After falling behing 2-0 early in the second period, the Predators scored three times in a 5:31 span to claim the lead and then added a pair of third period goals to close out the game. The team capitalized twice on the power play during their second period rally. Colin Wilson had a hand in all three tallies, netting the first goal and assisting on the second and third scores, his first career three-point game. The Preds closed out their California road sweep with a one-goal win at San Jose on Saturaday night. Nashville once again received stellar goaltending from Pekka Rinne en route to their 2-1 win. The teams were at a tie early in the third period before a goal by Sergei Kostitsyn put the Preds ahead 2-1. Kostitsyn’s goal was his fifth in as many games.

Kostitsyn led the team with three goals and six points on the week. Hornqivst also netted three goals and finished with five points, including points on all three game-winning goals on the week. In net, Pekka Rinne turned aside 82-of-84 shots on the week for a 1.00 Goals Against Average and .976 save percentage.

This Week In Preds History...
January 15: Busy, but Productive Day In Preds History
The Nashville Predators are 7-2-0 all-time in games played on January 15., including a 2-0-0 mark against the Calgary Flames. This is the third time in four years the Preds and Flames will meet on Jan. 15; Nashville won 5-3 in 2007 and 3-0 in 2008. The Predators knocked off Phoenix 2-0 in 1999 and Pittsburgh 4-2 in 2000, before suffering a 0-2 loss to LA in 2002. The Preds again beat Phoenx in 2004 (4-3), Pittsburgh in 2006 (5-4), and Calgary in both '07 (5-3) and '08 (3-0). In '09, Nashville dropped 3-2 decision to Montreal, but rallied with a 1-0 win at Calgary last season.

Preds Play of The Week...
Watch  -- Colin Wilson's redirect goal at Los Angeles.
Watch  -- Shea Weber's rink-long bank shot at Anaheim.

Prospect of the Week...
Craig Smith -- A member of Nashville's strong 2009 draft class, Smith scored three goals and six points in two NCAA games this weekend. On Friday night he registered a goal and an assist in Wisconsin's 3-0 shutout win. The next night Smith scored two goals and two assists, including the overtime forcing goal late in regulation and an assist on the overtime winner. For the season he has 31 points in 24 games to rank tied for fourth in the nation in scoring.

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