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The Week Ahead... (Jan. 17)

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators
What to Watch For...
Tuesday- Nashville @ NY Rangers

The Preds head to Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Rangers. It will be the first meeting of the season between the two teams. Their only meeting last season went to overtime and saw the Rangers pick up the ‘w.’ The game will be televised on the NBC Sports Network (50 SD/1607 HD) with radio coverage on the Preds Radio Network including flagship station 102.5FM The Game. Puck drops at 6:30pm/CT.

Thursday – Nashville @ Columbus Blue Jackets
Nashville has gotten at least a point in four meetings with the Blue Jackets so far this season and goalie Pekka Rinne has been the rock in net for the Preds. Martin Erat, Matt Halischuk and Colin Wilson all have game-winners against the Jackets.
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 6:00pm/CT. Thursday is also an O’Charley’s Chill Out Party night at their Franklin location. Join Gnash, the Nashville Predators dancers and Woody & Jim starting at 5:30/CT for a chance at some great prizes and to watch the game with fellow Preds fans!

Saturday – Nashville vs Chicago Blackhawks
These two teams have only met once so far this season and the Preds came away with a point in the Chicago overtime win. The teams will get very familiar with each other in this latter part of the season as they will face-off five times in a three month span. All fans in attendance will receive thundersticks courtesy of MY MAPCO/My Dew. 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.
This Week...
Nashville is in the midst of a busy week with two more games remaining on this road trip, followed by a Saturday home date with the Chicago Blackhawks to close out a stretch of five games in eight days. The Preds close out a New York back-to-back set on Tuesday when they visit the NY Rangers. The team then closes the week against a pair of Central Division Rivals -- Thursday night at the Columbus Blue Jackets and Saturday versus the Chicago Blackhawks back home at Bridgestone Arena.

Injury Report
  • Jerred Smithson is on Injured Reserve with a lower-body injury.
  • Craig Smith is day-to-day with a cold/illness (probable for Tuesday's game at NY Rangers).
  • Ryan Suter is day-to-day with an upper-body injury (doubtful for Tuesday's game at NY Rangers)

The Week That Was...
Nashville had a big week last week, sweeping the home-and-home against the Colorado Avalanche and picking up some much needed points to help separate itself in a tight Western Conference. It was the youngsters that stepped up on Tuesday in Colorado. Rookie Ryan Ellis picked up two points (1g, 1a), including his first career game-winning goal. Gabriel Bourque notched his first career assist on Nick Spaling’s first period goal and Roman Josi added an assist on Ellis’s goal. On Thursday in Nashville, Colorado got out to a 2-0 lead and it was up to Nashville to come back and pick up the ‘w.’ It was Nashville’s third overtime win this season as they defeated the Avs 3-2. David Legwand scored the game-winner just 34 seconds into overtime, making it the second fastest in franchise history on home ice. On Saturday against the Philadelphia Flyers, Nick Spaling notched his third game-winning goal of the season at the 4:30 mark of the final frame in the 4-2 win for the Preds. The Preds carried the momentum into a Monday afternoon matinee at the NY Islanders, scoring three times early in the first period en route to a 3-1 road win. Sergei Kostitsyn started things off 2:17 into the game, followed by Matt Halischuk’s unassisted score 3:17 later. Legwand finished off a tick-tac-toe passing play midway through the opening period to put the Preds up 3-0 and Pekka Rinne took over from there, stopping 36-of-37 shots for the win – including a 19-save second period.

Rinne backstopped the team to a 4-0-0 record on the week, stopping 131-of-137 shots for a .956 save percentage and 1.50 goals against average. Sixteen different Preds skaters registered a point on the week led by Martin Erat with five points (2g-3a) in the four games. Kostitsyn (3g-1a) and Mike Fisher (1g-3a) both chipped in with four points.

Plays of the Week...
  Ryan Ellis's hip check against Philadelphia
  David Legwand's tick-tack-toe goal at the NY Islanders

2:00 for Tweeting...
Jon Blum (JonBlum7) - Room service #hotellife (Jan. 12)

Jordin Tootoo (Jtootoo22) - Character win for the boys tonight ! Thanks Pred fans for cheering loud. #TeamTootooFund (Jan. 13)

Chet Pickard (CPickard37) - Good to get back in a game tonight! Tomorrow will be better! #2points #GetaW (Jan. 13)

Michael Latta (latta17)- nice night with the mother and @Valentine_s22.... steaks and the preds game.... @rjosi was hot tonight #stayhotbro (Jan. 12)

Prospect of the Week...
Josh Shalla -- Nashville's fourth round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Shalla posted eight points in three games last week on two goals and six assists. He netted his 100th career goal for Saginaw on Sunday, just the second player in franchise history to score 100 goals. On the season, Shalla has scored 21 goals and 40 points in 28 games, ranking among the OHL league leaders in both goals and game-winning goals (3) despite missing games due to injury early in the season.

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