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The Week Ahead... (Jan. 31)

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

Nashville comes out of the All-Star Break with a team they saw in the second-to-last game before it as the Calgary Flames pay their second visit to the Music City on Tuesday. The teams split the season series in 2009-10, with Nashville winning both games at Scotiabank Saddledome and Calgary both games at Bridgestone Arena. This season, Calgary has picked up the wins in the two games these two have played. Be there as Nashville returns home. For tickets click here.

Thursday – Nashville at Philidelphia
The Preds will see some familiar faces as they head to Philly to take on the Flyers. They will face off against former Preds Scott Hartnell and Kimmo Timonen. Nashville and Philly have not met since 2009-10 when Nashville picked up the 4-3 win in their only meeting.

Saturday - Nashville vs Detroit
Motown meets Music City for the first time in Nashville this season as the Red Wings come to town. The Preds and Wings have met twice in Detroit this season, splitting the series 1-1. The teams will meet 4 more times this season. There are limited tickets remaining for this highly anticipated match-up.

This Week...
It’s back to work as the Preds return from the All-Star break. The team gets right back at it with two games at home and one away this week. After two full weeks on the road, Nashville returns to Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday to take on the Calgary Flames. After a quick trip to Philly on Wednesday to take on the Flyers, the team is back home at Bridgestone on Saturday for a tilt against the Detroit Red Wings.

Injury Report
  • Francis Bouillon (injured Jan. 16 at Chicago) was placed on Injured Reserve on Monday. He is expected to miss Tuesday night's game vs. Calgary and will be re-evaluated later in the week to determine his status.
  • 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 has returned to on-ice practice, but is still out for Tuesday night's game vs. Calgary. He will be re-evaluated at practice on Wednesday to determine his status for later in the week.
  • Marek Svatos (injured Jan. 13 at Florida) was placed on Injured Reserve on Monday and is listed as week-to-week.

The Week That Was...

The focus of the NHL turned to the RBC Center in Raleigh, NC this weekend as the NHL All-Star Weekend took over. Shea Weber was the only Predator to be selected but Nashville was very well represented by their captain. On Friday, Weber was selected in the 4th round (8th overall) in the Fantasy Draft by captain Nick Lidstrom. Weber, of the puck-through-the-net Olympic fame, took part in the Hardest Shot portion of the Skills Competition on Saturday night. In the head-to-head battle, Weber posted the hardest shot with a speed of 104.8. In the final round, the best from both teams faced off for 2 shots a piece. Weber was forced to take the runner-up position for the second year in a row as he was bested by none other than Zdeno Chara. Chara posted a 105.9 mph shot, breaking his record of 105.7 from last year’s All-Star Skills Competition. Weber was once again in the spotlight on Sunday as both teams took the ice for the annual NHL All-Star Game. Weber was in contention for the game MVP, posting 4 assists and a +6 rating in Team Lidstrom’s come-from-behind 11-10 victory over Team Staal. Weber’s 4 assists made him the first defenseman with a 4-assist All-Star Game since Ray Bourque in 1986 (and Bourque was the first ever).

Before the All-Star Break began, however, Nashville closed out their longest road trip of the season with games in Calgary on the 24th and Vancouver on the 26th. Calgary posted their 3rd win in a row in their 3-1 win over the Preds. After a tying goal by David Legwand, Calgary picked up the 2-1 lead in the second on a power-play goal by Jerome Iginla and never relinquished the lead. It was the second power-play goal by the Flames on the night.

Nashville played another close game two days later in their 2-1 loss against the Vancouver Canucks. Vancouver defenseman Lee Sweatt scored the game winning goal with 7:29 left in his NHL Debut as Vancouver rallied from an early third period deficit. Preds captain Shea Weber opened the scoring just 37 seconds into the 3rd period but Alexander Burrows tied the game midway through the period and Sweatt gave the Canucks the lead just a few minutes later. Nashville closed out their road trip going 3-3 and are just 6 points behind Detroit in the race for the spot atop the Central Division.

J-P Dumont paced the Preds with five goals and six points during the team's six game road trip, followed by Cody Franson with five points (1g-4a). Pekka Rinne started five of the six games, posting a 3-2-0 record with a 1.99 goals against average and .935 save percentage

This Week In Preds History...
February 1, 2001: Preds roar back from three-goal deficit to beat L.A., 6-4
A night after shutting out the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in their building, the Nashville Predators put on an show at the other end of the ice, rallying from a three-goal to defeat the Los Angeles Kings, 6-4. Bill Houlder kick-started the rally at 14:24 of the second period, and Greg Johnson provided the game winner at 14:11 of the third frame after goals from Rob Valicevic and Greg Classen in the first seven minutes of the period. Captain Tom Fitzgerald pitched in an empty netter with just 30 seconds remaining. The comeback victory not only extended a three-game unbeaten streak against the Kings, but continued an eventual four-game winning streak that also included wins at Phoenix and against Columbus at Bridgestone Arena.

Preds Play of The Week...
Watch  -- David Legwand's goal at Calgary.
Watch  -- Shea Weber at All-Star Hardest Shot competition.

Prospect of the Week...
Blake Geoffrion -- Ususally we stick with amateur or European prospects, but Blake Geoffrion's weekend showing merits special attention. Nashville's second round pick in the '06 Draft recorded three goals and six points in two games this weekend. On Friday night he notched five points -- including the game's opening goal just 42 seconds into the first period -- in an 8-1 win. Saturday Geoffrion again scored the game's opening goal in a 3-2 OT win. After a slow start to his rookie pro season, Geoffrion has posted seven goals and 15 points over his last 15 games, including the game's opening goal on four occasions.

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