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The Week Ahead... (Jan. 4)

by Jay Levin / Nashville Predators
What to Watch For...
Wednesday- Preds at Anaheim

The Predators and Ducks meet up for the third time this season after splitting their earlier match-ups. Catch all the action on Fox Sports Tennessee, 102.9 The Buzz, and the Predators Radio Network. Puck drops at 9pm.

Thursday-Preds at Los Angeles
Nashville wraps-up its back-to-back looking to avenge a pair of early-season losses to the LA Kings. Prior to this season, the Preds had won seven of the last eight series meetings with the Kings. All of the action can be found on FS Tennessee, 102.9 The Buzz, and the Preds Radio Network.
Puck drops at 9:30pm.

Saturday-Preds at San Jose
The Predators visit San Jose for the first time this season, but the rivalry between the teams remains strong from their past playoff battles. Four of Nashville's last five trips to San Jose have been one-goal games, including a pair of overtime/shootout decisions, so be sure to tune into FS Tennessee, 102.9 The Buzz, and the Preds Radio Network to catch all the action. Puck drops at 7pm.

This Week...
The Preds head out to California for three games later this week -- a Wednesday/Thursday back-to-back at Anaheim and Los Angeles before Saturday night's game at San Jose. All four teams (Nashville, Anaheim, LA, and San Jose) enter the week separated by just three points in the Western Conference standings, so the results of the three games will have major implications on how the standings look next week.

Injury Report
  • Matthew Lombardi remains out and is not expected to join on-ice activities this week.
  • Martin Erat is out with an upper-body injury sustained Dec. 23 vs. Ottawa. He will be reevaluated after this road trip.
  • LW Steve Sullivan remains out and is not expected to play this week.
  • C Cal O'Reilly is out indefinitely with a broken leg sustained Jan. 2 vs. Columbus

The Week That Was...

Nashville went 2-2-0 last week, ending with wins on New Year's Eve at Minnesota and back home on Jan. 2 vs. Columbus.

The week started with a defensive standoff at St. Louis. The Blues scored early in the second period and then added an empty net goal to seal the win, 2-0, in a game that featured just two total penalty minutes, a minor penalty midway through the third period. The Preds came back with a strong performance against the Dallas Stars, out shooting the Stars 46-25, but were undone by a stellar outing from Andrew Raycroft, 4-2. Nashville bounced back with a pair of 4-1 wins to close out the week, though. On New Year's Eve, the Preds tallied goals in the first and second periods to claim a 2-0 lead. After Minnesota halved the lead with 1:54 remaining in the third period, Nashville closed out the scoring with a pair of empty net tallies. Two days later, Nashville erased a 1-0 deficit with a three-goal second period en route to a 4-1 win over Columbus.

In net, Pekka Rinne turned aside 86-of-93 shots for a 1.76 goals against average and .925 save percentage. Six Preds skaters registered at least three points on the week, led by Shea Weber with 5 points (highlighted by a three-point effort in Sunday's win over Columbus). Patric Hornqvist, Sergei Kostitsyn, and Colin Wilson each netted a team-best two goals on the week.

This Week In Preds History...
January 5, 2007: Second Period Explosion Leads Preds Past Hawks
With the game tied 1-1 late in the first period, Nashville exploded for the game's next six goals to cruise to an 8-3 win over Chicago, the first of a six-game win streak for the Predators. Nashville scored twice in the final 5:07 of the first period and added another two goals in the first 3:32 of the second frame to blow the game open. Scott Hartnell netted two of Nashville's eight goals, while Paul Kariya notched four points. David Legwand and Jason Arnott pitched in with three-point nights.

Preds Play of The Week...
Watch  -- Pekka Rinne's sprawling paddle save against Columbus
Watch  -- Colin Wilson's goal early in the third period against Dallas.

Prospect of the Week...
Ryan Ellis -- Nashville's 2009 First Round pick is leading all defensemen in scoring at the 2011 World Junior Championships with nine points in six games. Team Canada's captain for the tournament, Ellis has been a vital cog to Canada's run to the Gold Medal Game with his performances both on and off the ice. Earlier in the tournament, Ellis set a new IIHF World Junior Championship record for most career points by a defenseman, eclipsing the old mark held by Finland's Reijo Ruotsalainen.
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