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The Week Ahead... (Mar. 1)

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators
What to Watch For...
Tuesday - Nashville at Edmonton

The Preds head to Edmonton to take on the Oilers on Tuesday. These two teams will meet once more this season when the Oilers travel to Smashville on March 22. They carry a 1-1 season series into tomorrow’s game, with Nashville picking up their win on a shootout tally from d-man Cody Franson. The puck drops at 8:30 and you can catch all the action on FS Tennessee, 102.9 The Buzz, and the Preds Radio Network.

Thursday – Nashville at Vancouver
Vancouver is the next stop on the Canadian road trip for the Preds as they take on the Western Conference points leader. This is another 1-1 season series with 1 game left to play in Smashville on March 29. Catch all the action on FS Tennessee, 102.9 The Buzz, and the Preds Radio Network. The puck drops at 9:00pm.

Sunday – Nashville at Calgary
The Preds finish off their trip to Canada against the Calgary Flames. Nashville has yet to defeat the Flames this season but all matches have been hard fought battles with one going into overtime and the other going into a shootout. Rene Bourque had the game-winning goal in both of those games. The puck drops at 7:00pm on Sunday and all the action can be found on 102.9 The Buzz and the Preds Radio Network.
This Week...
The Preds head out on a 4-game road trip that will take them to Western Canada and a stop in California before returning home late next week. The team starts the week with a game against the Edmonton Oilers tomorrow before heading to Vancouver to take on the Canucks on Thursday. Nashville will close out it’s Canada trip on Sunday with a visit to the Flames in Calgary. The last game on the road trip will come next Tuesday as the team heads to San Jose to face the Sharks.

Injury Report
  • Francis Bouillon was injured Jan. 16 at Chicago. He is not expected to play on the team's current West Coast Road Trip.
  • Marcel Goc is out for the remainder of the season after having shoulder surgery.
  • 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.

The Week That Was...
Last week was a tough one for Nashville as they went 1-3-0 over 4 games. The week started with a visit to Nationwide Arena in Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets. Steve Mason stopped 20-of-20 shots taken by the Preds to lift the Jackets to the 4-0 victory. Pekka Rinne allowed more than three goals for the second time in 21 starts since Dec 31. He ranks second in the NHL in save percentage (.928) and third in goals-against average (2.14). Nashville headed back to the friendly confines Bridgestone Arena on Thursday to face-off against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks. Thursday marked the 11th Bridgestone sellout of the season in the 28th home game. Unfortunately the Preds were shutout for the second consecutive game as the Hawks took the 3-0 win. Joel Ward posted a game-high five shots and Ryan Suter played 25:10 in his return to the lineup after missing one game due to injury. In Dallas on Saturday, the Preds outshot the Stars 27-25 and David Legwand and Colin Wilson notched multi-point performances. Nashville went into the 3rd period with the 2-1 lead but Dallas tied it up at 6:02 and netted the game-winner with 3:42 left. Nashville was able to get back on the winning track yesterday at home against Columbus. It was an afternoon of firsts for Nashville’s new rookies as Jon Blum’s first career NHL goal at 7:18 of the third broke the 1-1 tie and hometown boy Blake Geoffrion played in his first career NHL home game. David Legwand capped Nashville’s three-goal third period with the go-ahead goal score with 1:35 remaining to lead the Preds to the 3-2 win. Shea Weber also scored for Nashville, which kept pace in the tightly bunched Western Conference playoff race.

Legwand led the Predators with three points on the week, while a pair of Preds recorded NHL firsts: Blum played in his first career game (2/22 at Columbus) and record his first career goal/point (2/27 vs. Columbus); Geoffrion played in his first career game (2/26 at Dallas).

Preds Play of The Week...
Watch -- Pekka Rinne's back-to-back saves at Dallas.
Watch -- Jon Blum's go-ahead goal vs. Columbus, his first career NHL goal.

Prospect of the Week...
Taylor Beck -- Beck was named the Ontario Hockey League's Player of the Week after posting 13 points with a +4 plus/minus rating in four games last week. A third round pick in Nashville's talented 2009 Draft Class, Beck ranks sixth in the OHL with 85 points and tied for seventh with 38 goals this season.

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