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The Week Ahead... (Mar. 14)

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

Nashville and LA close out their four-game season series at Bridgestone Arena. The last time these two teams met on January 6 at the Staples Center, the Predators were in the midst of what would eventually be a six-game winning streak from December 31-January11. Nashville’s 5-2 win over the Kings was not only win number four, but also part of the team’s second-ever sweep of the NHL’s three California teams. The puck drops tomorrow at 7pm at Bridgestone Arena. It’s also another Daily’s Super Tuesday. Get two tickets starting as low as $42. For tickets, go to

Thursday - Nashville vs Boston Bruins
The Preds are blowing out St. Patty’s Day against the Boston Bruins in a BIG way! Join the celebration presented by MY MAPCO starting on the plaza at 4pm. The plaza party will feature green beer and plenty of activities for the entire family. Everyone in attendance will receive MY MAPCO St. Patty's Day beads upon entrance to the arena and will have the opportunity to bid on very special St. Patrick's Day jerseys that the Preds will be wearing in warm-ups. Stop by the silent auction table following pre-skate to place your bid. Don't forget that Thursday is also College Night presented by Best Buy and all fans in attendance can enjoy half-price beverages through the 1st intermission. College students, show your student ID at the Predators Box Office and receive a $10 upper level ticket or a $25 lower level ticket. For every ticket purchased through this special, Best Buy will give you a $10 NAPSTER gift card. Puck drop is at 7pm and limited tickets remain!

Saturday – Nashville vs Detroit
It’s another Rivalry Weekend as the Detroit Red Wings come to town. Nashville is leading the season series against the Wings 3-1. The last time the Wings came to town on February 5, Nashville picked up a decisive 3-0 win. Sergei Kostitsyn scored twice and Pekka Rinne turned away 35 shots. The win snapped Nashville’s 4-game losing streak. Saturday’s tilt is sure to be another high-energy game as both teams are in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race. Get your tickets today for the 7pm game.

Sunday – Nashville at Buffalo
The Preds and Sabres have not since the 2009-2010 season. In their only meeting that season Buffalo picked up the 1-0 win with the game-winner by Michael Grier. Olympian goalie Ryan Miller picked up the shutout, stopping all of Nashville’s 25 shots. Tune in early to catch all of the action as the puck drops at 4pm. The game will be available on Fox Sports Tennessee, 102.9 The Buzz and the Preds Radio Network.
This Week...
The Preds continue their five game home stand with three games on tap this week at Bridgestone Arena. On Tuesday the Los Angeles Kings come to town followed by a visit from the Boston Bruins on St/ Patrick’s Day on Thursday. The week ends with a back-to-back set with the Red Wings visiting Bridgestone on Saturday before the Preds head to Buffalo to take on the Sabres on Sunday.

Injury Report
  • Francis Bouillon was injured Jan. 16 at Chicago and remains out of action.
  • 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. He has started off-ice workouts, but is not expected to participate in on-ice work this week.
  • Steve Sullivan had sports hernia surgery last week and is expected to miss 4-to-6 weeks.

The Week That Was...
The Preds started the week on the road and ended it back home last week. Tuesday’s game against San Jose was a close one up until the very end. Joel Ward moved into a tie for first in the club in power-play goals with his fifth of the season and Nashville finished its season series against the Sharks with a 2-0-2 record, tying its highest single-season point output against the club in franchise history. The teams both picked up a point by heading into OT tied at 2-2 but San Jose sealed the deal with a game-winner by Patric Marleau. Back at Bridgestone on Thursday, Nashville was feeling the home-ice advantage en route to their 4-0 win over the Minnesota Wild. Nick Spaling scored two goals for the second time this season against Minnesota. Joel Ward scored his third game-winning goal of the season and Pekka Rinne stopped 19-of-19 shots to record his sixth shutout of the season, and 20th of his career. The Avalanche came to town on Saturday and the Predators were able to improve to 4-1-2 in their last seven games with a 4-2 win. The Preds scored a goal in all three periods for the first time since it last played Colorado on February 12. Matt Halischuk scored his first goal since January 20 at Colorado and Blake Geoffrion recored his first career assist on that goal.

Erat led the Preds with six points on the week, while Ward paced the team with three goals -- including two game-winners. Rinne stopped 85-of-90 shots on the week for a 1.64 goals against average and .944 save percentage, while posting a 2-0-1 record in net.

Preds Play of The Week...
Watch -- Joel Ward's game-winning goal against Colorado.
Watch -- Jordin Tootoo rocks Minnesota's Greg Zanon.

Prospect of the Week...
Mattias Ekholm -- Nashville's fourth-round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Ekholm has picked up three assists in four playoff games for Brynas. Brynas, the No. 7 seed in the playoffs, trails its best of seven series three games to one, but Ekholm has been a revelation this season. The 20-year old defenseman finished the regular season fourth in the Swedish Elitserien in defenseman scoring with 33 points in 55 games. His 10 goals were also fourth most among league defensemen. His play this year have put him on the shortlist for Team Sweden's World Championship roster. At 6-foot-4, 194 pounds, Ekholm has the look of another Cody Franson clone -- big, rangy, mobile defenseman with plus offensive abilities.
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