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The Week Ahead... (Mar. 19)

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

The Preds will be looking to end the season .500 with the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday at Bridgestone Arena. Nashville is 1-2-0 against the Oilers this season with Jordin Tootoo leading the team in points against Edmonton.
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.

Thursday- Nashville @ Pittsburgh Penguins
For their one and only meeting of the season, the Preds will travel to Pittsburgh to take on Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of the Penguins on Thursday. In their only meeting in 2010-11, the Penguins picked up a 4-3 OT win on a game-winner by Kris Letang. Martin Erat led the Preds with two points that game and David Legwand and Patric Hornqvist both scored for Nashville. 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.

Saturday- Nashville vs Winnipeg Jets
In their first meeting since the preseason, the Winnipeg Jets will visit Bridgestone Arena on Saturday. The Jets will come in hungry as they sit in ninth place in the Eastern Conference and just two points out of a playoff berth.
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.

Sunday- Nashville @ Chicago Blackhawks
Nashville will be looking to build on their season record of 3-0-1 against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday at the back half of a back-to-back set. Craig Smith and Patric Hornqvist both have three goals against the Hawks this season.
This Week...
Nashville will split time on the road and at home this week. The Preds return home from their four game West Coast swing on Tuesday to take on the Edmonton Oilers. The team heads on the road on Thursday to take on a rare opponent, the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Preds then ready themselves for a weekend with back-to-back games, starting at home on Saturday with a tilt against the Winnipeg Jets. The team then heads for Chicago to take on the Blackhawks on Sunday.

Injury Report
  • Kevin Klein returned to action this weekend after missing the previous 8 games with an upper body injury.
  • Paul Gaustad has missed the past 2 games with an upper body injury.
  • Roman Josi has missed the past 4 games with an upper body injury.

The Week That Was...
The Preds headed out for a tough four game West Coast road trip last week. Starting out in Phoenix on Monday, Nashville picked up the 5-4 shootout win over the Coyotes. Martin Erat opened the scoring for Nashville with just 29 seconds remaining in the first period. Francis Bouillon scored for the first time in 87 games and Craig Smith notched his second goal in his last four games. The shootout went the other way for the Preds on Thursday as San Jose picked up the 2-1 win. Nashville is now 4-5 in the shootout tiebreaker this season. Patric Hornqvist scored his team-leading 22nd goal of the season and Hal Gill played a season-high 23:29 – more than six minutes over his season average. Saturday Nashville faced a team fighting for their playoff spot in the LA Kings. The Kings skated away with the two points in the 4-2 win. Martin Erat built upon his team points lead with his 17th multi-point (1g-1a) effort of the season. Ryan Suter notched an assist on Erat’s goal, giving him 17 points in his last 22 games. Kevin Klein returned to the line-up after missing eight games with an upper-body injury and posted an assist on Mike Fisher’s third period goal. Sunday night in Anaheim, Nashville ended the road trip with a huge two points over the Anaheim Ducks. Anders Lindback was outstanding through the first two periods to keep the Preds close and then Nashville’s skaters controlled the game in the final period to allow the Preds to skate away with a 3-1 win. With the win Nashville moves into the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference, tied with Detroit at 92 points, but the Preds hold the first tie breaker over the Red Wings.

Martin Erat led the Preds --- and the entire NHL --- with 7 points (2g-5a) in the four games during the week to earn NHL Third Star of The Week recognition. Linemate Mike Fisher paced the team with 3 goals on the week. Pekka Rinne went 1-1-1 in three starts on the week, stopping 88-of-97 shots along with 5-of-6 shootout attempts, while Anders Lindback won his lone start of the week with 30 saves on 31 shots for a .968 save percentage.

Plays of the Week...
  Rinne's breakaway save starts Nashville's counter-attack for Fisher's goal at Phoenix
  Lindback's glove save on Jason Blake at Anaheim

2:00 for Tweeting...
Jeremy Smith (jeremysmith30) - Had a fantastic afternoon, visiting with some great kids over at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. #beauties (Mar. 13)

Brian McGrattan (bigern10) - I could be one of the worst golfers (Mar. 13)

Taylor Beck (taybeckone9) - Big win tonight in Lake Erie. Off to beautiful Toronto. Home for a couple days after! Cant wait. (Mar. 16)

Ryan Thang (tanger09) - Is it possible to OD on vitamin D from the sun? #notacloudinthesky #unreal (Mar. 18)

Mike Fisher (mikefisher1212) - Good win to finish the trip last night! Finally leaving this cold and rainy Cali weather for 80's in Nashville. (Mar. 19)

Prospect of the Week...
Miikka Salomaki -- A second round pick by Nashville in last summer's NHL Draft, Salomaki helped Karpat to a 2-0 series sweep in the first round of the Finnish Elite League playoffs, posting a +2 plus/minus rating, while averaging 17:12 of ice time in the two games -- a 4-1 Game 1 Win and 2-1 Game 2 Win. Salomaki completed the regular season with 12 goals and 21 points in 40 games, despite missing time during the middle of the season due to an injury suffered during the World Junior Championships.

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