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The Week Ahead... (Mar. 28)

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators
What to Watch For...
Tuesday – Nashville vs Vancouver

The Nashville Predators and Vancouver Canucks close out their four-game season series Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena. The Preds have taken two of the first three meetings so far this season. The last time these teams met was three days into March and the game saw Nashville prevail behind goaltender Pekka Rinne's 29-save shutout and Blake Geoffrion's first career game-winning goal at 1:59 of the third period.

Don't forget about Daily's Super Tuesday tomorrow as well! Packages include 2 upper level tickets for $42 or 2 lower level tickets for $92. There will also be special concession stands (one in the upper level and one in the lower level) where all items are just $2, as well as a reduced $2 ticket service fee.

Thursday – Nashville at Colorado
The Preds will go on the road Thursday night for only the second time in 11 games as they head out for a quick trip to take on Colorado. Colorado is currently out of the playoff race with 64 points, but the game will still have major implications for the Preds as they look to continue climbing the Western Conference standings.

Nashville holds a 3-0-0 record in the season series. In their last meeting on March 12, Nashville picked up the 4-2 win in Hockey Fights Cancer night at Bridgestone Arena. The Preds got goals from Joel Ward, Shea Weber, Matt Halischuk, and Martin Erat, who added the empty-netter to seal the deal. It was a good start to a five-game homestand for Nashville and helped start their climb up the standings.

Saturday – Nashville vs Detroit
It's another Rivalry Weekend as the Detroit Red Wings come to town for an early, 2pm tilt at Bridgestone Arena. Heading into this week's action, Nashville was just five points behind Detroit in the race for the Central Division title. Nashville leads the season series against Detroit 4-1-0, including a 3-1 win two Saturday's ago. Rookies Jonathon Blum and Blake Geoffrion both tallied for the Preds and David Legwand sealed the win with an empty-netter with 28.4 seconds left.

Saturday's early game will also feature an 11:00am plaza party featuring the fan-favorite PEDIGREE Adoption Drive. Through this initiative, several dogs from the Nashville Humane Association will be available for adoption pre-game on the plaza. Donations will be collected to benefit the PEDIGREE Foundation and additionally, Dogs Rule gear will be available for purchase on the main concourse; all proceeds from sales help shelter and breed rescue dogs find loving homes.
This Week...
The Preds look to continue their climb in the Western Conference standings with three games on tap for the week -- home games on Tuesday and Saturday sandwiching a road game on Thursday. The week starts with a game at home against the best in the West, the Vancouver Canucks. The Preds will then head out on the road for one-game trip to Colorado to take on the Avalanche on Thursday. The week ends with a Saturday afternoon matinee against the Detroit Red Wings at Bridgestone Arena.

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 for the remainder of the regular season.
  • Cal O'Reilly, out with a broken leg sustained Jan. 2 vs. Columbus, started skating in solo drills last week. O'Reilly is still not expected to re-join the team for practices this week, although his progress will be re-evaluated later in the week.
  • Steve Sullivan is recovering from sports hernia surgery and is expected to miss another 2-to-4 weeks.

The Week That Was...
The Preds posted a 3-0-0 mark last week, outscoring opponents by a combined 12-7 margin.

Nashville started last week with a 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers. David Legwand, Ryan Suter, and Sergei Kostitsyn all notched points for the fourth consecutive game in that victory, Nashville's fourth game in a six day span.

The Preds extended their winning streak on Thursday as they beat the Anaheim Ducks, 5-4. Sergei Kostitsyn notched his second two-goal game with the Predators and David Legwand potted the game winner, on Nashville’s fourth shorthanded goal of the season in the victory, extending each player’s active point streak to five games. Kevin Klein notched his second two-assist performance of the season and Nick Spaling posted his third career multi-point performance.

On Saturday against the Dallas Stars, Nashville picked up its sixth straight win. Mike Fisher carried the Preds to a 4-2 victory as he notched his first multi-goal/point game with the Preds, scoring twice in the second period. Nashville improved to 8-1-0 in its last nine home games and is tied with Washington and Vancouver for the fewest regulation losses on home ice in the League this season.

David Legwand and Patric Hornqvist led the offense with five points each last week, followed closely by Sergei Kostitsyn with four points. Legwand also paced the team with four goals, while Hornqivst led with four assists. Across the league, Legwand's four goals were second only to Corey Perry's five-goal showing last week.

Preds Play of The Week...
Watch -- Legwand-Ward-Erat go tick-tack-toe for the game's opening goal vs. Edmonton.
Watch -- Pekka Rinne's diving stop on Teemu Selanne vs. Anaheim.

Prospect of the Week...
Jani Lajunen -- A member of Nashville's 2008 Draft class, Lajunen has flourished this season. The 20-year old center closed the regular season with 10 goals and 22 points in 22 games in the Finnish Elite League. He has one goal and three points in nine playoff games, while averaging 19:00 of ice time in a primarily defensive match-up role, helping Espoo advance to the Conference Finals where they will face JYP with fellow Preds prospect Antti Pihlstrom. Lajunen's solid two-way play this season has him in strong contention for a slot on Finland's World Championship squad later this spring.
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