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The Week Ahead... (Oct. 3)

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators
What to Watch For...
Friday – Nashville at Columbus

The Central Division rivals open the season head-to-head in Columbus. The Preds won the season series 4-2-0 in '10-11 with Shea Weber leading the way with six points, followed by Patric Hornqvist (3 goals, 5 points).

Saturday – Nashville at St. Louis
The Preds finish off their season-opening back-to-back set with a visit to St. Louis, the Blues season opener. Nashville was edged in the season series 2-3-1 last season in a low-scoring series. Pekka Rinne was 1-3-1 against the Blues last year, but sported a 1.75 goals against average and .926 save percentage.

This Week...
The Preds open the 2011-12 regular season this weekend with a back-to-back set at Columbus (Friday night) and at St. Louis (Saturday night).

The Preds will be active in the community during the middle of the week with a season preview on 102.5 The Game on Monday night (6-7 pm CT), Preds Snapshot on Fox Sports Tennessee (various days/times, debuting Monday night at 9 pm CT), and making an appearance at Tuesday night's "Play With A Pro" event at A-Game Sportsplex (5-8 pm).

The Week That Was...
Nashville went 3-0-0 in three preseason games last week, winning a mid-week home game against Washington on Wednesday and then sweeping both ends of a back-to-back on the weekend with a shootout win on Friday at Winnipeg and an overtime win on Saturday night at home against Carolina.

Craig Smith led the way for Nashville with three points on the week in three games played, including the overtime winner Saturday night. Cal O'Reilly paced the team with two goals on the week (in two games) and added the lone shootout conversion in Friday night's win. David Legwand (1g-1a), Jodin Tootoo (1g-1a), Shea Weber (2a) and Colin Wilson (1g-1a) also posted multi-point weeks.

The goaltenders were in mid-season form as Pekka Rinne turned aside 43-of-45 shots in two appearanecs for a .956 save percentage and 0.96 goals against average. Anders Lindback stopped 35-of-37 shots (.946 save percentage) and all three shootout attempts in his one game between the pipes.

Seen On Social Media...
Jon Blum (JonBlum7) - Heading out to the titans game hopefully can find 2 tickets there pretty pumped first football game ever (Sept. 25)

Mike Fisher (mikefisher1212) - Saw moneyball tonight! Great flick! go check it out! (Sept. 23)

Chet Pickard (CPickard37) - Hey @Latta17 ....The @TheWHL is way tougher than the #ohl #feelit  (Sept. 30)

Prospect of the Week...
Craig Smith -- Smith might be on the verge of graduating out of "prospect" territory, scoring the overtime winner in the final preseason game of the season on Saturday night. Earlier in the week he chipped in a pair of assists in the team's Wednesday night win over Washington. Smith closed out the preseason with four points and a +2 plus/minus rating, while firing 14 shots on goal (second most on the team). During the weekend back-to-back, Smith saw significant ice time centering one of the team's top-two scoring lines, perhaps an indication of the trust he's earning with the coaches.

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