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The Week Ahead... (Oct. 31)

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators
What to Watch For...
Monday – Nashville at Chicago Blackhawks

Nashville opens its season series against Central Divisional foe Chicago tonight in the Windy City. The Predators are 2-2-0 against divisional opponents this season, following wins against Columbus and St. Louis the opening weekend of 2011-12. Against Chicago a season ago, comeback victories highlighted the six-game series, as both teams went 2-1 on home ice. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Tennessee with radio coverage on the Preds Radio Network including flagship station 102.5 The Game. Puck drops at 7:30pm/CT.

Thursday – Nashville at Phoenix Coyotes
The Preds head west on Thursday to take on the Phoenix Coyotes. If recovered from injury, recently traded Cal O’Reilly will play his first game with the Coyotes against his former team. In their only match-up so far this season, Phoenix routed the Preds with a 5-2 win at Bridgestone Arena. Thursday’s game will be televised on Fox Sports Tennessee with radio coverage on the Preds Radio Network including flagship station 102.5 The Game. Puck drops at 9:00pm/CT.

Saturday – Nashville at San Jose Sharks
The Preds begin their California swing against Western Conference rival San Jose Sharks. Nashville posted a 2-0-2 record against the Sharks last season. Shea Weber led all Predators in points against San Jose a season ago with one goal and three assists in four games. So far this season, San Jose holds the 1-0-0 season lead over Nashville with a win at Bridgestone Arena last Tuesday. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Tennessee with radio coverage on the Preds Radio Network including flagship station 102.5 The Game. Puck drops at 9:30pm/CT.
This Week...
It’s time for the annual CMA Awards road trip. The Nashville Predators hit the road this week and won’t return home for two weeks. This week will see the team travel to Chicago tonight to take on the Blackhawks and then have two days of rest before heading out west. The team will start out the western swing on Thursday in Phoenix to take on the Coyotes before heading off to California for a tilt against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.

Injury Report
  • Martin Erat returned from injury on Saturday night, scoring a goal in his first game back from an upper body injury suffered in the Season Opener at Columbus.
  • Mike Fisher is day-to-day after suffering an upper body injury on Saturday against Anaheim. Fisher did not travel with the team to Chicago, but  worked out in Nashville on Monday and is expected to travel with the team for the remainder of the West Coast road trip.
  • Sergei Kostitsyn is day-to-day after suffering a lower body injury on Oct. 27 vs. Tampa Bay. Kostitsyn missed Saturday's game against Anaheim, but traveled with the team to Chicago. He was deemed not fit to play after Monday’s morning skate, but is probable for Thursday at Phoenix.
  • Nick Spaling was placed on Injured Reserve retroactive to Sunday, Oct. 30 with a lower body injury. Spaling did not travel with the team to Chicago. He is eligible to come off IR on Nov. 6.

The Week That Was...
Nashville went 2-1-0 last week and got back into their winning ways to close out a three game homestand. The Preds got two powerhouses back in the line-up on Tuesday with the return of veteran forward Mike Fisher and defenseman Francis Bouillon in the 3-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks. Bouillon played 17:32 and dished out three hits in his first game since sustaining a concussion on Jan. 16, 2011. Fishers teamed up with Craig Smith and Sergei Kostitsyn to form Nashville’s top line and notched an assist on Smith’s third period power-play marker. The Preds got back on track on Thursday with a 5-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. In his second game of the season, Mike Fisher scored two goals and added an assist in the Preds win. Sergei Kostitsyn, Patric Hornqvist, and Nick Spaling also scored for Nashville. The Preds continued their winning ways on Saturday against the Anaheim Ducks. Goalie Pekka Rinne stopped all 20 Ducks shots he faced in the 3-0 victory to reach a pair of notable milestones. The win was the 100th of Rinne’s career, making him the second goalie in franchise history to hit the century mark. Rinne also set a franchise record for career shutouts with his 22nd vs. Anaheim. Patric Hornqvist scored just 14 seconds into the game for Nashville and it was the third-fastest goal in franchise history.

Plays of the Week...
  Pekka Rinne's  Glove Save against Tampa Bay
  Martin Erat's Give-and-Go Goal vs. Anaheim

2:00 for Tweeting...
Chet Pickard (CPickard37) – How creepy of a Barney am I? #halloween (Oct. 30)

Jordin Tootoo (JTootoo22) - Tune in to @WKRNSports Sunday 10:30 for the debut of a weekly segment 'Tootoo on 2'. Support @TeamTootooFund (Oct. 30)

Mike Fisher (mikefisher1212)- Happy Halloween from Penny!
Happy Halloween from Ace! (Oct. 31)

Jon Blum (jonblum7) - Nice to get the first win on home ice for the fans tonight hopefully the first of many more (Oct. 27)

Prospect of the Week...
Juuso Puustinen -- A European free agent signing this summer, Puustinen scored two goals in three games last week for Milwaukee, including the game-tying goal in Friday night's 2-1 come-from-behind win. The 23-year old forward spent the last three seasons in Finland, but has scored four goals in his first eight AHL games this year to rank second on Admirals. Additionally, Puustinen has gone 2-for-2 in shootouts with one shootout winner.

Photo of the Week...

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