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The Week Ahead... (Sept. 19)

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators
What to Watch For...
Monday Nashville at Florida

The Preds open their preseason slate with a double header at the Florida Panthers. Game 1 is set to start at 2pm CT; Game 2 will begin at 6:30 pm CT. Nashville is bringing a young group down to Florida, so both games will be opportunities for rookies to make strong first impressions on the coaching staff

Tuesday – Nashville at Washington
The Preds close out their two-day/three-game gauntlet with a trip to Baltimore, MD to faceoff against the Washington Capitals. The game will represent the debut of the Preds Radio Network on 102.5 The Game (pregame show starts at 5pm CT). Click here to listen live

Thursday – Preds Jerseys On-Sale
102.5 The Game will be at Sport Seasons, the official jersey headquarters of the Nashville Predators, in Cool Springs this Thursday from 4-6p. Be one of the first to pick up the brand new jersey and receive a gift from Sport Seasons and the Nashville Predators (while supplies last). GNASH and the Nashville Predators Dancers and Ice Girls will be on hand with games and prizes.

Friday – Nashville at Carolina
The Preds open a weekend back-to-back set with a trip to Carolina, the first of two preseason meetings between the squads.

Saturday – Nashville vs. Winnipeg
The Preds play their first home game of the preseason on Saturday, the first of two meetings with the Winnipeg Jets and the fifth of Nashville's eight games during the 2011 preseason schedule.
This Week...
The Preds open their busiest week of the year with five preseason games on the schedule, including a Monday double-header at Florida and the preseason home opener on Saturday at Bridgestone Arena against Winnipeg.

The Week That Was...
Nashville opened training camp on Friday with team physicals and took the ice for the first day of practices on Saturday. Read the daily updates here: Saturday | Sunday

Earlier in the week, the Preds rookies took center stage with a pair of rookie games in Florida. On Monday they topped Tampa Bay, 7-3, and on Tuesday they bested Florida, 3-1. Craig Smith led all Preds scorers with six goals and seven points in the two games. Taylor Beck and Gabriel Bourque both had four points in the two games, while Ryan Ellis paced all team defensemen with two points.

Atte Engren and Chet Pickard split the goaltending duties with both playing half of each game. Engren finished the two games with 36 saves on 38 shots (.947 save percentage); Pickard stopped 40 of the 42 shots he faced (.952 save percentage).

Prospect of the Week...
Craig Smith -- It's been a long time since a Preds rookie forward has generated the type of buzz and excitement that Smith has carried into the start of training camp. Smith's summer exploits have been well documented (a leading role for Team USA at the World Championships, a strong showing in July Development Camp, a dominant performance in the rookie games vs. Florida and Tampa Bay last week); this week he gets his first chance to match-up against NHLers.
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