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Training Camp Brief: Saturday Scrimmage

by Kevin Wilson / Nashville Predators
The Predators held their first scrimmage of 2007 training camp Saturday morning at Centennial Sportsplex with all 54 attendees participating. The up-tempo, physical affair consisted of two, 30-minute running-time periods; teams switched from Rink 1 to Rink 2 at the brief intermission.

The consensus player of the game proved to be Antti Pihlstrom, a summer free-agent signee who netted two goals for Team Blue in its 5-0 victory over Team White. Pihlstrom’s first goal came on a quick wrister from the slot at the 23:15 mark of the first period, beating Dan Ellis. The tally put the Blue squad up 3-0 – defenseman Cody Franson scored the first goal of the game, and Scott Nichol finished a pretty individual effort and drop-pass from J.P. Dumont at 14:30 of the first frame.

It wasn’t until the midpoint of the second period that David Legwand scored the next goal, putting a penalty-shot attempt past Ellis. Pihlstrom capped the scoring at 28:35 by burying a rebound past Jeremy Smith, a second-round pick in June’s draft.

All six goaltenders participated in the scrimmage, with each playing roughly 20 minutes. Chris Mason started for Team Blue and Pekka Rinne did likewise for the White side. Mason was followed by Dov Grumet-Morris, and he by free-agent invite Maxime Daigneault. Rinne was relieved by Ellis, and Smith finished the game for Team White.

Assistant General Manager Paul Fenton said Jerred Smithson, Shea Weber, Ryan Maki and Pihlstrom were some of the players who stood out to him. He also said Pihlstrom will fit into the Nashville system best as an energy player who is physical, quick, and has good hands.

Head Coach Barry Trotz told the media to expect nine or 10 NHL veterans to dress for tomorrow afternoon’s preseason opener at Columbus. The game, which starts at 4 p.m. CT, will be broadcast on WGFX 104.5 The Zone.
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