9:00 PM CT – Nashville Predators (9-6-5) @ Anaheim Ducks (13-3-1)
TV: Fox Sports Tennessee
Radio: 102.5 The Game
Last time out:
NSH- Down 4-2 midway through the second period, Barry Trotz’s club dug deep and found a way to pull out a 5-4 overtime win Monday night against Dallas. Roman Josi collected a career-high four points in the victory, while Patric Hornqvist was effective with a two-point effort. It was an important two points considering the upcoming road trip.
ANA- Monday night in Los Angeles, first-year netminder Viktor Fasth proved to be human. He captured his first regulation loss in 5-2 defeat against the defending-champion Kings. The Ducks blew a pair of one-goal leads and saw the Kings score three unanswered goals in the third period. It was just Anaheim’s third regulation loss of the season.
Players to watch:
NSH- Gabriel Bourque
The Preds need to play with a lot of energy for a full 60 minutes if they wish to come away with a win tonight, so look for Bourque to be a factor tonight. He’s been silent of late, which means he’s due for a breakout game.
ANA- Ryan Getzlaf
Anaheim’s captain has turned it on offensively, taking over the team lead in points with 18. Getzlaf has nine points in his last six games, including a big three-point game against Colorado on Sunday.
Projected starting goaltenders:
NSH- Pekka Rinne (2012-13 stats: 8-5-4, 1.90 GAA)
ANA- Viktor Fasth (2012-13 stats: 8-1-0, 2.01 GAA)
Projected lineups from last game/practice:
|Colin Wilson||Mike Fisher||Martin Erat|
|Gabriel Bourque||David Legwand||Patric Hornqvist|
|Sergei Kostitsyn||Craig Smith||Richard Clune|
|Brandon Yip||Nick Spaling||Matt Halischuk|
|Roman Josi||Shea Weber||Pekka Rinne|
|Jonathon Blum||Kevin Klein||Chris Mason|
|Scott Hannan||Ryan Ellis|
|Andrew Cogliano||Ryan Getzlaf||Corey Perry|
|Daniel Winnik||Saku Koivu||Teemu Selanne|
|Kyle Palmieri||Nick Bonino||Bobby Ryan|
|Matt Beleskey||Patrick Maroon||Brad Staubitz|
|Sheldon Souray||Francois Beauchemin||Viktor Fasth|
|Bryan Allen||Cam Fowler||Jonas Hiller|
|Toni Lydman||Ben Lovejoy|
*Lineups are subject to change
NSH- Paul Gaustad (upper body, probable), Hal Gill (lower body, out)
Keys to the game:
NSH- Tighten up defensive game… The Predators’ defensive zone play in the last two games has been uncharacteristic. They’ve allowed a total of eight goals in the two games, including three on the penalty kill. The task gets tougher tonight against the Ducks, who are third in the NHL with a 3.24 goals per game average. The Preds must do a better job of clearing traffic in front of Rinne.
ANA- Take advantage of matchups… The Predators’ top defense pairing of Shea Weber and Roman Josi has not been on the ice for an even strength goal against in the last four games. If Barry Trotz had his way, he’d put Weber and Josi out there against Getzlaf and Perry. But Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau has the last change, so getting his top guns on the ice when Weber and Josi aren’t out there will only help the home team tonight.
Numbers to know:
- This is the third and final meeting between these two teams. The Ducks have won both games thus far, each by a 3-2 decision via the shootout.
- 2011-12 season series vs. Anaheim: 4-0 Predators
- The Preds are 4-4-2 on the road this season … Anaheim is 6-1-0 at home.
- The Preds are 6-1-2 against Pacific Division opponents this season … Anaheim is 6-0-0 against the Central.
- Dating back to Jan. 5, 2011, the Preds are 6-0-2 in 8 regular season contests against the Ducks.
- All-time, the Preds are 8-15-4 at Honda Center in Anaheim. However, the Preds are 5-1-1 in their last 7 trips to Anaheim, including the playoffs.
- Pekka Rinne is 9-2-4 with a 1.94 GAA and .930 save percentage in 15 career games vs. Anaheim. His counterpart, Viktor Fasth, is 2-0-0 with a 1.85 GAA and .927 save percentage in 2 career games vs. Nashville.
- Patric Hornqvist has 14 points in 16 career games vs. Anaheim.
- Power play: Nashville (14.9%, 24th) … Anaheim (27.3%, 4th)
- Penalty kill: Nashville (82.4%, 16th) … Anaheim (73.8%, 28th)
Less than a month before they met in the 2011 playoffs, the Preds and Ducks played a memorable game in Nashville that March. The Preds won 5-4 as they chased Jonas Hiller with three early goals, then held off a fierce Anaheim rally…