Game 17 Preview: Vancouver at Nashville

Nashville hosts Vancouver tonight in the only meet-up the teams will have at the Bridgestone arena. They meet again on March 17th in Vancouver. Nashville is coming off Tuesday's OT  win against longtime rival Detroit while Vancouver plays the second game of a double header.

TV/Radio Coverage

Nashville: Fox Sports Tennessee and 102.5 The Game

Vancouver: Sportsnet Pacific and AM 1040

Season Series

This will be the first meeting of the season for these teams.

Line Up News

Starting Goaltenders:

Name W L OT GAA SV%
#35 Pekka Rinne 6 3 4 1.58 .938
#35 Roberto Luongo 4 0 3 1.63 .934

Projected Nashville Scratches: #18 W Brandon Yip, #23 W Brian McGrattan (conditioning assignment) and #28 C Paul Gaustad (upper-body)

Projected Vanvouver Scratches: C Barker, A Alberts, A Volpatti

Projected Lines

Nashville

#74 Sergei Kostitsyn #12 Mike Fisher #10 Martin Erat
#57 Gabriel Bourque #11 David Legwand #27 Patric Hornqvist
#24 Matt Halischuk #33 Colin Wilson #15 Craig Smith
#16 Rich Clune #13 Nick Spaling  
#6 Shea Weber #59 Roman Josi
#7 Jonathon Blum #8 Kevin Klein
#4 Ryan Ellis #22 Scott Hannan
#75 Hal Gill  
#35 Pekka Rinne
#30 Chris Mason

Vancouver

Daniel Sedin Henrik Sedin Alexandre Burrows
Chris Higgins Ryan Kesler Zack Kassian
David Booth Jordan Shroeder Mason Raymond
Jannick Hansen  Maxim Lapierre Dale Weise
Kevin Bieska Dan Hamhuis
Alexander Elder Christopher Tanev
Keith Ballard #4 Jakub Kindl
Roberto Luongo
Cory Schneider

Thoughts on Both Teams

Predators: It's a busy week for most NHL teams and the Preds are no exception. They lost a close one in Colorado Monday and beat Detroit in OT Tuesday. Surprisingly, like really surprising, is that Nashville has scored 9 goals in those two games, or 4.5 goals per game, compared to their season average of 2.2. With that said, they have also allowed 9 goals in that same time span, which is even more drastic than their 3rd overall 2.0 GA/Game. Nashville will look to get their defensive game back on track tonight while continuing to put shots on net early and often.

Another area of improvement for the team will is the power play, where they went 2/11 over the last two games. That's by no means devastatingly bad, but for Trotz's team it simply won't do. The Preds are cycling the puck much more this year and passing up good shooting opportunities. They don't seem to be looking for the rebound goal nearly as much as last season. 

Canucks: The Canucks will play in Nashville in game three of their four game road trip. They beat Dallas 4-3 last night with goals from four different players. The twins will of course be an offensive presence, as they play on the first line alongside burrows. The Sedin's only have seven goals between them, but have combined for 25 (!) assists in 16 games.  Vancouver has a middle-of-the pack penalty kill, ranked 17th in the league, which could spark the Preds if there are a lot of trips to the box. 

Vancouver also has a goaltending "dilema" that any team would want to face. The trade speculation over Luongo has taken a back seat for the time being and he and Schneider have been splitting games fairly evenly (it will be 9-9 after tonight). They are both equally capable of putting the team on their back for a game and may prove challenging to the Predators offense. 

Vancouver Canucks Players to Watch:

Name GP G A
#22 Daniel Sedin 16 5 12
#33 Henrik Sedin 16 2 13
#23 Alexander Edler 16 4 8

New Fang Faction Contest: 

Smashville, guess the Predators' first goal scorer by typing it in the comment section below. If you are right, you will tally three points, but if the player gets an assist on the first goal, you get one point. At the end of the season, the person who has the most points will receive a Preds player t-shirt, or one from the Fang Faction Store, of their choice courtesy of Fang Faction

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