Predators @ Colorado Avalanche (Game 35): Preview

The Nashville Predators faceoff against the Colorado Avalanche in a Saturday matinee. Nashville is ranked 9th in the Western Conference with a record of 14-4-6 and 34 points. Colorado has a record of 11-18-4 with 26 points and ranked 15th (last) in the Western Conference. Puck drops at 2:07pm CT/1:07pm MT.

TV/Radio Coverage

Nashville: Fox Sports Tennessee and 102.5 The Game

Colorado: Altitude and Altitude Radio

Season Series

Date Away Home Result
2/18 NSH COL 5-6 COL

Line Up News

Starting Goaltenders:

Name W L OT GAA SV%
#35 Pekka Rinne 13 10 5 2.39 .908
#1 Semyon Varlamov 9 16 3 3.04 .902

Projected Nashville Scratches: #12 C Mike Fisher (questionable; hand), #13 C Nick Spaling and #24 W Matt Halischuk; #33 C Colin Wilson (IR; upper body) and #22 D Scott Hannan (IR; upper body)

Projected Colorado Scratches: #5 D Shane O'Brien, #26 C Paul Stastny (foot) and #54 W David Jones (knee); #27 W Steve Downie (IR; knee surgery) and #44 D Ryan Wilson (IR; ankle)

Projected Lines

Nashville

#74 Sergei Kostitsyn #10 Martin Erat #56 Taylor Beck
#57 Gabriel Bourque #11 David Legwand #27 Patric Hornqvist
#16 Rich Clune #28 Paul Gaustad #18 Brandon Yip
#15 Craig Smith #17 Chris Mueller #19 Bobby Butler
#6 Shea Weber #59 Roman Josi
#8 Kevin Klein #64 Victor Bartley
#75 Hal Gill #7 Jon Blum
#35 Pekka Rinne
#30 Chris Mason

Colorado

#92 Gabriel Landeskog #90 Ryan O'Reilly #23 Milan Hejduk
#11 Jamie McGinn #9 Matt Duchene #15 PA Parenteau
#12 Chuck Kobasew #7 John Mitchell #17 Aaron Palushaj
#58 Patrick Bordeleau #40 Mark Olver #55 Cody McLeod
#6 Erik Johnson #22 Matt Hunwick
#3 Ryan O'Byrne #41 Tyson Barrie
#4 Greg Zanon #8 Jan Hejda
#1 Semyon Varlamov
#35 Jean-Sebastien Giguere

Thoughts on Both Teams

Predators: Nashville has to win the games they should win. Losing against Colorado Saturday will in fact haunt them and hurt their chances towards entering the postseason. Currently, the Predators sit two points out of a playoff spot behind the Blues.

It will be a toss up to see who the fourth line is entering Saturday afternoon's affair. There are five players–Craig Smith, Chris Mueller, Bobby Butler, Nick Spaling and Matt Halischuk–who could all be in the lineup. However, Trotz has to select only three and that is who he goes with as his other line. There isn't a bad pick when looking at these five guys. It will be interesting to see what happens before the game.

Mike Fisher is questionable with a hand injury, but you have to think Trotz will hold him out of the game so he can fully heal for Monday's matchup in Chicago.

Avalanche: Colorado is on the opposite end of the spectrum and are "trying to lose". It isn't like the Avalanche have stopped coaching or trying to win, losing has less of a negative effect for them opposed to most teams. Fans are now wanting the first overall pick so they can draft the number one prospect Seth Jones.

Right now, the Avs' main goal is to play spoiler. That is what they can do to the Preds by getting a win at home. In their last nine games, Colorado has managed just one victory. This is a struggling team and they would like to get place a check mark in the win column.

Colorado Avalanche Players to Watch:

Name GP G A
#92 Gabriel Landeskog 21 7 5
#9 Matt Duchene 32 13 20
#15 PA Parenteau 33 14 20

Who scores the first goal of the game for Predators? Win a Preds player t-shirt, info here.

 

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