The Nashville Predators fly to beautiful British Columbia for the first and final time this regular season to take on the Vancouver Canucks. The Predators are 11-9-6 with 28 points and ranked 10th in the Western Conference. The Canucks are ranked 3rd in the Western Conference with 30 points and a record of 12-7-6. Puck drops at 9:07pm CT.
Nashville: Fox Sports Tennessee and 102.5 The Game
Vancouver: 1040 AM
Line Up News
|#35 Pekka Rinne||10||8||5||2.00||.924|
|#1 Roberto Luongo||6||2||3||2.08||.917|
Projected Nashville Scratches: #7 D Jonathon Blum, #23 W Zach Boychuk and #28 C Paul Gaustad (lower body); #27 W Patric Hornqvist (IR; upper body), #33 C Colin Wilson (IR; upper body) and #75 D Hal Gill (IR; lower body)
Projected Vancouver Scratches: #3 D Kevin Bieksa (groin; day-to-day), #4 D Keith Ballard and #13 W Steven Pinizzotto; #17 C Ryan Kesler (IR; foot)
|#57 Gabriel Bourque||#11 David Legwand||#19 Bobby Butler|
|#74 Sergei Kostitsyn||#12 Mike Fisher||#10 Martin Erat|
|#18 Brandon Yip||#17 Chris Mueller||#16 Rich Clune|
|#15 Craig Smith||#13 Nick Spaling||#24 Matt Halischuk|
|#6 Shea Weber||#59 Roman Josi|
|#8 Kevin Klein||#4 Ryan Ellis|
|#22 Scott Hannan||#64 Victor Bartley|
|#35 Pekka Rinne|
|#30 Chris Mason|
|#22 Daniel Sedin||#33 Henrik Sedin||#14 Alex Burrows|
|#36 Jannik Hansen||#25 Andrew Ebbett||#21 Mason Raymond|
|#7 David Booth||#20 Chris Higgins||#9 Zack Kassian|
|#29 Tom Sestito||#40 Maxim Lapierre||#32 Dale Weise|
|#8 Chris Tanev||#23 Alex Edler|
|#5 Jason Garrison||#2 Dan Hamhuis|
|#41 Andrew Alberts||#18 Cam Barker|
|#1 Roberto Luongo|
|#35 Cory Schneider|
Thoughts on Both Teams
Predators: After starting off their 5 game road stint with a 4-0 win over the Dallas Stars, the Predators look to continue their success against the Canucks. Thursday night's game in British Columbia will the be the first of a back-to-back. The next day, they head to Alberta to take on a struggling Calgary Flames team. Nashville would love to get a win and head into the next game with confidence.
Scoring seemed not to be an issue Tuesday night in Dallas, despite not having leading scorer Colin Wilson and Patric Hornqvist in the lineup. Hopefully the scoring continues not to be a problem and not follow a trend similar to the Friday and Saturday night games at Bridgestone Arena, when the Preds scored six on Edmonton and only one on Minnesota.
Paul Gaustad will be out of the lineup Thursday as well. Their leading faceoff man has been key to killing penalties and winning important draws. With Chris Mueller being called up, expect him to step into the lineup to replace Gaustad. However, head coach Barry Trotz could plug Zach Boychuk back into the lineup.
The three keys to victory are 1) Capitalize on opportunities; 2) Shut down the Sedins; and 3) 3rd and 4th liners need to contribute.
Canucks: Vancouver is in a slump winning only one out of their last five games. That one victory came in a shootout, snapping the Blue Jackets' five game win streak. The Canucks start a four game home stand that they would love to capitalize on with any opportunities that come there way so they can keep on top of the Pacific Division.
Defenseman Kevin Bieksa has yet to fully recover from a groin injury suffered in the last meeting between the two teams on February 22. Bieksa is listed as day-to-day. Meanwhile, center Ryan Kesler is out indefinitely with a foot injury.
The Sedin twins and Alexander Burrows line has rarely been broken up. They are always together and have excellent chemistry. Shea Weber and Roman Josi will have their hands full attempting to slow them down in Vancouver.
Vancouver Players to Watch:
|#33 Henrik Sedin||25||6||18|
|#36 Jannik Hansen||24||6||7|
|#23 Alexander Edler||25||4||8|
Who scores the first goal of the game for Predators? Win a Preds player t-shirt, info here.