Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Coming off their first home win of the season, the Nashville Predators (4-4-1) will be looking to build off of that when the Anaheim Ducks (5-3-1) come into the Bridgestone Arena for the first time since being knocked out of the playoffs a little over 6 months ago.
Last Year’s Series: 3-1-0 (2-0-0 Home, 1-1-0 Away)
Last Year’s Playoff Series: 4-2-0 (2-1-0 Home, 2-1-0 Away)
Last Season’s Video Recaps:
Game 1 – October 9th, 2010:
Game 2 – November 7th, 2010:
Game 3 – January 5th, 2011:
Game 4 – March 24th, 2011:
Playoff Game 1 – April 13th, 2011:
Playoff Game 2 – April 15th, 2011:
Playoff Game 3 – April 17th, 2011:
Playoff Game 4 – April 20th, 2011:
Playoff Game 5 – April 22nd, 2011:
Playoff Game 6 – April 24th, 2011:
Looking at the Ducks: After an opening night loss to Buffalo, Anaheim would go on a 7 game roller coaster. Winning their next 4 then losing 3 straight after that, the Ducks have partially righted their ship with a 3-2 win against Minnesota this past Thursday night.
Anaheim comes into Nashville tonight with only 1 win in their past 5 attempts inside Bridgestone Arena, a WCQF Game 4 6-3 win. However, after being ousted by the Predators, Anaheim will be looking to exact a little bit of revenge. With Corey Perry riding a 6-game point streak and Selanne/Getzlaf/Perry combining for 23 points already this season, the Ducks mean business and are ready to crash a Saturday night party for the Predators.
Looking at the Predators: Nashville finally found their much needed offense Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning. After a big 5-3 win, the Predators will be looking to continue that tonight against the Ducks and hope to turn it into a winning streak.
However, after Sergei Kostitsyn (tied for the team lead in points) was hurt late in the second period and held out for the remainder of the evening, he’ll be out for tonight’s game. In his place? Right-winger Martin Erat will come back for only his second game of the season. Will Erat be able to get back on track and fill in for the very dangerous Kostitsyn? We’ll find out in a few hours!
For the Ducks to win: Nashville didn’t get to see Jonas Hiller too much last season and none at all during the playoff series, however Anaheim will bring him out front and center during tonight’s matchup. Hiller will HAVE to have a strong game against a Nashville team trying to build off of a huge win this past Thursday.
Facing a team that is still dead last in shots forced and shots allowed, Anaheim will have a good chance to see how many shots they can force against a Pekka Rinne-guarded goal.
For the Predators to win: Things may be on the right track for Nashville after they altered their defensive pairings over the last couple of games. Splitting up Klein/Blum has only produced a positive effect for Nashville, which they finally saw Thursday night against Tampa Bay.
The bad news? The Predators are still being outshot by their opponents, a 9th straight game. Only the New York Rangers and Nashville Predators have yet to outshoot an opponent in a game this year. Will that statistic change tonight? If the Predators want to continue to be competitive, they need to start shooting the puck more and try to get ahead of an opponent.
If you like what I have listed out here or if you have any questions/comments/concerns, feel free to let me know at kris...@thepredatorial.com
Stay frosty, friends