Islanders-Predators Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated October 12, 2013
The Nashville Predators are trying to solve their scoring issues, and they may have to do it without their top scorer. With Mike Fisher potentially out, the Predators will try to end their scoring drought and continue their dominance of the New York Islanders on Saturday night. Nashville (1-3-0) has been shut out in five straight periods after scoring three times in the opening stanza of Tuesday's 3-2 win over Minnesota to open a five-game homestand. The Predators followed that up two days later with a 4-0 defeat to Toronto, despite a season-high 36 shots. "We just have to get those shots in. Get those quality scoring chances," said forward Colin Wilson, whose only goal of the season came against the Wild. Nashville may be dealing with an even greater loss if Fisher, the team leader with three points, is suspended for his hit on Cody Franson in the third period. The center earned a game misconduct and boarding major for shoving the former Preds defenseman into the curved glass at the end of the Maple Leafs bench. Franson's face was bloodied and he didn't return. The NHL hasn't announced if Fisher will be disciplined, but he didn't even think it was a penalty. "Just a hockey play," Fisher said. "First of all, hopefully he's OK. Obviously I feel bad he got hurt, but it's just a play where we kind of went into the glass. There was no intent at all. "If you look at it, it's really not a penalty. Unfortunately, he got hurt." If Fisher is out, Nashville may need some production from David Legwand, who hasn't scored in three games and was last season's team leader with 12 goals. The center has one goal and five assists in nine career meetings with New York (2-1-1). The Predators have won six of the past seven home meetings with the Islanders, including five in a row while outscoring them 14-4. They've also shut them out three times during that winning streak, which is part of a 7-0-1 record in the last eight overall matchups. Nashville, though, hasn't faced the Islanders since a 3-1 road win Jan. 16, 2012, and last hosted them in a 5-0 victory on Dec. 13, 2010. A pair of goals in the final 54 seconds of the first period erased a two-goal deficit Friday in Chicago, but New York went on to lose 3-2 to fall for the first time in regulation. "When you mismanage the puck against that team and you don't make them play a 200-foot game, you're never going to have success and that's exactly what happened," coach Jack Capuano said. "Our execution level was down and we had some passengers." John Tavares and Michael Grabner certainly aren't among them. Tavares has five points in the past three games after getting an assist Friday, while Grabner's assist gave him a team-leading seven points. Only Tavares, however, has managed to get on the scoresheet against the Predators, netting a goal in the most recent meeting. The Islanders will likely have Evgeni Nabokov back in net after being rested in favor of Kevin Poulin, who had 25 saves against the Blackhawks. Nabokov went 2-0-1 with a 1.89 goals-against average over the first three games, and he's won seven of eight starts against Nashville since 2007-08 behind a 2.36 GAA.
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