Posted April 06, 2012 on AP on Fox
The Nashville Predators are on the verge of clinching home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs, and they may get it without doing anything by the time they take the ice Saturday night. If there's work left to do, though, they shouldn't be too concerned. The Predators will need - at most - one point to clinch the Western Conference's fourth seed in their regular-season finale at the Pepsi Center as they look for a ninth consecutive victory over the Colorado Avalanche. Nashville (47-26-8) trailed Detroit by one point for home ice in the first round heading into Thursday's action, but when the Red Wings slipped up with a 2-1 home loss to New Jersey, the Predators took advantage. After two scoreless periods against Dallas, Francis Bouillon got Nashville on the board and Patric Hornqvist scored his team-leading 26th goal with two minutes left to seal a 2-0 victory. "We were just worried about winning the game and see if they could put it back in our court,'' coach Barry Trotz said. "We knew, as a coach, obviously we knew (Detroit) had a real hard game in St. Louis (on Wednesday). We were just hoping New Jersey would give us the honors of giving us a chance to be home ice, so we've got to go in there and see if we can get it.'' The Red Wings host Chicago in a Saturday matinee that will determine which team Nashville will face in the first round. Detroit would clinch at least the fifth seed by earning one point, while a Chicago regulation win would lock it into the No. 5 spot. Should the Red Wings lose in any fashion, the Predators will lock up home-ice advantage. A Detroit win means Nashville will have to win or lose beyond regulation to open its series with the Red Wings at Bridgestone Arena. "The Saturday night game is going to be huge for us,'' Hornqvist said. "We were great at home and have been all year. I'm looking forward to Saturday night and I hope we can get a big win and start at home.'' While the Predators might prefer facing Chicago - they were 4-1-1 against the Blackhawks and 3-3-0 against the Red Wings - they should certainly feel confident in their ability to pick up points Saturday. Nashville has outscored Colorado 33-16 in winning eight straight games in this series. Along with that skid against the Predators, it wouldn't be surprising if the Avalanche (41-34-6) had a hard time getting enthused for this game. Colorado was officially eliminated from playoff contention with Thursday's 5-2 home loss to league-worst Columbus. "We knew what was at stake,'' rookie Gabriel Landeskog said. "We squeezed our sticks too tight tonight.'' Many opponents have done the same lately against Nashville, which hasn't surrendered more than one goal in its past six victories. Pekka Rinne is 4-2-0 with a 1.84 goals-against average in his last six starts overall, and he's posted a 2.00 GAA while starting between the pipes for the eight straight wins versus Colorado. Martin Erat, meanwhile, has led the way offensively in the series. He has five goals and five assists in his last six games against the Avalanche. For Colorado to have a chance, it'll probably need to strike first - but even that may not help. Nashville is a West-best 34-3-4 when scoring the game's first goal, though it's won the last two against the Avs after falling behind 1-0.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Gaustad continues to dominate the face off circle for Predators in 2-0 win over Dallas

The Nashville Predators and Dallas stars hooked up in a classic battle between two teams fighting in the trenches for playoff positions on Thursday night at the Bridgestone Arena.The game was a scoreless standoff until Frankie Bouillon broke through with a goal on a rebound with 15:32 remaining in the contest. The only other score in the game was on a goal from Patric Hornqvist with...

Press release: Predators set franchise record for sellouts in a season with 25

Tonight’s regular season home finale marks the Nashville Predators 25thsellout of the season, setting a franchise record for sellouts in a single campaign. The previous record of 20 was set in 1999-2000. The Predators have gone 21-5-2 in their last 28 home games. They have sold out Bridgestone Arena for eight consecutive games, matching the franchise-long eight game sellout streak...

Predators blank Stars 2-0, now control their own destiny in pursuit of home ice advantage

Pekka Rinne and the Nashville Predators shut out the Dallas Stars 2-0 on Thursday night. With the win, the Predators move into fourth spot in the Western Conference standings, one point ahead of the Detroit Red Wings.  Nashville now controls its own destiny in the fight for home ice advantage in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs with one game remaining on the schedule...

Predators goalie Lindback leaves with injury

Nashville Predators goalie Anders Lindback left Saturday night's game against the Colorado Avalanche late in the third period because of an undisclosed injury. Lindback was hurt with 2:14 left in the third. The Nashville backup landed on the back of his head after Colorado left winger Cody McLeod collided with him in the crease. Lindback had 34 saves when he left the game....

Nashville Predators secure home ice against the Detroit Red Wings in the opening round

The Nashville Predators secured the fourth seed and home ice advantage in the opening round of the NHL Playoffs when Chicago beat Detroit 3-2 in a shootout at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday Afternoon.The opening game will most likely will be on Wednesday or Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena.The Predators will face the Detroit Red Wings in the playoffs for the third time in franchise...

Nashville’s depth players come up big in 6-1 win over Colorado Avalanche

The Nashville Predators went into Saturday night’s contest knowing they had already secured fourth spot in the Western Conference standings and home ice in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. While the game had no meaning in terms of the standings, the Predators came out strong offensively and beat the Colorado Avalanche by a 6-1 score, despite allowing 45 shots on goal...

Preview #81: Predators host Dallas in regular season home finale

Season Records Dallas Stars 42-33-5 Nashville Predators 46-26-8 The Nashville Predators wrap up the home portion of their regular season when they host the Dallas Stars on Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena. Nashville has been consistently strong at home over the last several seasons. Since the beginning of the 2005-06 season, the Predators have picked up 180 home wins and rank...

Predators eliminate Stars with shutout victory

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Nashville coach Barry Trotz insists he knew nothing of Detroit's loss just as his Predators went into the third period needing a win of their own to grab back the chance of landing home-ice advantage to start the playoffs. His Predators sure responded as if they did. Pekka Rinne made 28 saves for his fifth shutout of the season, Francis Bouillon scored...

Preds get goals from six different players, beat Avs…

It was the most meaningless Nashville Predators game since April 4, 2008. The Chicago Blackhawks beat the Detroit Red Wings this afternoon, locking Detroit in 5th place in the Western Conference and giving the Preds home ice advantage in the first round. Therefore, tonight’s tilt against the Colorado Avalanche meant absolutely nothing. The good news? Nashville didn’t act like...

Predators 6, Avalanche 1

Backup Anders Lindback stopped 34 shots before leaving early in the final period after a collision and Patric Hornqvist scored his team-leading 27th goal to lift the playoff-bound Nashville Predators to a 6-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night in the regular-season finale for both teams. David Legwand, Craig Smith, Roman Josi, Brandon Yip and Matt Halischuk also had...

Paul McCann: Game Night in Smashville - Last One of the Regular Season

It is game night in Smashville for the final time in the regular season. The dallas Stars are in town for a desperation matchup with the Nashville Predators. For Nashville, the game is important to keep alive the team’s hopes for home ice advantage in the first round. For Dallas, well, their entire season is on the line, a loss destroys what little hope they have for the playoffs...

Game 81 Preview: Dallas Stars @ Nashville Predators

Dallas Stars (42-33-5, 89 pts) @ Nashville Predators (46-26-8, 100 pts) 7:00 PM CT, April 5, 2012 Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee Stars: The Stars' playoff hopes are teetering on the edge heading into tonight's game. There's one foot over the cliff and the second is already making a step, but this team is yet alive (even of just barely). It's going to...

Game 82: Nashville @ Colorado – Will It Be 4th or 5th?

Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images The final regular season game is here and the Avalanche have the unique ability to try and play spoiler to Nashville getting home ice advantage. The Predators control their fate: a regulation win or an overtime loss solidifies 4th place and home ice. A regulation loss with a Detroit win gets the Predators 5th. A Detroit loss in regulation means...

Nashville back in the driver seat, Rinne gets his 5th shutout beating Dallas 2-0

Photo Credit: John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images Nothing was settled coming into Thursday night’s game against the Dallas Stars, but one thing was for sure: If Nashville wanted to attempt to grab the 4th seed in the Western Conference and home ice advantage, they HAD to win against the Stars. On top of Pekka Rinne’s 28 save shutout, Nashville officially eliminated the Dallas...

Nashville finishes the season on a mile-high note, blast Colorado 6-1

Photo Credit: AP Photo/David Zalubowski With the regular season winding down and Nashville visiting Colorado for game 82, most were unsure what to expect with the line-up changes being handed down after the Predators secured the 4th seed in the Western Conference when Detroit lost in a shootout to Chicago. However, with Nashville’s top line taking a rest for the night, it wouldn’t...
NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.