Originally posted on Inside Smashville  |  Last updated 2/6/12

Season Records

Vancouver Canucks 32-15-5

Nashville Predators 32-17-4

Fisher was the Predators hero last time Vancouver and Nashville met, December 1st.

The Nashville Predators will try to win their seventh home game in a row on Tuesday night when they host the Northwest Division leading Vancouver Canucks at Bridgestone Arena Tuesday night. It is the first of two meetings between the two teams in Music City during the regular season. Nashville has already played twice in Vancouver, splitting those decisions.

It is the first time the Canucks will be in town since defeating Nashville in game six of the Western Conference semi-finals last spring.

The Predators and Canucks are separated in the standings by one point alone, but since the Canucks are leading their division, the Predators will be unable to take them over in the standings should they win Tuesday night. A win, however, would bring Nashville ever so much closer to the Central Division and Western Conference leading Detroit Red Wings and would keep the Predators ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues. Detroit lost to Phoenix on Monday night.

The determining factor of which Western Conference powerhouse will come out on top may be the power play. Vancouver and Nashville have the two best power plays in the League with a 22.3 and 22.2  percent success rate respectively. However, according to Jeff Paterson who covers the Canucks on Radio 1040, Vancouver has gone five games without a power play goal.

Nashville has scored 6 power play goals in their last 7 games and they have at least one power-play marker in their last four home games and are 9-for-23 on the man advantage in their last six home games.

While Vancouver fans debate which elite goaltender should carry their team into the playoffs, Roberto Luongo or Cory Schneider, there is no question in Nashville. Pekka Rinne has won 11 straight contests and will look for his 12th win in a row on Tuesday night. Nashville has a 9-9-(1)-4 all-time home record against the Canucks, but Rinne’s record against Vancouver is 4-5-0 with a 2.74 goals against average and a .916 save percentage.

The recent performance of the Predators netminder puts him in elite company. Since the 1998-99 season there have been only four other goaltenders to win 11-straight games including Patrick Roy (1998-99), Martin Brodeur (twice in 2000-01 and 2005–06), Martin Biron (2005-06) and Marc-Andre Fleury (2010-11).

At Rogers Arena earlier this season, the Predators lost to the Canucks on October 20th by a 5-1 score. Rinne was pulled from the game with Anders Lindback making 23 saves on 24 shots. Matt Halischuk recorded the only Nashville tally. On December 1st, Nashville had an early 3-1 lead after the first period of play, but Rinne was again pulled after allowing four goals by the 10:29 mark of the second period. Nashville went on to win the game when Mike Fisher scored with 1:16 left in regulation to give the Predators a 6-5 lead.

After Tuesday’s game, the Predators head east with games against the Ottawa Senators and Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins before returning to Bridgestone Arena next Tuesday night when they host the Chicago Blackhawks.

 

 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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