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 third behind Detroit and San Jose who boast 189 and 181 home wins respectively. Furthermore, Nashville is the only team in the League to record at least 23 home victories in seven consecutive seasons. The Predators have a 25-10-5 record on home ice this season and will try to make it 26 wins at home on Thursday night. With their 5-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night, the playoff hopes for the Stars are all but lost with only two games remaining and three points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Nashville’s 2-1 shootout win over the Wild on Tuesday night kept their bid for fourth spot in the West alive, but Detroit’s 3-2 shootout win over the Blues on Wednesday night means that the Red Wings are in control of their own playoff seeding.
After historically struggling on the power play, the Predators are looking to finish this season the number one ranked power play in the entire League. Currently posting a 21.9 percent success rate on the man advantage, Nashville’s power play has scored 10 goals in the last 13 games. The Predators have also picked up power play markers on six of their last 13 home power-play attempts.
Dallas has struggled on the power play this season and currently sits in last place with a 14 percent success rate.
The Predators and Stars have similar penalty kill statistics, however, with Nashville ranking 10th in the League and the Stars at 13th. Nashville has a 83.3 percent kill off rate, while Dallas is closely behind at 83.1 percent.
Only three teams rank in the League’s Top 10 for both power play and penalty kill percentages. Along with Nashville, Vancouver and Pittsburgh boast the favorable records.
John Glennon of the Tennessean reported from Wednesday’s practice that starting netminder Pekka Rinne may sit out again on Thursday. Backup Anders Lindback played in the Predators 2-1 win over Minnesota on Tuesday. Rinne missed Tuesday’s game due to illness.
On Tuesday night, the Predators had sold out the Bridgestone Arena for the 24th time during the 2011-12 regular season. On Thursday, Nashville will try to match the franchise-long eight game sellout streak set this season between December 15th and January 7th. Bridgestone Arena has averaged 16,680 fans per home game during the regular season, which is a 97.4 percent capacity rate.
The Predators will close out the regular season on Saturday night in Colorado. The Stanley Cup playoffs are set to begin next Wednesday.