Ottawa Senators @ Nashville Predators: Game Day Preview

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After a rather disastrous effort last night in Chicago, its back to work tonight for the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena against the Ottawa Senators. With two straight stinkers against Western Conference opponents, its important that the Predators not only get a win tonight, but show up with a better effort.

After the jump, the return of Pekka Rinne and a few thoughts.

Lineups

Nashville

Anders Lindback went last night, so we can expect to see the return of Rinne tonight. 

Pekka Rinne

#35 / Goalie / Nashville Predators

6-5

207

Nov 03, 1982

GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2010 - Pekka Rinne 19 1086 8 7 43 2.38 527 484 .918 3

David Legwand and Matthew Lombardi, as you probably know, will not play tonight.

Forwards
Sullivan (A) - O'Reilly - Wilson
Kostitsyn - Goc - Erat
Dumont - Smithson - Ward
Tootoo - Spaling - Hornqvist
Defense
 Suter (A) - Weber (C)
Klein - Bouillon
Franson - O'Brien

Ottawa

Pascal Leclaire, the Sens' normal starter, is on injured reserve.

Brian Elliott

#30 / Goalie / Ottawa Senators

6-3

201

Apr 09, 1985

GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2010 - Brian Elliott 24 1309 10 10 67 3.07 682 615 .902 3

Not much to note here, although Alex Kovalev has recently been demoted to the fourth line. 

Forwards
Alfredsson (C) - Fisher (A) - Foligno
Michalek - Spezza - Shannon
Ruutu - Kelly - Neil
Regin - Winchester - Kovalev
Defense
 Kuba - Gonchar
Phillips (A) - Karlsson
Campoli - Carkner

 

Thoughts

  • Honestly, if the Predators insist on coming out as flat as they did against Los Angeles and Chicago, then they're cooked. Sure, its "just" Ottawa, but my goodness, Nashville's been lackadaisical lately, and the worst part is its been players who normally bring it every night - like Joel Ward.
  • I'm wont to criticize Barry Trotz very often, but his decision to break up the line of Steve Sullivan, Cal O`Reilly, and Colin Wilson was rather perplexing - it was working well, and Wilson does best with other offensive players, not Jerred Smithson.
  • The Senators, apparently, are struggling mightily - which means, of course, that they'll break out in a big way tonight. Youngsters Erik Karlsson and Peter Regin are particularly dangerous.
  • One of the problems in the Preds' recent slide has been a failure to get traffic on the net. Against a less-than-great goalie like Brian Elliot, screening the goalie becomes even more important - and it doesn't have to be just Patric Hornqvist.
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