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7-2-1. 22-9-8. That's the Nashville Predators' record in their past ten games, and then their home record over the course of the year, which makes them one of just three teams to have lost fewer than ten games on home ice so far.
These numbers tell us two things - the first one, that Nashville has played well enough down the stretch to make home ice advantage in the playoffs a very real possibility, and second, that if they get there, winning a series becomes that much likelier.
This, of course, makes the final three games of the year all the more important. The Preds first need to clinch (which they can do via a win and a Stars' loss), but winning out gives Nashville an even 50% chance of finishing fourth. With the home record the Predators have posted this year, that'd surely be a shot in the arm.
And so, this quest begins tonight against the Atlanta Thrashers, who have already been eliminated from postseason contention and would more than likely love to play the role of spoiler. If the Preds continue to let their guard down, they'll find themselves not only slipping down the ladder, but failing to clinch a spot altogether.
|2010 - Pekka Rinne||61||3610||31||21||92||2.13||1799||1671||.929||6|
|2010 - Chris Mason||31||1601||13||11||87||3.26||850||763||.898||1|