As the Nashville Predators continue their pursuit of the Detroit Red Wings for 4th place in the Western Conference standings (and home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs), they can look forward to a wide variety of opponents this week...
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Sunday @ Anaheim
Tonight the Preds skate at Anaheim, in a game which begins just 21.5 hours after the opening faceoff against Los Angeles last night. Even though Nashville had beaten the Ducks in all three meetings this season, those tired legs could make this an especially difficult matchup tonight.
You know who never seems to get tired legs? This ageless wonder, who leads the Ducks in scoring...
|2011 - Teemu Selanne||72||23||39||62||+7||48||11||0||3||190||12.1|
Tuesday vs. Edmonton
Even though the Oilers are the most consistently awful team in the NHL over the last few seasons, they seem to give the Predators a tough time, and this season is now exception (Nashville is 1-2-0 against Edmonton so far). It doesn't look likely that we'll see Taylor Hall skate at Bridgestone, however, after he took a big hit against Calgary Thursday night.
|2011 - Taylor Hall||61||27||26||53||-3||36||13||0||7||207||13.0|
Thursday @ Pittsburgh
The Penguins are the hottest team in the NHL, having won 11 straight before getting stopped in overtime by Philadelphia this afternoon. Sidney Crosby is back and picking up points once again (5 assists in 3 games), and this will be our chance to check out Steve Sullivan against his former teammates. It sure seems like he made a good choice in free agency last summer:
|2011 - Steve Sullivan||70||14||25||39||-2||16||5||0||0||121||11.6|
Saturday vs. Winnipeg
The Preds close out the week with an early start (6:00 p.m.) at Bridgestone Arena, as this game will be part of Hockey Night in Canada's broadcast. It will be shown in Manitoba, so you can bet that the Preds with roots there like Barry Trotz and Jordin Tootoo will want to put forth a special effort for the folks back up there.
The Jets are an intriguing team, as they're fighting for one of the final Eastern Conference playoff spots, and have a budding young power forward in Evander Kane, who is working towards his first 30-goal season.
|2011 - Evander Kane||63||28||22||50||+13||45||6||0||4||248||11.3|
Can the Predators hit their stride against this mix of East & West, playoff contenders and teams playing out the string?