Before heading out to western Canada later this week, the Nashville Predators have a chance tonight to catch the team immediately above them in the Central Division standings.
|Dallas Stars||Nashville Predators|
|5-on-5 Close SF/60||32.6||6th||29.8||14th|
|5-on-5 Close SA/60||29.7||18th||27.9||9th|
|5-on-5 Close Save %||.914||24th||.905||29th|
|# of PP's/Gm||3.56||3rd||3.10||26th|
|# of PK's/Gm||3.31||15th||3.02||4th|
The Stars are suffering a 1-7-1 free fall at the moment, one which has done serious damage to their playoff aspirations. They've given up nearly 4 goals a game during that stretch, pretty much an impossible obstacle for any team to overcome, and they'll have to wait for help there, as leading blueliner Stephane Robidas is on Injured Reserve for the time being.
One guy to keep an eye out for tonight is veteran winger Erik Cole, who scored against the Preds when the Stars visited here last month, and boasts 8 goals with 4 assists in 16 career games against Nashville.
|2013 - Erik Cole||48||13||10||23||-11||12||2||0||3||85||15.3|
While the team's fortunes meander along from week to week, there is one individual we can tip our hat to these days, as Patric Hornqvist moved into 7th place on the Predators' all-time goal scoring list Saturday night against Colorado. With two more, he'll catch Scott Walker for 6th, and depending on how hot he runs down the stretch, he could rise as high as 4th by the end of the season.
|2013 - Patric Hornqvist||45||10||15||25||-4||18||5||0||3||148||6.8|
It always mystifies me a bit as to why Hornqvist's shooting percentage remains so low, given the close range from which he takes many of his shots, but regardless he's been the team's most consistent offensive presence.
The spotlight tonight will be on Devan Dubnyk however, as he will (presumably) get his second start as a Predatorand hopefully deliver a better game than we saw on Saturday. Naturally it can take some time to get used to a new team, but he was brought in to provide stability, and if we don't see it soon, might we be right back to playing that "who's hotter right now" game to determine the starter?
Make sure to come back for tonight's game thread ahead of the 7:00 p.m. start at Bridgestone Arena!
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