Nashville Predators vs Anaheim Ducks Preview: High-Flying Fowl
The Nashville Predators got their critical 5-game home stand off to a solid start with a win over San Jose Tuesday night, but can they pass an even bigger test tonight against the Anaheim Ducks, against whom Nashville went 0-1-2 last season?
|Anaheim Ducks||Nashville Predators|
|5-on-5 Close SF/60||31.5||7th||29.7||14th|
|5-on-5 Close SA/60||27.3||7th||27.4||8th|
|5-on-5 Close Save %||.929||9th||.908||27th|
|# of PP's/Gm||3.29||16th||3.07||27th|
|# of PK's/Gm||3.18||11th||3.14||10th|
More on tonight's opponent
More on tonight's opponent
The Ducks are flying along at the top of the Pacific Division this season, as head coach Bruce Boudreau has the team complementing the talents of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry much like he had the Washington Capitals led by Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom a few years ago. Coming into tonight's game, Anaheim has won 14 of their last 15 games, making them the NHL's hottest team.
Of course, any time Anaheim comes to town you have to focus on Teemu Selanne, not only one of the game's all-time great scorers but also one of its most universally-loved players. At long last it appears the Flying Finn is breaking down, as his scoring totals have dropped to mediocre levels beginning last season. In 35 games, Selanne has just four goals and nine assists.
#8 / Right Wing / Anaheim Ducks
Jul 03, 1970
With 8 out of a possible 12 points earned over the last six games, the Preds are keeping those flickering playoff hopes alive, but just barely. Despite some assurances that this team is playing as well as it has in 10 years, what they haven't shown yet is the ability to maintain positive momentum. With two 5-game losing streaks so far to along with a 4-gamer, their best winning streak this season is just 3.
Now's as good a time as ever to turn that trend around.
With Mike Fisher's scoring streak having come to a close, the focus shifts to Craig Smith as the reigning "hot hand" in the Preds lineup, with six goals and three assists in his last 10 games. He's come a long way from last season's disappointing performance and may have penciled himself in as a regular Top Six winger here for the next few years.
#15 / Right Wing / Nashville Predators
Sep 05, 1989
|2013 - Craig Smith||41||12||13||25||+1||12||4||0||2||108||11.1|
Can the Predators keep racking up points in the standings against Anaheim tonight? If you're not at Bridgestone Arena this evening, tune into FS-TN at 7:00 p.m. to find out...
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