Game Preview #28: Panthers, Former Preds, Visit Bridgestone Arena

By Amanda DiPaolo

Season Records

Florida Panthers 13-14-0
Nashville Predators 13-8-6

SUNRISE, FL - MARCH 29: Marcel Goc #9 of the Nashville Predators celebrates the goal by Patric Hornqvist (not pictured) which tied the game at 2-2 against the Florida Panthers on March 29, 2010 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida. The Predators defeated the Panthers 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Marcel Goc centers Martin Erat and Sergei Kostitsyn — the three are providing life to the Predators offense (Photo: Yardbarker.com)

Both the Nashville Predators and the Florida Panthers are coming off impressive victories when they meet Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena. Tomas Vokoun shutout the high flying offense of the Washington Capitals in Florida’s 3-0 victory Thursday night. Anders Lindback got a win at Joe Louis Arena in his first career start against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday.

The Predators penalty kill got back on track Wednesday night. When Nashville allowed one power play goal against Atlanta on Monday, it ended their franchise setting streak of consecutive games without allowing a power play goal. The Predators killed off 37 straight penalties. In Detroit, the Predators went 4 for 4 on the penalty kill, killing off 41 of the last 42 penalties assessed to the team.

Nashville has also picked up points in their last six games and have gone 4-0-2 in that span.

The on ice success isn’t the only thing Nashville can boast about right now. Saturday night’s game will be the 12th home game of the season. Already, the Predators have sold out four games out of eleven. If the Predators are able to sellout the game against the Panthers, it will tie a franchise record for the fastest time to selling out five games in one season. The 12-game record was set in 1999-2000.
organization. For discounted tickets to tonight’s game, follow the link below.

The Panthers organization features three previous Predators. Tomas Vokoun is still a fan favorite amongst Predators fans, and with good reason. Vokoun was the netminder in Nashville for 8 seasons. Vokoun has only played two games against his former team and has one win and one loss.

Darcy Hordichuk is in his first season with the Panthers. The last two previous years Hordichuk played for the Vancouver Canucks after three seasons with Nashville. The left winger is in his second stint with Florida. He previously played for the Panthers between 2002-2004.

The latest Predator to make his way to the Panthers organization was prospect Mike Santorelli, who leads the Panthers in goals with seven. Last year, Santorelli played 25 games for Nashville, registering 2 goals and 1 assist. In 27 games this year, Santorelli has 12 points. The center was traded in the summer, essentially to give him an opportunity to play. There was simply no room for Santorelli on Nashville’s roster.

This is the third consecutive season that Nashville will be playing Florida twice, once away and once at home. Last year, the Predators won both contests, 4-1 at Bridgestone Arena and a 3-2 overtime decision in Miami.

Florida hasn’t had much success in Nashville, with a 0-3-2-1 record in their last six visits, but they are currently on a three-game winning streak, despite several key injuries. Florida is without five regulars in the lineup; Radek Dvorak, Cory Stillman, Rostislav Olesz, Chris Higgins and Bryan Allen.

If the Predators are going to extend their point streak, they will need to do it without David Legwand in the lineup. Legwand returned to action on Wednesday in Detroit but left in the middle of the game with a lower body injury. He will not play against Florida.

Game time is 7 pm at Bridgestone Arena. The Predators are looking for their fifth sellout of the season and tickets are still available.

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Are you looking for tickets to an upcoming Predators home game? Follow this link for discounted tickets. Make an account and then use the word Preds as the code for the discount. Come see Nashville former netminder Tomas Vokoun The next Predators home game is TONIGHT when the Florida Panthers come to town.

Tags: Anders Lindback Chris Higgans Cory Stillman Darcy Hordichuk David Legwand Detroit Red Wings Florida Panthers Mike Santorelli Nashville Predators NHL Tomas Vokoun Vancouver Canucks Washington Capitals

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