By Amanda DiPaolo
The Nashville Predators lost to the Phoenix Coyotes by a 3-2 score Saturday night. With the standings changing after every game, the Predators fall down from fourth to fifth spot as a result of the loss.
Saturday night’s opponent featured two players who previously played for the Predators.
Scottie Upshall was drafted in the first round, 6th overall by the Predators. Playing parts of four seasons in Nashville, Upshall says it is nice to be back for only the second game since being traded in 2007.
“I still have a lot of friends here,” Upshall said after morning skate Saturday morning, “I have a lot of friends that play on the team and a lot that I had made over the years. It’s nice to see some friendly faces and get to play here in the city that started my career off. “
In 77 games for Nashville, Upshall recorded 11 goals and 18 assists.
In 59 games this season, Upshall has 16 goals and 11 assists for 27 points.
Upshall was traded to Flyers as part of the deal that sent Peter Forsberg to Nashville. His first full season in the NHL was the 2007-2008 season in Philadelphia. He later was traded to Phoenix for Dan Carcillo in march 2009, and signed to stay with the team in the offseason. Upshall is an unrestricted free agent on July 1st.
Upshall is not that only former Predator in the Phoenix lineup.
Vernon Fiddler played 6 years for the Predators. The undrafted left wing had 45 goals and 48 assists in 305 games for Nashville.
Fiddler, like Upshall, still has friends in town. While he says it isn’t difficult to play against former teammates, he does enjoy coming back to Nashville. “It’s always fun to come see the guys. Obviously, you see some friends that are local.”
This year, Fiddler has 6 goals and 8 assists for the Coyotes.
Fiddler is an alternate captain for Phoenix. He signed with the team in 2009 during the offseason, and like Upshall, is an unrestricted free agent in the off season.
Next up for the Predators, Nashville visits Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets for the first of two times this week. The Predators will then return home to host the Blackhawks for the final time during the regular season.
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