Vancouver Canucks 50-17-9
Nashville Predators 41-25-10
The Nashville Predators host the Vancouver Canucks Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena where they will try to win their 7th consecutive game. If the Predators winning streak is to continue, they will have to defeat the number one team in the entire NHL.
The Predators have found offense from a variety of sources lately, the lastest duo of goal scorers on Saturday night saw Mike Fisher and Daivd Legwand each scored twice. With Fisher now healthy, there is no telling what sort of offensive help he can bring to a line that is finally clicking.
Key to Nashville’s success continues to be goaltender Pekka Rinne. Rinne is second in the League in goals against average (2.10) and save percentage (.929) Rinne has been in goal for each of the Predators three previous contests against Vancouver, winning two of the three games.
Twice this season, the Predators and Canucks played to 0-0 battles after 40 minutes, only to have one team win it in the third period. Fans should expect another defensive battle at Bridgestone Arena with two of the top defensive teams in the League going head to head.
Rinne has a 1.01 goals-against average and a .970 save percentage against the Canucks this season. Overall, Rinne holds a 4-3-0 record against Vancouver and has a 1.88 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage.
Several players are hot right now for Nashville. The line of Sergei Kostitsyn, Mike Fisher and Patric Hornqvist have combined for 4 goals over the last two games.
Then there is David Legwand. The Detroit native has five points, 1 goal and 4 assists, in his last seven games played against Vancouver. With his strong play against the Canucks in the last couple of seasons, it will be good news for Predators fans to note that Legwand is currently enjoying a six-game point streak. In six games, Legwand has 6 goals and 3 assists, including two shorthanded goals.
Nashville has an 8-1-0 record in their last nine games at Bridgestone Arena. The Predators have had great success this season at home with a 22-8-7 record, but this is nothing new. Since 2005-06, the Predators have accumulated 153 home wins, second only to the Detroit Red Wings.
Both the Predators and Canucks are in the top 10 for number of man games lost to injury, but they have succeeded despite the injuries throughout the season. As of March 25th, the Predators had lost 307 man games lost to injury, the Canucks had lost 306. And the news got worse for Vancouver over the weekend.
The Canucks will be without former Predator Dan Hamhuis. On Sunday, Hamhuis, who is a plus 29 on the season, collided with a teammate and Rick Nash of Columbus during a game Sunday afternoon. Hamhuis has a concussion, his second of the season.
After Tuesday’s game, the Predators will visit Colorado on Thursday before coming back to Nashville to host the Detroit Red Wings Saturday afternoon at 2 pm.
Photo credit: AP
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