Feb 14, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; The Nashville Predators celebrate victory over the Phoenix Coyotes at Bridgestone Arena. The Predators beat the Coyotes 3-0. Mandatory credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

Central Division: Preds Down Coyotes, Busy Night Ahead For Central Teams

It was a quiet day in the Central Division yesterday with just one game. Valentine’s Day sees that trend continue as the Nashville Predators are the only Central power in action tonight.

Around The Central Division: February 15, 2013

YESTERDAY

Nashville Predators 3, Phoenix Coyotes 0

Three different Predators forwards scored goals in the third period and Pekka Rinne picked up his third shutout of the season in an efficient effort against Phoenix. Nashville outshot the ‘Yotes 29-19, just the third time in 14 games they’ve managed to take more shots on goal than their opponents. The play in the Phoenix zone that led to Nick Spaling’s goal typified the work Nashville did in the corners last night, which led to the difference in shooting:

Transactions

Nashville Predators assigned forward Brian McGrattan to Milwaukee (AHL) on a two-week conditioning assignment.

Standings

Leaders

Points: Patrick Kane (CHI) – 20
Goals:
Patrick Kane (CHI) – 9
Assists:
 Henrik Zetterberg (DET) – 13
PIM:
Jared Boll (CBJ) – 61
Wins:
Corey Crawford (CHI) – 7
GAA:
Pekka Rinne (NSH) – 1.61
SV%:
Pekka Rinne (NSH) – .938
Shutouts:
Pekka Rinne (NSH) – 3*

* – denotes league leader

TODAY

Viktor Fasth visits the Central Division tonight

Viktor Fasth is Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Goalie of the Year: rookie and not-a-rookie all at once. (PHOTO: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports)

Anaheim Ducks (9-2-1) at Detroit Red Wings (7-4-2)
6:30 p.m. CST

The Anaheim Ducks continue to fly high on the strength of 30-year-old NHL rookie goalie Viktor Fasth’s performance in net. Fasth is now 6-0-0, which includes a shootout win in Chicago two nights ago. The Red Wings have been up and down thanks to a rash of injuries but they’re 2-0-1 on their current home stand, the only blemish an overtime loss to St. Louis earlier this week.

Octopus Thrower wonders, how do you solve a problem like Viktor?

It's Pacific Division versus Central Division tonight

The Blackhawks and Sharks meet for the second time tonight. (PHOTO: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports)

San Jose Sharks (7-3-3) at Chicago Blackhawks (10-0-3)
7:30 p.m. CST
NHL Network

The last time these two teams met they were both undefeated in regulation. They scored six goals combined in the opening period before Chicago went on to a 5-3 win. The Sharks have spiraled out of control since then, going winless in the month of February so far. Chicago, meanwhile, appears to be doing all right in the standings. NHL Network has this one tonight, so if the Sharks have been waiting for a big stage to produce a comeback, this would be the one.

Central Division travels to Northwest tonight

The Blues will be looking for more of this in Calgary. (PHOTO: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

St. Louis Blues (7-5-1) at Calgary Flames (4-4-3)
8:00 p.m. CST

The Blues snapped a five-game losing skid with an overtime win in Detroit two nights ago. Calgary, meanwhile, is coming off a surprising 7-4 win in Dallas. Both teams are without the services of their starting goalies – Jaroslav Halak for the Blues, Miikka Kiprusoff for the Flames – so all bets are off as to how this one turns out.

Bleedin’ Blue peers into the future.

Central Division visits Pacific

The Kings and Blue Jackets meet again, this time in Los Angeles. (PHOTO: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports)

Columbus Blue Jackets (4-7-2) at Los Angeles Kings (4-5-2)
9:30 p.m. CST

Columbus has plenty to look forward to thanks to the hiring of new general manager Jarmo Kekalainen, but a lot of that has to do with those three first-round draft picks coming up this summer. In the meantime there are still 35 more games to be played, starting with another team that’s had trouble making a dent in the Western Conference standings.

Tags: Central Division Nashville Predators

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