The Preds will be looking to lean on Detroit in the Central Division standings this week. (PHOTO: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

Nashville Predators Schedule: Week 5

The fifth week of the 2013 NHL season promises to be a big challenge for a club that has played tough defensive hockey but hasn’t had a lot of success putting the puck in net. The Nashville Predators schedule for this week sees them playing before some big TV audiences, with two games featuring on NHL Network.

2013 NASHVILLE PREDATORS SCHEDULE

WEEK 5

Week 5 of the Nashville Predators schedule has the first game against Colorado

Nashville swept the Avalanche during the 2011-12 season. (PHOTO: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

Monday, February 18th
at Colorado Avalanche (5-7-1)
2:00 p.m. CST
FOX Sports Tennessee, NHL Network

Nashville gets an early game on President’s Day, taking on a team that it swept in last year’s season series. Colorado is next to last in the Western Conference right now but carries a 3-2-1 record at home. Chris Mason might get the start in this game, considering there’s a second game at home the next night that Coach Barry Trotz will want Pekka Rinne ready for.

Week 5 of the Nashville Predators schedule has the first game against Detroit

This was the sight last time Detroit saw Nashville. (PHOTO: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports)

Tuesday, February 19th
vs Detroit Red Wings (7-5-2)
7:00 p.m. CST
FOX Sports Tennessee

The Nashville Predators’ biggest rivalry begins anew as the Red Wings come to town for the first of two games this week. Nashville will be flying home after the Colorado game with no rest for this game. Also of note: Jordin Tootoo will return to the place he called home for his first eight NHL seasons. It should be interesting to see how Predators fans receive him after his departure on rocky terms.

Week 5 of the Nashville Predators schedule has the first game against Vancouver

Another old playoff foe comes to town in the form of the Canucks. (PHOTO: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports)

Friday, February 22nd
vs Vancouver Canucks (8-3-2)
7:00 p.m. CST
FOX Sports Tennessee

After a rough start the Canucks have settled into their old winning ways with both Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo splitting time in net. They will have played three games in the previous five days, including one against Dallas the previous night, when they reach Nashville. The Preds, meanwhile, will have had two full days of rest after the back-to-back earlier in the week. This will be another test of how the coaching staff manages its goalies since there’s another game the next night.

Saturday, February 23rd
at Detroit Red Wings (7-5-2)
6:00 p.m. CST
FOX Sports Tennessee, NHL Network

This game ends a three-game span I looked at before the season began and identified as the second big test on the Nashville Predators’ schedule. Both the Preds and the Red Wings have had their share of struggles early this season in adjusting to the loss of former key players. I expect a split in these two games, but if one of them can take both games this week it could be a difference-maker at the end of the season.

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