Preds close out home schedule against desperate Stars…

The Nashville Predators close out the home portion of the regular season schedule tonight against a desperate Dallas Stars team. This is the fourth & final meeting of these teams on the season with Dallas winning 2 of 3 including a 4-1 victory at Bridgestone Arena on 2/19.
The Stars sit 3 points out of a playoff spot with 2 games remaining in the regular season & will be eliminated by any result other than a victory. The Preds did some scoreboard watching last night & saw Detroit come back from 2-0 deficit on the road in St Louis & ultimately defeat the Blues in a shoot out moving them 1 point ahead of Nashville for 4th in the Western Conference.
This will make for a playoff type atmosphere with a frustrated & physical Stars team fighting for their playoff lives & the Preds trying to keep pace for what looks to be a 1st round playoff matchup with Detroit. Preds G Pekka Rinne is questionable for tonight as he continues to recover from a virus that has had him miss 1 game so far.
Several players including Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, & Alex Radulov all had a maintenance day & sat out practice, but all are ready to play tonight. Expect to see a continuation of line experiments to try and cement combinations for the playoffs (& over analysis of healthy scratches). Time to get things moving in a playoff direction!

Injury update:
G Pekka Rinne has missed 1 game with an illness & is questionable for tonight Vs Dallas. F Colin Wilson has been listed as a healthy scratch for the past couple games as he recovers from a groin strain.

The bottom line…
The Nashville Predators are 46-26-8 (100 Pts) with 2 games remaining and sit 3rd in The Central Division, 7 Pts behind St Louis (2 GR) & 1 Pt behind Detroit (2 GR).

-In the Western Conference the Predators are in 5th, with the chase pack: 6 Chicago (98 Pts 2 GR), 7 Phoenix (93 Pts 2 GR) & 8 San Jose (92 Pts GR 2), 9 Dallas (89 2 GR).

-The Predators complete the final home stand of the year tonight Vs Dallas 7CT.

-F Alex Radulov has recorded 6 points in 7 games since returning from the KHL.

-F Patric Hornqvist leads the Preds in goals scored with 25; Mike Fisher has 24.

-F Martin Erat & D Ryan Suter are tied for team lead on the Preds with 39 Assists.

-F Martin Erat leads the Preds in overall scoring with 58 points (career high).

-F Jordin Tootoo leads the Preds in penalty minutes with 92 & D Shea Weber leads the team in hits with 176.

-G Pekka Rinne leads the NHL in wins with 42 & has now played in 71 games (previous high 64 last season).

Leg-watch 500- With 2A Vs Chicago, David Legwand now has 500 points (franchise scoring leader) in his career (187 G 313 A) with the Predators.

“Crazy” Charlie Saunier

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