Preview #52: Predators visit Philadelphia
Nashville Predators 31-16-4
Philadelphia Flyers 29-14-6
Thursday night will feature a battle of fourth place teams in the National Hockey League. The Nashville Predators take their five-game winning streak into Philadelphia to face the Flyers. Philly is coming off of a 2-1 shootout loss against Winnipeg on Tuesday. The Predators are coming off of an epic come-from-behind 5-4 win against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night that saw the Predators score three goals in three minutes in the final four minutes of the third period.
Nashville’s goaltender, Pekka Rinne, was named the NHL’s third star of the month having gone 11-1-0 in January. The Finnish netminder has won 10 consecutive starts.
The Predators hope to start February off the same way they ended January where the team took 22 of a possible 26 points.
Former Predator and NHL All-Star forward Scott Hartnell leads the Flyers with 25 goals. He is a player for Predators fans to keep their eye on Thursday night.
Nashville’s key players include Martin Erat and Mike Fisher. Erat has scored one goal in five of the six games against Philadelphia dating back to December 2005, and he has 9 points, including 5 goals and 4 assists in 8 games against the Flyers. Fisher, having played in the Eastern Conference for the Ottawa Senators, has played more games against the Flyers than any other Predator at 36 games. He has 14 points, including 5 goals and 9 assists against Philadelphia.
In 15 career games against Philadelphia, the Predators have posted a 6-6-3-0 against the Flyers. While Thursday night’s game is the only time this season the Predators head to Philadelphia, Nashville did play the Flyers earlier in January in Music City.
On January 14th, the Predators doubled the Flyers 4-2 in front of a sold-out Bridgestone Arena. Nick Spaling scored his third game-winner of the season.
After Thursday’s game, the Predators return home for two games at Bridgestone Arena before heading to the East to play Ottawa and Boston. Nashville first plays on Saturday night against Central Division rival St. Louis Blues and then host the Vancouver Canucks for the first time on Tuesday night.