Preview: Flyers at Predators (3/16)

Location: Bridgestone Arena

Game Time: 7:00 pm Central

TV: FSN

Radio: 104.5 The Zone (WGFX-FM)

Records:

Nashville: 38-26-5 (81)

Philadelphia: 36-28-4 (76)

Familiar Faces Return: Tuesday will mark the first time that former Predators Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell return to the Bridgestone Arena since being traded to Flyers on June 18, 2007. Timonen, the captain when he was traded, was a day-one Predator and left the organization as the all-time leading scorer with 301 points (he has since been passed by David Legwand and Martin Erat). Hartnell was a home-bred fan favorite who scored 93 goals in his 436 games in a Preds sweater. Of the current active players, only Dan Hamhuis, David Legwand and Martin Erat have suited up more times than Hartnell did. Only Legwand has played in more Predators games than Kimmo, who is still second on the all-time games played list.

All-Time Series: The Predators have only played the Flyers 12 times in their history. Only the Maple Leafs have faced the Predators fewer times. The last time the Flyers made an appearance in Nashville was on December 3, 2005, a 4-3 shootout win by the Predators. The Predators have faced the Flyers two times since then, both in Philadelphia – a 3-2 Predators win on November 29, 2006, and a 4-1 Flyers win last season. The Predators all-time record against the Flyers stands at 4 wins, 5 losses and 3 ties. If you really want to impress your friends, however, tell them this fact: The Flyers have not won in Nashville in ten years (March 21, 2000). If you do not want to impress them, mention that they have only played here 3 times since then.

Road Warriors: The Predators won 3 of 4 and picked up 6 of a possible 8 points on their most recent road trip. With a 20-14-3 record on the season, the Predators have picked up more points on the road (43) than at home (38). Additionally, the 20 road wins this season are the second most in franchise history, trailing only the 23 road wins picked up by the 2006-07 squad..

St. Patric’s Day: Patric Hornqvist continued his surprising season on Sunday, collecting his league-leading (tied with Dany Heatley) and franchise-record tying 8th game-winning goal. After registering just 2 assists and no goals over the 10 games before the San Jose debacle, Hornqvist has scored 3 goals in the last 3 games. His 26 goals this season tie him with Alexander Radulov (2007-08) for the second most by a right wing in franchise history. In the most obscure statistic I could come up with, Hornqvist has set the franchise record for most goals in a single season by a right-handed non-Canadian. Should Hornqvist continue at his current scoring pace, he will be only the fourth player in franchise history to eclipse 30 goals.

Quest to 50: Martin Erat has picked up a point in 8 of his last 9 games, putting him in the team scoring lead with 43 points. Four other players (Hornqvist, Dumont, Arnott, Sullivan) have 41 points. If Erat continues at the scoring pace he has been on all season, he will eclipse the 50-point mark. As of Monday, only 3 other teams do not already have a 50-point scorer – Toronto, St. Louis and the Islanders.

Team America World Police: Colin Wilson keeps getting better. With another goal on Sunday, Wilson has scored 5 points in his last 5 games…Ryan Suter has also provided a pop to the offense. Despite having a historically bad game in San Jose, Suter is currently on a 5 game scoring streak and has scored in 7 of 8 games since the Olympic break. His assist on Steve Sullivan’s goal on Sunday gave him his second consecutive 30 assist season.

Pekka Receives Honors: The NHL recognized Pekka Rinne as the Third Star of the Week after his shutdown performances over the weekend. On Friday night against the Ducks, playing in his 100th career game, Pekka recorded a 31 save shutout, the 11th of his career. On Sunday, Pekka saved 18 of 20 shots, leading the Predators to a 3-2 victory over the Kings. The victories were especially impressive on the heels of Thursday night’s meltdown against the Sharks.

The Fighting Side of Toots: While fights around the league have maintained their usual pace, the Predators have – for the most part – lacked the desire to drop the gloves in 2009-10. Through 69 games, the team has only recorded 19 fighting majors…the franchise low is 23 (2002-03). After recording 42, 37 and 40 over the last three seasons respectively, the major drop appears to directly correllate with Jordin Tootoo’s style of play. In the previous three seasons, Tootoo recorded 31 regular season fighting majors. After his second period scrap with Richard Clune on Sunday, he has now recorded 3 in 2008-09. The most surprising part of this was that it was Tootoo’s first fight since November 28, a span of 27 games. If someone would have told you that Jordin Tootoo would pick up 8 points between fights this season, would you have believed them? What if you were told that he would score more goals between January 1 – March 1 than David Legwand?

Legwand Watch: It has been 27 games since David Legwand last scored a goal.

Quick Notes: The Predators will wear white jerseys Tuesday night…Dan Ellis has a 3.81 GAA since the All Star Break, including a 5.29 in his two losses…Tuesday’s game will mark the final regular season opponent for the Predators from the Eastern Conference…The Predators’ record against the Eastern Conference opponents this season is 10-4-2. Their record against Atlantic Division opponents is 3-1-1…No word on green beer on Tuesday…Regardless of the ”fact” which FSN broadcast on Sunday, Tootoo’s throwdown with Richard Clune did not result in the team’s first fighting major since the Olympic break – that belonged to Dan Hamhuis vs. Alexandre Burrows…Be sure to tweet along with us during the game at @PredFans.