On Thursday night, the Nashville Predators ventured to the state of Texas to take on the Western Conference leaders, the Dallas Stars.
The Preds would contend with the speed, size, and skill of the Stars in a very competitive fashion during the first period. There was no scoring with lots of back-and-forth action.
The second period saw much of the similar action that the first saw for the first thirty minutes of play. The Preds were able to get the first goal of the game when Craig Smith scored at 11:22 to put Nashville up 1-0.
This goal seemed to wake up Dallas as they went on to score five unanswered goals to win 5-1. Nashville had no response to the Dallas offensive firepower.
Tonight, the Preds take on the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh. In their last outing, the Canes defeated the Washington Capitals 4-2.
Keys to Watch
Back on Track
The Nashville Predators will try to get back on track tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Preds did not have the best performance on New Years’ Eve against the Dallas Stars. The first 30 minutes were solid, but could not hang with the high, potent offense of the Stars. Nashville has been known to put together parts of a full game, and on Thursday night, they showed that against superior talent, you have to play a full 60 minutes. Carolina and Nashville typically have close contests and tonight will be no different.
Canes in the Circle
The Carolina Hurricanes are the best team in the NHL in regards to face-off percentage. They currently have a face-off percentage of 53.2%. Nashville is ranked 25th in the league with 48.8% in the face-off circle. If Nashville plans to contend with the Canes ability to win face-offs, they need for their centers to step up big, especially Mike Ribeiro with his poor percentage of 36.7%. Paul Gaustad is the Preds man in the circle with a percentage of 55.8%, but other centers must step up. If they can win 50% of the face-offs tonight, consider it a win.
Justin Faulk has been a man-possessed this season on the offensive side of the puck. The South St.Paul, Minnesota native leads the Canes in points with 30 points (14 goals, 16 assists) which ranks 4th in the NHL amongst defensemen. Faulk is also ranked 4th amongst defensemen in shot percentage at 12.7%. Nashville will have to contend with Justin Faulk’s offensive ability from the blue line. He is their version of Roman Josi and Shea Weber. In many cases, the offense goes through him when he is on the ice.
The Nashville Predators will look to get back on their winning ways tonight as they take on the Carolina Hurricanes. You can catch all of the action on Fox Sports-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game.
Puck drops one hour earlier, due to the Eastern Time Zone, at 6:00 pm.