On Saturday afternoon, the Nashville Predators welcomed the St. Louis Blues to Bridgestone Arena to begin their 24 hours of hockey for the city of Nashville. The Preds looked to continue their winning streak against a Blues team that Nashville had yet to beat all season. This game would belong to the Preds in a 5-0 romp of St. Louis. The first period gave Nashville a 1-0 lead when Craig Smith (14) scored at 5:39.
The second period was dominated by Filip Forsberg. Forsberg got his second hat-trick in three games with another natural hat-trick during the period. He scored at 00:54, 5:39, and a power-play goal at 14:49 to give Nashville a commanding 4-0 lead. During the third period, Nashville tacked on another goal when Colin Wilson decided to join the scoring barrage. Pekka Rinne held on to his fourth shutout of the season.
Keys to Watch
Second Line Excelling
The Nashville Predators are putting together a streak that will place them as a contender in the Western Conference come playoff time. The Preds’ second line are clicking at the right time and the cohesion is there for offensive production. Filip Forsberg was named as the number one star amongst the NHL for his six goals in three games. Craig Smith has been the speed on the right wing and if Forsberg isn’t scoring, Smith is cleaning up in the goal department. At center, Mike Ribeiro has played well being the set-up man for the best line in the NHL recently and also leading the team in assists with 36. The Preds need to keep on their trajectory of leading the team to consecutive wins.
Over the last three games, the Nashville Predators have been without their captain. Shea Weber has been out due to a lower-body injury and his status for tonight is unknown. On Monday, Weber skated with the team and had an individual workout session to test the strength of his leg in evaluation for tonight’s game. Weber seems to be on the mend and there is a good possibility that he will be on the ice, but there has not been any official word whether he will play tonight. This season, Weber has 15 goals and 21 assists which places him 5th on the team in total points. If Weber doesn’t play, the defense will have to keep up their stellar play without the captain.
Underwhelming Stars PK
The Dallas Stars are one of the best teams in the NHL. They can have a dominating, swarming offense. One weakness of the Stars game is their struggle on the penalty kill. Currently, the Stars are ranked 24th in the NHL with a kill percentage of 79.2%. This is one weakness that the Preds must take advantage of if the opportunity comes their way. The Preds power-play is ranked 10th in the NHL with a conversion percentage of 19.6. The Stars have lost three games in a row, six out of their last seven, and will be looking to get back on their winning ways. Their last three games were losses were at Detroit, Winnipeg, and to the New York Rangers.
Nashville will look to continue their winning ways tonight as they welcome in the Dallas Stars. Be sure to catch all of the action on Fox Sports-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game. Puck drops at 7:00 pm!