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Best of Nineteen – Game 10, Buffalo VS Nashville: Final 10? Let’s Begin


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The Predators continue their “best of 19″ series when they face off against the Buffalo Sabres in the fourth game of a 4 game workweek in one of the toughest weeks of the Predators season and the second of a home and away back to back.

Looking at the Sabres: Oooooh, I’m going to go ahead and get this out of the way now:

SUPERSTITIOUS STAT:

A little Vancouver syndrome for the Sabres right now as in their past 7 games they’ve went:

W – L – W – L – W – L – W – ?

So, if you’re superstitious, you can see what to expect.

Past that? In the Sabres last 3 games, the Sabres have either blown out the competition (6-4 W vs Ottawa and 8-2 W vs Atlanta) or simply lost (1-0 L vs Caroline). The Sabres are one of those streaky teams in the East who can’t make up their mind as to whether they want to be in the playoffs or not. They don’t have the best home record (16-16-2), their goal differential is only +7, but they DO have US Olympian Ryan Miller.

Looking at the Predators: 4-1-1 in their past 6, knocking off two HUGE teams in 3 nights (Boston on Thursday and Detroit on Saturday), and streaking themselves into the top 8 in the West, the Predators are riding high right now. However, the real question is, can they keep it rolling on little sleep and losing an hour?

The Predators are getting contributions from nearly everyone on their team at this juncture of the season and are being led by their Vezina-probable and Hart-worthy goalie, Pekka Rinne. Most likely, though, if I am Barry Trotz, I start Anders Lindback and get him some playing time while getting Pekka Rinne a much needed rest before he tackles the final 8 (or 9, if he doesn’t get a break on the final back-to-back at the end of the season) of the season before the possible playoffs start.

For the Sabres to win: Repeat what you did against the Thrashers last night. If you can come up firing and get one or two in the first period and keep the Predators off the board for as long as possible, then you can grab 2 much needed points in your playoff race.

For the Predators to win: Shake off the tired you’re definitely going to have and come out and try to grind this game to a halt for 60 minutes. If you can trap the Sabres into a defense-first game and make them play a Nashville Predators style of game, you can turn it into a goaltender’s duel and this year I think Pekka Rinne would out duel Ryan Miller.

Prediction: 1-0 Predators. Predators are going to come into this game tired and will probably start Lindback, but I think they’ll trap the Sabres into playing THEIR style of game and will skate out with a 3 game win streak and pushing into the top 6 in the West.

Playoff Outlook: 84 points, Currently, 8th place/Tied for 7th – 1 point out of 6th and a tie for 5th, 5 points out of 4th

Best of 19 Record: 5-2-2

March Record: 5-2-2

What SportsClubStats Says?: 71.1% chance the Predators make it. The Predators need 99+ points to secure a playoff spot. They are currently 15 points out of a possible 20 points behind that

WHO TO ROOT FOR TONIGHT?:

NASHVILLE PREDATORS vs Buffalo Sabres
ANAHEIM DUCKS vs Calgary Flames (IN REGULATION PLEASE!)
PHOENIX COYOTES vs Chicago Blackhawks (IN REGULATION PLEASE!)
Minnesota Wild vs MONTREAL CANADIENS
Columbus Blue Jackets vs NEW JERSEY DEVILS

Thanks for reading!

~KM