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Game 9: Tampa Bay @ Nashville – STILL Looking for the First Home Win…


Photo Credit: Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images

A frustrated Nashville Predators (3-4-1) team still looking for their first home win of the season will be taking the ice again in the Bridgestone Arena as they look to break a current 6-game home regular-season losing streak (dating back to the playoffs last season) when they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning (4-3-2)

Last Year’s Series: 1-0-0 (0-0-0 Home, 1-0-0 Away)

Last Season’s Video Recaps:
Game 1 – October 24th, 2010:

Looking at the Lightning: After losing 5 in a row when starting the season with a big 5-1 win against Carolina, the Lightning have since rebounded winning 3 straight including a recent home-and-home against the Buffalo Sabres. Now, coming into Nashville, the Lightning will be looking to get their first win in Nashville since the 2007-2008 season (currently 3-4-1).

Currently leading the Lightning in points is Steven Stam…nope, Martin St. Lo…nope, Vinny Lecavalier? Nope, NONE of the above, try Marc-Andre Bergeron. Tied for 6th in the league with 10 points, the 31-year-old Quebec native in his first full season with the Lightning is showing Tampa exactly why they acquired him.

Looking at the Predators: 14 shots on last Saturday, 20 on Tuesday, what do the Nashville Predators have in store for tonight? Having their worst start since the 2007-2008 season, the Predators are looking to finally get a win on their home ice against a team they haven’t lost to in 2 seasons (albeit they only play them once a year since the lockout).

Nashville has had a tough time really getting a footing on this new season, only scoring 16 goals in 8 games (tied for 24th) while allowing 22 (11th in the league). Besides not being able to effectively get the puck on net so far this season, the Predators big story is their special teams. Currently in the top half of both categories, Nashville’s Powerplay and Penalty Kill are getting increasingly better as each game progresses.

So what will the story be tonight after everything is said and done? Will the fans get to here “All I Do is Win?” or will we be yet again talking about the number of shots on net?

For the Lightning to win: Tampa Bay needs to continue their scoring ways. Scoring less than 3 goals only 3 times this season, Tampa Bay is currently riding a 3-game win streak where scoring at least 3 goals seemed to do the trick. Outscoring their opponents 11-4 during the streak and getting stellar goaltending from Mathieu Garon, Tampa will have to hope Garon doesn’t falter against a Nashville team he has RARELY had success against.

For the Predators to win: If the Predators can get a few more pucks on the net tonight, they may find themselves finally in the win column at home. Facing a team who is only 1 spot ahead of them in average shots allowed per game, Nashville may find the cure they need tonight against the Lightning, and it would be perfect timing as well. With Anaheim coming in Saturday and Chicago/Phoenix/San Jose next week, Nashville needs to find where their shooting went and it needs to happen quickly.


Greg Duley (@G_Duley on Twitter) asked me the following: Do you know who is starting for Tampa in net? With Tampa’s goaltending I think its a perfect opportunity for Preds to start taking shots and learn that goals will follow.

ANSWER: Mathieu Garon will most likely get the start tonight as he’s currently riding a 3-game win streak where he has only allowed 4 goals, however their goaltending isn’t what gives the Predators more of a chance to start taking shots, it’s their defense. Currently 29th in the league (1 above Nashville) in shots against per game, Nashville will have to take advantage of that and start plastering Garon with shots, a goalie they’ve had considerable success against over the past few years.


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Stay frosty, friends