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Predatorial Pregame Warmup: November 10, 2013

pregame

Nov 10, 2013



Written by: Patten Fuqua

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Last updated: November 10, 2013 at 12:01 pm

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Nashville Predators (8-6-2) at New Jersey Devils (4-7-5)
Gametime: 6:00pm CT / 7:00pm ET
Television: FS-Tennessee
Radio: 102.5 The Game

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Injuries

Nashville Predators - Pekka Rinne (hip), Mike Fisher (lower body - day-to-day), Matt Hendricks (upper body - day-to-day)

New Jersey Devils - Ryane Clowe (concussion), Patrik Elias (back spasms), Bryce Salvador (foot)

Projected Goaltending Matchup

Marek Mazanec, 0-0-0, 0 SO, 0.917Sv%, 2.31 GAA

VS

Martin Brodeur, 3-3-2, 1 SO, 0.901Sv%, 2.35 GAA

Keep an eye on...

Nashville Predators -

Seth Jones - On Friday night, after Nashville gave up three goals in 8:23 and four goals, Barry Trotz drastically cut Jones’ ice time.

Despite being on the ice for just one of Winnipeg’s five goals, Jones only played 3:52 in the second period and 5:38 in the third period. In fact, he only played 3:33 in the first period after Winnipeg’s second goal at 6:47. That means that Jones was only on the ice for 13:03 in the game’s final 53:13 after being on the ice for 3:41 in the game’s first 7 minutes. Even with his season-low 16:44 on the ice, Jones still ranks towards the top of the league in ice time with 24:40 per game.

While it was expected that Roman Josi might eventually rejoin Shea Weber on the top pairing, the fact that Jones suddenly saw his ice time drop so drastically as a result of a deficit that largely occurred when he was not on the ice was surprising. It’s exceptionally surprising when one considers that Jones and Weber are the team’s best offensive options on the blueline and keeping one of them off the ice while the team is attempting to make a comeback appears counterintuitive. It appears even more counterintuitive when one recognizes that Jones was not even on the ice for four of Winnipeg’s five goals.

Regardless of the reasoning, it will be interesting to see what pair Jones ends up on and how long he plays.

 

New Jersey Devils -

Jaromir Jagr - Jaromir Jagr won two Stanley Cups before Seth Jones was even born…and he’s currently New Jersey’s leading scorer. In fact, Jagr had two Stanley Cups before Teemu Selanne played his first NHL game. In other words, Jagr’s been around for a while.

Whether he’s playing for Pittsburgh, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, Dallas or New Jersey, Jagr is always a threat. Since Nashville entered the league, Jagr has four separate three-point games against the Predators. However, Jagr has only registered one assist against Nashville since 2005. Of course, a large portion of that drought is due to his three-year stint in the KHL.

The 41-year-old Czech forward leads the Devils with 11 points (4 G – 7 A) and is the only New Jersey player to score in double-digits so far this season.

Main Storylines

Nashville Predators -

After getting shelled by Winnipeg on Friday night, the main story for Nashville will again be goaltending.

Carter Hutton has performed less than brilliantly as of late, allowing 19 goals in Nashville’s last 5 games, while saving only 85.1% of the shots he has faced and managing a goals against average of 4.71 goals per game. After giving up three goals in his first eight shots on Friday, Hutton was chased for the second time in the last five games.

Marek Mazanec came on in relief of Hutton, saving 22 of the 24 shots he faced over the final 52 minutes of the game. In Milwaukee this season, Mazanec has played five games, winning all five, while holding opponents to a 1.97 GAA and saving 93.3% of the shots he faced.

Hutton’s ineffectiveness combined with Mazanec’s performance both in Milwaukee and in net on Friday night should dictate that he gets the start on Saturday.

New Jersey Devils -

While there has been much made of Nashville’s lack of scoring prowess, the Predators are actually averaging nearly a half-goal more per game than the Devils.

Through 16 games, the Devils are averaging just 1.88 goals per game. The Devils have been shutout four times (including by the same Winnipeg Jets team that shut out Nashville on Friday) and have scored just four goals in their last four games.

At home, the Devils are slightly better, averaging 2.20 goals per game, while they have only lost one of their five home games in regulation.

New Jersey also ranks second-to-last in the NHL with 25.8 shots per game, but are actually second best in shots allowed, with 24.8.

Last time out...

The Predators and Devils last met on October 15, 2011, at Bridgestone Arena.

Colin Wilson and Jerred Smithson scored within a minute-and-a-half of each other in the first period to give Nashville a 2-0 lead.

Ilya Kovalchuk scored in the first minute of the third period to close the lead to one, while David Clarkson scored the equalizer at 7:57 of the third.

After a scoreless overtime period, both Kovalchuk and Zach Parise scored on Pekka Rinne on the shootout, while Nashville’s Cal O’Reilly and Matt Halischuk were both stopped, giving New Jersey a 3-2 shootout win.

Johan Hedberg got the win for the Devils, stopping 29 of 31 shots, while Rinne stopped 39 of 41 in the loss.

 

One interesting fact...

This will be Seth Jones’ second trip to the Prudential Center this year – this summer’s NHL Draft also took place at the Prudential Center in Newark.

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Photo Credit: Sarah Fuqua