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Predatorial Pregame Warmup: November 12, 2013


Nov 12, 2013

Written by: Patten Fuqua


Last updated: November 12, 2013 at 9:56 am


Nashville Predators (8-7-2) at New York Islanders (6-9-3)
Gametime: 6:00pm CT / 7:00pm ET
Television: FS-Tennessee
Radio: 102.5 The Game



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

New York Islanders - Cal Clutterbuck (upper body - day-to-day), Brian Strait (upper body), Thomas Vanek (upper body - day-to-day), Lubomir Visnovsky (concussion)

Projected Goaltending Matchup

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


Kevin Poulin, 1-4-0, 0 SO, 0.908Sv%, 2.62 GAA

Keep an eye on...

Nashville Predators -

Eric Nystrom - Eric Nystrom might fly under the radar in most arenas, but when he walks into Nassau County Coliseum, he’s a member of royalty. After all, only one NHL player is the son of “Mr. Islander”.

Nystrom’s father, Bob, played for the Islanders for 14 seasons from 1972 until 1986, winning four Stanley Cups with the team. Most memorably, Bob Nystrom scored the game-winning goal in overtime of Game 6 of the 1980 Stanley Cup Final to give the team their first title.

Nystrom played in 900 total NHL games – all with the Islanders – and scored 513 points (235 G – 278 A) while picking up 1,248 penalty minutes. Since 1991, the Islanders have presented their hardest working player with the Bob Nystrom Award. Additionally, as Bob Nystrom was born in Sweden, he became one of the first successful European players in the NHL.

In 1995, the Islanders retired Bob Nystrom’s number 23 jersey.

New York Islanders -

Kevin Poulin - The Islanders have been alternating starts between goaltenders Evgeni Nabokov and Kevin Poulin as of late and, if they continue in the same order, Tuesday should be Poulin’s draw. Since turning professional in 2010, Poulin has been up and down between Long Island and Bridgeport, but he has always put up respectable numbers.

In 26 career games, Poulin is 8-13-1, but holds a fairly respectable .911 save percentage and a not-great-but-not-too-bad-either GAA of 2.76. So far this season, while Poulin has only won a single game, he only allowed 13 goals in his five games. Poulin plays hot and cold – he has two separate one-goal games, but has allowed three or more goals in his other three starts.

However, 13 goals in five games is practically a brick wall compared to Nabokov’s performance. In Nabokov’s last five games, he has allowed 20 goals. Nabokov has actually allowed three or more goals in each of his last seven starts and nine of his last 10.

Without a doubt, Poulin should be the go-to player for the Islanders.

Main Storylines

Nashville Predators -

For once, allow us to ignore the fact that Nashville is having a Nabokov-like time in net.

With Mazanec likely in net for the Predators, the main story for Nashville on Tuesday will be the Predators attempting to get back on the scoresheet.

After Gabriel Bourque scored an empty netter with 18 seconds left against the Avalanche last Wednesday, Nashville has been shut out two times in a row. The Predators rank 25th in the league in scoring while the scoreless streak currently sites at 120:18. If there is ever a game set up to break that streak, it is the Islanders on Tuesday. Through 17 games, the Islanders currently rank 27th in the league in goals allowed, giving up 3.22 per game, while holding a league-worst 72.9% penalty kill effectiveness.

Nashville currently sits in a three-way tie for last place in the Central Division, 10 points behind Colorado.

New York Islanders -

The Islanders return home on Tuesday after a disastrous four-game road trip that saw the team pick up exactly zero of a possible eight points, as the team lost to Washington, Columbus, Carolina and Montreal.

They likely be attempting to break their losing streak without newly-acquired Thomas Vanek, who appeared to suffer a wrist injury in the team’s loss to Columbus.

The Islanders will, however, have John Tavares (2o points), Franz Nielsen (19) and Kyle Okposo (19) leading the charge. After the top three, however, the Islanders’ next highest scorer is Michael Grabner with 8 points.

During the four-game streak, the Islanders managed to score six goals, but they allowed 16.

Both Nabokov and Poulin had two starts during the streak.

Last time out...

On October 12, Nashville defeated the Islanders 3-2 at Bridgestone Arena on the back of Seth Jones’ first career goal.

Jones, Patric Hornqvist and Ryan Ellis each scored for the Predators, while Nielsen and Tavares had the Islanders’ two goals.

Pekka Rinne made 14 saves in the win, while Evgeni Nabokov stopped 28 of 31 in the loss.

One interesting fact...

Nashville has played the Islanders 10 times since the 2002-03 season and has not lost in regulation – Nashville’s record in that span is 8-0-2.


Photo Credit: Sarah Fuqua