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Predatorial Pregame Warmup: December 5, 2013


Dec 5, 2013

Written by: Kristopher Martel


Last updated: December 5, 2013 at 12:20 pm

UPDATE: Klein in, Piskula back to Milwaukee. Peters in goal for Carolina. Presumably Mazanec for Nashville


Nashville Predators (13-12-3) vs Carolina Hurricanes (11-12-5)
Gametime: 7:00pm CT / 8:00pm ET
Television: FS-Tennessee
Radio: 102.5 The Game



Nashville Predators - Pekka Rinne (hip), Filip Forsberg (upper body injury), Shea Weber (face)

Carolina Hurricanes - Joni Pitkanen (heel), Anton Khudobin (ankle), Alexander Semin (concussion), Tim Gleason (lower body)

Projected Goaltending Matchup

Marek Mazanec, 5-5-1, 2 SO, 0.930Sv%, 2.09GAA


Justin Peters, 5-7-1, 1 SO, 0.923Sv%, 2.38GAA

Keep an eye on...

Nashville Predators -

Craig Smith – Held scoreless in his last four games, even though getting a few chances here and there, Smith can’t seem to find the back of the net. Even though the entire lineup seems to be having scoring problems, Smith has gone on a cold streak.

Carolina Hurricanes -

Eric Staal – One of the NHL’s more prolific scorers, Staal is having a mediocre start so far for the Hurricanes with only 21 points in his first 28 games. Staal has scored a goal and six assists in his previous five games.

Main Storylines

Nashville Predators -

Dropping three straight games for only the second time this season, Nashville can’t seem to find the answer for their scoring woes and it’s coming at the most inopportune time for them. With Pekka Rinne and Filip Forsberg already out, having both Shea Weber and Kevin Klein join them on the shelf wasn’t a smattering of good news for the Predators. Rinne is scheduled to have an MRI today while Weber could be back as early as Saturday, so things may not be as bad in the near-future for Nashville.

The Predators have scored three goals total in their current losing streak, being shutout in their first game as well. Colin Wilson, while having chances to score multiple goals in the same span, has scored a goal in each of the past two games. Patric Hornqvist has an assist in each of those games as well.

Coming off the reception of his Rookie of the Month award, Marek Mazanec dropped his first start afterwards to the Vancouver Canucks by a score of 3-1. Mazanec has been playing stellar hockey as of late, including a strong game against the Canucks, however without any goal support from the players in front of him it will be difficult for him to string together any type of winning streak for Nashville.

Carolina Hurricanes -

After starting the season 4-2-3, the Hurricanes lost starting goaltender Cam Ward and struggled to find an sort of consistency in their lineup. Going 7-10-2 since then, Carolina has Ward back, however it’s taking time for the pieces to fall back together for the Hurricanes. Yet, winning three of their past five games is definitely a start.

Eric Staal leads the way for the Hurricanes offensively with six goals and 15 assists in his 28 games, including seven points in his last five. Andrej Sekara and Jeff Skinner follow Staal on Carolina’s leaderboard with 14 points each, both with six goals an eight assists.

Seeing three goaltenders earn playing time so far, Justin Peters and Cam Ward have shared the bulk of the duties with Peters collecting a 5-7-1 record and Ward with a 4-5-4 record. While Peters’ stats on the season are better than Ward’s (0.923Sv% and 2.38GAA compared to 0.908Sv% and 2.90GAA), Cam Ward is still the starter for the Carolina Hurricanes. Yet, some telling stats from the Hurricanes PR: Cam Ward is 1-4-1 with a 2.98 GAA in six career appearances against the Predators, Justin Peters is 0-1-0 with a 5.00 GAA in one career game against Nashville, and Anton Khudobin is 0-0-0 with a 6.67 GAA in one career appearance against the Predators.


Last time out...

Carolina’s Eric Staal had a goal and two assists while Bryan Allen scored the game winner to hold off the Predators comeback attempt and win 4-3 against Nashville on February 28th, 2012.

One interesting fact...

Nashville has lost only once at home against the Hurricanes, coming nearly 11 years ago on December 3rd, 2002. The Predators hold a 11-4-2 all time record against Carolina (7-1-0 at home), including winning six of the past seven.


Photo Credit: Sarah Fuqua