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Predatorial Pregame Warmup: December 12, 2013

pregame

Dec 12, 2013



Written by: Kristopher Martel

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Last updated: December 12, 2013 at 1:28 pm

UPDATE: Fox Sports Tennessee will be debuting their new super slo-mo “Phantom Cam” for the Nashville Predators on tonight’s broadcast. It has the ability to record up to 5,000 frames per second and show live game action in slow-motion detail. For comparison sake, a normal slow-motion camera records at 380 frames per second or less.

Here are just a couple of examples of the Phantom Cam in action:

From UFC 167:

From this year’s World Series:

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Nashville Predators (14-14-3) vs Dallas Stars (14-10-5)
Gametime: 7:00pm CT / 8:00pm ET
Television: FS-Tennessee
Radio: 102.5 The Game

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Injuries

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

Dallas Stars - Vernon Fiddler (upper body), Trevor Daley (ankle), Stephane Robidas (leg)

Projected Goaltending Matchup

Carter Hutton, 5-3-1, 0 SO, 0.901Sv%, 3.03GAA

VS

Kari Lehtonen, 11-6-5, 1 SO, 0.922Sv%, 2.39GAA

Keep an eye on...

Nashville Predators -

Craig Smith – Scractched for Saturday’s game against Washington, down for Tuesday’s game against New York with flu-like symptoms, the 24-year-old center is looking to bounce back for a Predators team that snapped a 5-game losing streak against the Rangers. For Nashville’s third leading scorer, the Predators could use offensive contributions from Smith as they play seven of their next nine at home to finish the 2013 calendar year.

Dallas Stars -

Antoine Roussel – A 24-year-old native of Roubaix, France, the left winger has been on fire for the Stars as of late, scoring seven points (5g, 2a) in his last eight games. His seven goals tie him for third on Dallas’ lineup in goal scoring.

Main Storylines

Nashville Predators -

Things haven’t been going Nashville’s way, as of late. Losing five straight games coming in to Tuesday night’s nationally televised contest against the Rangers, the Predators were looking for anything, or anyone, to right the ship. Prior to Tuesday, Nashville’s fourth line (Rich Clune, Paul Gaustad, and Matt Hendricks) had registered only four points on the entire season. Scoring three goals, one each, and adding in four assists between the three, Nashville’s “Wagon” line helped the Predators rebound off their longest losing streak of the year.

Getting his sixteenth and seventeenth assists of the year, David Legwand added to his team-leading point total, raising it to 22 points (5g, 17a) on the season. Patric Hornqvist also collected an assist as well, moving to second on the Predators with 16 points (6g, 10a). Craig Smith, Colin Wilson, Shea Weber, and Matt Cullen round out Nashville’s top six.

After starting the previous 13 games, rookie goaltender Marek Mazanec got the night off on Tuesday in favor of Carter Hutton. Hutton, who’s stats haven’t been stellar this season in the least, was stellar on Tuesday when the Predators sorely needed him to be. Stopping 28 of 29 shots, Hutton’s fifth win of the season not only helped Nashville get back on track, but also provided him a boost in his confidence after losing his last two outings by a combined score of 10-0.

Dallas Stars -

After starting the month of November with a 6-1-1 record, boosting their overall record to 11-7-2, the Stars have gone 3-3-3 since then and have fallen to 14-10-5, one point ahead of Nashville in the standings and seven behind Colorado for the final Wild Card spot. Winning 5-1 against the Flyers on Saturday night, Dallas came back out Tuesday and dropped a 6-2 matchup to the Western Conference leading Chicago Blackhawks. Alternating wins and losses over their previous four games, it’ll be interesting to see how Dallas begins their three-game roadtrip against the Predators.

Acquired over the offseason from the Boston Bruins, Tyler Seguin has been one of the Dallas’ best forwards on the ice. His 15 goals and 12 assists rank first on the team with 27 points. While fellow forward Jamie Benn has bested his assist totals with 16 overall, Benn’s 26 points only trail Seguin by one. No other Stars forward has more than 16 points on the season, however they have nine total players that have reached double-digits in scoring already.

Stars starting netminder Kari Lehtonen has been stellar for Dallas so far this season, recording an 11-6-5 record and placing himself in the league’s top 15 for wins and save percentage nearing the halfway point of the season. Backup, and former Nashville Predators goaltender, Dan Ellis hasn’t been bad as of late in relief of Lehtonen. While he has a 3-3-0 record and sub-par statistics, Ellis has won his last two starts (at home versus Anaheim and Philadelphia).

Last time out...

After trading away Jaromir Jagr, Derek Roy, and Brenden Morrow the week before, the Stars sent Nashville to their fifth straight loss, beating them 5-2 in front of a near-capacity crowd at Bridgestone Arena. Rookie Alex Chiasson scored twice for Dallas while Bobby Butler and Taylor Beck registered Nashville’s only goals.

One interesting fact...

Last season was the first time since the 2007-2008 season that the series between the Stars and Predators had a clear winner. Winning two of the three matchups last season, Nashville won only their third season series with the Stars since coming into the league in 1998.

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Photo Credit: Sarah Fuqua