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Predatorial Pregame Warmup: January 20th, 2014


Jan 20, 2014

Written by: Kristopher Martel


Last updated: January 20, 2014 at 2:36 pm

UPDATE: Carter Hutton said after morning skate that he would be getting the start in net against the Stars.

Prior to tonight’s game against Dallas, some of the Predators voiced their opinions on the necessity for a strong start after the near-comeback on Saturday night in their game against Colorado:

Carter Hutton – “We thought we played a pretty good game on Saturday, just some breakdowns early kinda cost us. You start slow against a team like Colorado and they make you pay, they’re a really good team. Dallas has a lot of of good offensive threats too, we’ve played them twice now. We took one and they took one at home, so we’re looking forward to the challenge. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing right now, in the situation we’re in, we have to find ways to win game whether it’s against a team we’re chasing, a team well ahead of us, or behind us. We have to play our game and find a way to keep winning hockey games”

Nick Spaling – “Every game is important, but they’re a team in front of us an we have to do everything we can to get these points. This is a big game for us and we know that. We have to be focused and ready to go from the start.”

“I think we did a good job of coming back [on Saturday night], but we have to take two things from that: the effort we had to come back and the fact that we weren’t good enough to start. We got to have a better start and we can’t give them chances like we did in our last game.”

“Obviously we don’t want to go down [3-0 like Saturday]. It’s more about the mistakes, we want to be getting pucks out at our line and just play our game, play a solid game that way. The more time in their end, the better.”

Victor Bartley - We had a big comeback the other night, but didn’t quite do it. We have to keep playing hard like that. Dallas is a team we’re trying to catch in the standings right now, so this game and our following games are huge right now. We have to come out hard with a great start and do our thing.”

“Anytime you can carry momentum into the next game, you want to do that, especially in our comeback in the third period [against Colorado]. We’re going to have to come out with a lot of fire tonight and a lot of energy. Hopefully we’ll pull out a win”

Eric Nystrom – “It’s a new game and we have to have a good start. Last game we got behind the eight-ball. We had a good comeback, but at the end we had a bad start and that cost us. We just got to be ready to go”

“[The first period] is the key. We’re a much better team when we’re in tight, especially early on, but when we get behind the eight-ball? It’s too hard in this league, it’s hard to come back. We really got to make sure we’re focused on playing well out of the gates and sustaining it.”


Nashville Predators (21-22-7) vs Dallas Stars (21-19-8)
Gametime: 7:00pm CT / 8:00pm ET
Television: FS-Tennessee
Radio: 102.5 The Game



Nashville Predators - Pekka Rinne (hip)

Dallas Stars - Stephane Robidas (leg)

Projected Goaltending Matchup

Carter Hutton, 9-7-2, 0 SO, 0.902Sv%, 2.94GAA


Kari Lehtonen, 17-13-8, 1 SO, 0.915Sv%, 2.65GAA

Keep an eye on...

Nashville Predators -

Craig Smith - Scoring two goals in his last three games, Smith has been one of Nashville’s key catalyst’s on offense since the start of the 2014 calendar year.

Dallas Stars -

Tyler Seguin – Scoring four assists in his last three games, Seguin’s 45 points lead the Dallas Stars offensively as they chase the final wildcard spot

Main Storylines

Nashville Predators -

  • The Predators need to have a strong first period after letting in three goals in the first twenty minutes against Colorado on Saturday night. Saturday’s game was the sixth time this season Nashville has fallen into a 3-0 deficit in the first period
  • With Carter Hutton getting the start in net tonight, can he bump his win streak to three straight?
  • Colin Wilson only accumulated 7:54 of icetime in the first two periods before nearly doubling his time in the third period, having what could be classified as an “off-night”. Can Wilson rebound tonight against the Stars?

Dallas Stars -

  • Losing two straight games, including a 3-2 overtime loss to Minnesota, can the Stars bounce back against the Predators.
  • Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn are Dallas’ only two players over 40 points on their roster, will they have a strong impact against Nashville this evening?
  • Tonight’s game for the Stars starts a string of five games in eight nights, including heading back to Dallas after tonight’s game for a back-to-back tomorrow against Minnesota on NBCSN. With as many games as they’ve played lately (including this past Saturday and Thursday’s games), how will that impact them this evening?

Last time out...

Erik Cole scored twice and Kari Lehtonen stopped 33 shots as the Dallas Stars cruised to a 4-1 victory over the Predators on December 27th.

One interesting fact...

Craig Smith, who has been one of Nashville’s strongest players lately, has four points (1g, 4a) in six career games against the Dallas Stars, nearing the point per game level.


Photo Credit: Sarah Fuqua