The Scouting Report: Nashville Predators

Thursday, 21.03.2013 / 1:35 AM / News
By Aaron Vickers  - CalgaryFlames.com (@aavickers)
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The Scouting Report: Nashville Predators

CALGARY, AB -- The Nashville Predators are hoping the Bridgestone Arena is a little kinder than life on the road.

Dropping their last four contests on a five-game road trip away from Nashville - including a 6-3 loss against the Calgary Flames - the Predators will hope some home cooking cures what ails them on Thursday night.

Both clubs find themselves on the wrong end of the Western Conference standings. The Predators, who have won just two of their last 10 games, currently sit 13th. The Flames, 14th, trail Nashville by just two points while playing three fewer games. Neither team's playoff hopes have been banished, with eighth-place within striking distance for either club.

That makes Thursday's Music City match-up all the more crucial for both clubs. The Flames need to stop a seven-game losing streak away from Scotiabank Saddledome. Nashville, on the other hand, can't afford to drop their fifth straight contest and leave points on the table.

The Predators have played well on home ice this season, earning points in 10 of 12 games in Nashville. It will be up to the Flames to enter the Predators' house and take two points.

WHO'S HOT

Gabriel Bourque
Left Wing - NSH
GOALS: 10 | ASST: 2 | PTS: 12
SOG: 42 | +/-: 4
GABRIEL BOURQUE

Few forwards have found the back of the net as frequently as Bourque has over the last nine games. The former fifth round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft has six goals over that span to overtake Nashville's goal scoring lead. In all, Bourque has 10 goals and 12 points in 28 games this season.

WHO'S NOT

Pekka Rinne
Goalie - NSH
RECORD: 10-10-5
GAA: 2.31 | SVP: 0.912
PEKKA RINNE

A Vezina Trophy finalist from a year ago, Rinne has failed to find that form in recent outings. The 30-year-old netminder is winless in his last four starts and didn't finish two of those games. He's allowed 13 goals on 66 shots over that span - including getting beat twice on Calgary's first two shots against eight days ago.

THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH

TAYLOR BECK

Making his National Hockey League debut on Tuesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Beck is set to play in just his second career game. The 21-year-old leads the Milwaukee Admirals in points with 41 in 50 games this season.

SHEA WEBER

Weber has been everything that's expected out of a franchise defenceman this season and has turned the heat up on his offense of late with four points in his last three games and 10 in his last eight. The six-foot-four defenceman has five goals and 18 points this season after having no goals and just two assists in his first 14 games of the year.

DAVID LEGWAND

The Predators' longest serving player, Legwand has played 876 games with Nashville. The team made Legwand its first-ever draft pick, selecting the 32-year-old second overall in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft and he's since gone on to set every franchise offensive franchise record for the club.

BY THE NUMBERS

Nashville’s Record This Season: 11-13-6 (13th in Western Conference)
Nashville’s Record Last Season: 48-26-8 (4th in Western Conference)
Calgary’s Record This Season: 11-12-4 (14th in Western Conference)
Calgary’s Record vs. Nashville Last Year: 1-3-0
Nashville’s Scoring Leaders: CLICK HERE
Calgary’s Scoring Leaders: CLICK HERE