Scouting Report: Nashville Predators
The Predators have sandwiched three straight wins between a four-game losing streak and their current run of three consecutive losses heading into Friday’s contest against the Calgary Flames. It’s placed them behind four other clubs in the in the race for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference with just 12 games remaining.
If Nashville is to make a push, a new run will have to start at Scotiabank Saddledome.
This Season: 29-31-10, 68 points (12th in West)
Last Season: 16-23-9, 41 points (14th in West)
Notable Injuries: Paul Gaustad (upper body) left Wednesday’s 2-0 loss against the Vancouver Canucks and is listed as day-to-day.
Flames Season Series Record: 1-1-0
Though the Predators have scored just two goals in the past three games, Weber has been at the forefront of Nashville’s offence. The team leader in assists (28) and points (44) has one goal and four points in his past five games. Weber’s totals have him seventh in scoring among defencemen in the NHL this season.
Though he’s tops on the Predators in goals (20) and second only to Weber with 40 points, Smith has struggled to improve on those totals of late. The 24-year-old has been held without a point in four straight contests and has just two goals and three points in his past 10 outings.
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
Recalled Thursday from the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL on Thursday, Jarnkrok could make his NHL debut Friday against the Flames. The 22-year-old was acquired in the trade that sent longtime franchise face David Legwand to the Detroit Red Wings and has five goals and seven assists in five games with the Admirals since the swap.
The last time Nystrom faced his former club in Calgary, the 31-year-old put up all four goals in a 5-4 loss on Jan. 24. Since, the former first round pick has scored twice and added an assist in 17 games. Overall, Nystrom has 13 goals and 18 points in 67 games this season.
Jones has continued to have a standout rookie season in Nashville. The 19-year-old has six goals and 23 points and has averaged over 20 minutes a night -- fourth-best among first-year players -- while skating in all 70 Predators games this season.