Thursday, December 1, 2011

Predators Hope to Close Out Road Trip with a Win in Vancouver

The Nashville Predators will face the Vancouver Canucks tonight at Rogers Arena (FS-TN, 9 p.m. CST)  in the final game of their current five game road trip, hoping to salvage a second win.

The Predators have lost five of their last six but looked much better in the last two games that included a 2-1 win in Edmonton on Monday, and a 1-0 loss in Calgary on Tuesday.

The story for the Canucks is almost the opposite of the Preds. Vancouver has won five games in a row and eight of their last ten.

A goalie controversy may be brewing in Vancouver as back-up Cory Schneider (7-4-0, 1.93, .937) picked up the win in each of the Nucks last five games and has now started six in a row. Roberto Luongo (7-5-1, 2.97, .896) missed a couple of games due to injury and has not been able to reclaim the net since.

The Canucks are supposed to have a shot in the arm tonight as Mason Raymond is scheduled to play his first game of the year after being sidelined with a compression fracture suffered in game six of the Stanley Cup Finals in June.

Tonight's game will the the Predators final regular season visit to Vancouver. The Predators lost 5-1 to the Canucks at Rogers Arena on October 20 when Pekka Rinne (10-8-4, 2.40, .927) gave up four goals on 16 first period shots before yielding to Anders Lindback (1-1-0, 2.73, .901), who saw his first action of the year in relief.

The Predators have hung tough with the Canucks in Vancouver, splitting the season series each year going back to the 2005-06 season. The Preds also won two of three games on the west coast in last seasons' second round playoff series with the Canucks.

The Predators recent slide has coincided with a drop in offensive production as the Preds have only scored seven goals in the last five games and have not scored more than two goals since the 4-3 overtime loss to Columbus in the Preds' last game at Smashville on November 19.

The Predators have fallen to eleventh place in the Western Conference with 26 points. Entering Wednesday's action, they still remained only five points out of first place but do not want to fall further behind the pack.

The Predators will return home to play Buffalo on Saturday night at the Bridgestone Arena which will start a string of 14 of the next 19 games being at home when the team will need to be serious point collectors to move back toward the top of the conference standings and bank points for later in the year.

For POTG ticket pricing go here and use the special offer code "preds" here to get the best prices for all remaining Predator home games.

For other Predator-Canucks previews, check out Ryan PorthAmanda DiPaolo, The TennesseanFang Finger and

For previews from Vancouver check out The ProvinceVancouver SunFaceOffGlobe and MailCBCNucks MisconductPucked In The HeadPass It To BulisCanucks Hockey BlogCanucks CornerThe Canuck WayCanucks FanZoneLove Our CanucksHead to the NetCanucks and BeyondCanucks ArmyPlay Me That BallardBenched Whale, and 3:10 to Overtime.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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