Nashville Predators have tough assignment against Vancouver Canucks - NHL Preview
The Nashville Predators are in top form notching up victory after victory but may face their match in the Vancouver Canucks when these two sides face each other at the Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday, February 7th, 2012.
Nashville bounced back spectacularly from their 4-1 pounding at the hands of the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday with a brilliant 3-1 victory at home against the St. Louis Blues.
Goaltender Pekka Rinne saved 41 shots on his goal to keep his team’s lead intact and goals from Martin Erat, Mike Fisher and Sergei Kostitsyn took the Predators to victory.
Rinne’s brilliant form in goal over the past few games has helped Nashville rise to fourth in the Western Conference with a 32-17-4 record.
Coach Barry Trotz labelled Rinne the best goaltender in the league after the game.
"There's not too many goaltenders in this league who would make that save," Trotz said. "That's why I keep saying, 'He's the best one."
The Predators have had a brilliant run of form winning six of their last seven games and barring the loss against Philadelphia they have won all their games with a comfortable margin.
Nashville will now look to continue their brilliant run of form against the Canucks and keep them in the hunt to become the conference champions.
"The division is so hard, and we have to take all the points we can right now," said Martin Erat, who had a goal and two assists. "It's a battle to the end because in the end, we always have to play against St. Louis, Detroit, and Chicago."
Vancouver Canucks however, are no pushover. The Canadians are second in the Western Conference with a 32-15-5 record and are only three points behind Western Conference leaders Detroit Red Wings.
The Canucks have had a tough time in their recent games with their last four games all decided after the end of the regular periods.
Vancouver has won three of their last four games. They lost 4-3 in a shootout with the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday, February 2nd but bounced back with a 3-2 shootout victory over Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.
Vancouver's goaltender, Kevin Bieksa believes that a little more effort in defence will help the Canucks win by more comfortable margins.
Talking to the team’s official website, Bieksa said.
"We're not sharp enough, we're trying to place a little bit more of an effort on that and coming out from there. We were a little bit better (Saturday), but obviously we can be better."
It will be a tough game as both teams are on top of their game but Rinne has normally struggled against the Canucks and that might become a huge factor in which team will gain victory.