Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Game Preview: Preds vs. Panthers

The Nashville Predators put their 6-game winning streak on the line Thursday night as they take on the Florida Panthers in Sunrise, Florida. The Preds and Panthers have already met one time previously this year, and that game saw the Preds take the 3-0 victory over Florida.

The game in Nashville this year is remembered for two things. It was Anders Lindback's first career NHL shutout, and Jordin Tootoo layed one of the hardest hits in the history of hockey on Michael Frolik.

The Panthers are coming off of a 4-3 win over the high-powered Washington Capitals on Tuesday night. The Panthers had a 3-0 lead but let the Capitals come back and tie it at 3 goals apiece. Florida eventually was able to escape with the victory in overtime.

Florida currently sits in 11th place in the Eastern Conference with 40 points. Nashville Captain Shea Weber is currently on a 6-game point streak, which is the longest of his career. The Preds are 4-0-2 against the Southeast Division this year, and they look to continue that trend. The key to this game is going to be how Florida defends Suter and Weber. The All-World defensive tandem tore the Panthers up last game, and both of them have been on fire lately. If Suter and Weber continue their stellar play, it will be a long night for the Panthers. When Suter and Weber are on, it significantly opens up the Predators offensive attack, while also providing shut-down defense.

Prediction: Nashville 4 Florida 2