Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Preds Take On Ducks In Western Conference Showdown

The Nashville Predators will play host to the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night in a pivotal Western Conference showdown. With the Ducks defeating the Stars in overtime on Wednesday night, they enter Thursday night's contest just one point behind Nashville with 87 points. The Preds have 88 points and have played one more game than Anaheim has, so this game is obviously huge for both teams.

Anaheim is coming into this game winners of their last four games, which is exactly the same as Nashville. Two of those wins have come on the road and two of them have come at home. The Ducks are 1-2-0 in games played on Thursday night so far this year.

Nashville is coming into this game with eight games remaining, six of which are at home. This is a vital game for the Predators. They are 9-4-3 in games played on Thursday night, and have won all three contests played on a Thursday night in the month of March.

Corey Perry has been a stud this year for Anaheim with 40 goals and 40 assists. Also, Teemu Selanne has been sensational. The 40-year-old winger has 68 points on the year. Obviously, Bobby Ryan and Ryan Getzlaf are huge contributors to this Anaheim team as well, so the Ducks have no shortage of talent. The Preds will have to play a great defensive game to contain the Ducks.

On the offensive side of the puck, the Preds have to keep up the good work. David Legwand, Martin Erat, and Joel Ward are all playing well right now and that has to continue on Thursday night.

Words can't really describe how big this game if for both teams on Thursday night. Expect the game to be extremely hard fought, which should work to the Predators' advantage given that Anaheim played last night. Bridgestone Arena will be rocking all night and it will feel like a playoff game. The puck drops at 7:00.

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