Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Nashville kicks off crucial homestand against Vancouver



The Nashville Predators will square off with the Vancouver Canucks for the final time in the 2011-2012 regular season on Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena. In their last meeting, Vancouver walked away from Bridgestone Arena with a 4-3 shootout victory.

Nashville is coming off of a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars on Sunday night. It was only the fourth time that the Predators have won since the All-Star break. With that win behind them, the Predators will now look to put together a winning streak this week within the friendly confines of Bridgestone Arena.

Vancouver got a victory of their own on Sunday night against the Edmonton Oilers. The Canucks sit atop the Northwest Division with a 38-15-6 record, and have a firm hold on the second spot in the Western Conference with 82 points. The Canucks have been playing stellar hockey, going 8-0-2 in their last 10 games.

Tonight's game against Vancouver is the first of three critical Western Conference contests this week for the Predators. They will take on the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night and the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night. Expect to see playoff-style hockey throughout the week, starting tonight against Vancouver.

My player to watch for the Canucks is Alexandre Burrows. According to Amanda Dipaolo of Inside Smashville, Burrows will be playing in his 500th career game tonight. He's always been a pest when playing against Nashville.

For the Predators, my player to watch is Craig Smith. Smith has racked up 11 shots in his past five games but hasn't found his way onto the scoresheet. Smith has been getting plenty of opportunities lately, but he just hasn't been able to cash in of late. Look for him to get on the board tonight.

(Photo Credit: Leanne Charles)

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