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Nashville Predators gear up to face the San Jose Sharks at Bridgestone Arena Tuesday night
Posted By News Staff On Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 6:00 pm In Sports | No Comments
Tuesday, February 12th | 7:00pm (CT)
Nashville, TN | Bridgestone Arena
Sunday night’s tilt marked only the third time that the Predators have failed to earn at least a point in the standings this season (5-3-4, 14 pts). All three of Nashville’s regulation losses this season have been shutouts. The Predators and Sharks meet for the second time in 10 days with this being the Sharks only visit to Nashville during the 2012-13 season. On February 2nd, in game No. 6 of a franchise-record tying seven-game road trip, Sergei Kostitsyn notched his first goal of the season, while NHL sophomore Craig Smith recorded the only goal in the shootout in a 2-1 shootout victory. Pekka Rinne stopped 26 of the 27 San Jose shots he faced, and was a perfect three-for-three in the post-overtime breakaway competition to earn the victory. That shootout marked the fifth time in the last seven games these two teams have needed extra time to determine a winner.
Nashville has picked up points in all but one of its last nine games against the Sharks, posting a 4-1-3 record. The Predators are 3-1-1 in the series since the beginning of the 2011-12 campaign. The Predators return to the Bay Area to close out the season series on March 2nd.
The Nashville Predators have garnered points in nine of their first 12 games of 2012-13 primarily through strong defense. The team has the third-lowest goals-against average in the league – and lowest in the Western Conference – at 1.92. The Predators are also tied with San Jose, for the second-fewest even-strength goals allowed at 14.
Despite being dealt his first loss in five games on Sunday vs. the Chicago Blackhawks, Pekka Rinne continues to be the backbone of the solid defense. He allowed more than two goals for only the third time this season against the Blackhawks, and Marcus Kruger’s goal at the 6:14 mark of the second period was the first even-strength goal allowed by Rinne in 316:40 (dating back to January 28th at Phoenix).
The Kempele, Finland native is 4-1-0 in his last five outings, stopping 136 of 142 shots for a .958 save percentage and a 1.16 goals-against average . Overall, Rinne is sixth in goals-against average (1.92) and seventh in save percentage (.929) among netminders with more than three starts. Since the start of the 2008-09 season, Rinne is tied with the New York Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist for first in shutouts (26), and is seventh in wins (141).
Shea Weber has the highest point-per-game output against San Jose during his career (.75), with 18 points (5g-13a) in 24 games. He has five points (2g-3a) in his last five games against San Jose. Martin Erat, who missed the February 2nd game with a lower-body injury, produced above a point-per-game average against San Jose last season with four points (1g-3a) in three games.
Scott Hannan was selected 23rd overall (first round) by the San Jose Sharks in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. He played 508 regular season games and 58 playoff games for the club from 1998-2007, amassing 127 points (25g-102a) and 329 penalty minutes in the regular season and 13 points (1g-12a) and 79 penalty minutes in the postseason.
Paul Gaustad remains one of the League’s top face-off men, having won 9-of-14 draws on Sunday, and 57 of his last 88 draws taken (64.8 percent) to move into second in the NHL in face-off efficiency (60.9 percent).
Last Tuesday at the St. Louis Blue, he tallied his first multi-point effort (2a) of the season last Tuesday against the Blues – it was his first multi-point game since January 31st, 2012 (1g-2a). Gaustad joined the Predators at the 2012 Trade Deadline in a deal with the Buffalo Sabres, and signed a four-year contract with the team last summer.
For more information about the Nashville Predators, visit www.predators.nhl.com 
Individual game tickets for the Nashville Predators 2012-13 regular season are on sale now at the Bridgestone Arena box office, through all Ticketmaster outlets, www.Ticketmaster.com , www.nashvillepredators.com  and 615.770.7800. Due to the shortened season, ticket inventory will be limited.
Returning this season are the popular Tennessee Lottery $10.00 Gameday Seats where 100 upper-level tickets will be made available for just $10.00 each on the day of the game. These tickets may only be purchased at the Bridgestone Arena box office beginning at 10:00am on the day of each specific game. Limit four per customer.
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