Keep an eye out on SlapShot Radio’s social media for a big announcement over the next few days… this one is going to be fun!

It’s a showdown between the tops in the west against the tops in the east as the Nashville Predators collide with the Tampa Bay Lightning at Bridgestone Arena tonight. This Lightning team is explosive offensively, posting 3.22 goals a game but the surprising piece of this team is the power play.

With some to the weapons Tampa Bay has, you would expect them to be lethal on the power play… they convert at a middling 17.4%… just slightly under Nashville’s season conversion rate of 17.6%… surprising.

Both teams have been putting together nice little streaks, Tampa is 4-1-1 in their last six, Nashville is 4-1 in their last five. Tampa’s goaltending has been mostly solid, but the Lightning are very happy with rookie goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy… the kid has been excellent in his eight games, posting a 1.96 GAA and a save percentage of .934, both better than starter Ben Bishop. Pekka Rinne has looked better with each start and leads the league in goaltender wins and Goals Against.

One key for tonight to keep an eye on if both team’s performance on faceoffs… Tampa Bay is a little over 50% in their faceoff win percentage while Nashville has struggled a bit in the dot lately, their season percentage dropping to 47.8%, good for 26th in the league. A key stat, especially against the better teams.

Special teams will be another key, Tampa Bay have killed off 17 of their last 18 shorthanded situations, giving up their first power play goal in almost six games against Anaheim on Sunday.

Neither team practiced yesterday, both having played back-to-back over the weekend. Game time is 7pm, there is no local TV tonight, radio coverage only on 102.5 the Game and the Predators Radio Network.

Here your preview courtesy of nhl.com…

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I’d like you to know about the Peterson for Parkinson’s fundraiser happening on February 16th at the Franklin Theatre. It’s called “Songwriters and Storytellers” and will feature performances from some of Nashville’s premier songwriters. Writers of hits for artists like Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean… just to name a few. For more information, including how to purchase tickets Click here. Doors open at 7pm, show starts at 8pm… it should be an awesome show for a great cause.

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Random Notes

– Standings update after play on 2/9 – No movement at the top as Nashville Tampa and NAaheim were all idle. The Predators continue to lead the race for the President’s Trophy, they lead the Ducks by one point and Tampa Bay by three. The Preds have a four point lead in the division over St. Louis and a seven point bulge over the Blackhawks. The Predators have a game in hand over Chicago.

– The Western Wild Card Shuffle continues with Winnipeg (Games played – 55) in the first Wild Card and San Jose (55) in the second. Calgary jumped to second in the Pacific with their win last night over San Jose. Minnesota (52) and Los Angeles (53) trail the final playoff spot by three points. Dallas (53) trails the final playoff spot by five points, Colorado (54) trails by six.

– Tonight begins the first of four in a row inside the friendly confines of Bridgestone Arena.

– Filip Forsberg has posted a point in every game in February so far.

– Pekka Rinne has become the fastest goaltender to 30 wins since the shootout was established… 30 wins in 39 games… he is just the third goaltender since expansion to accomplish this.

– The Wild won their sixth straight last night beating Vancouver 5-3, chasing Ryan Miller and exposing a lot of sloppy defensive play from the Canucks.

– The Kings won their second straight last night, the first time they have done that since before Christmas.

– The Chicago Blackhawks began an eight game homestand last night… a stretch of games that is supposed to put the perennial power back on the right track. In their first game of the homestand they dropped a shootout to the Arizona Coyotes.

– The Flames may start calling SAP Center in San Jose Saddledome South… they won their third game of the season there last night and leaped in to second in the Pacific. This Flames team isn’t going away.

– Nine games in the NHL tonight – Stars @ Bruins, Senators @ Sabres, Oilers @ Islanders, Rangers @ Maple Leafs, Flyers @ Canadiens, Ducks @ Panthers, Coyotes @ Blues, Lightning @ Predators, Wild @ Jets.

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You are invited to follow me on Twitter. Search for @PredPAPaul… Not only will I be updating when I get news or updates, but we are having a bit of fun by getting your input on Gnash introductions, weigh in on Twitter and who knows, we may use your introduction for the best mascot in the NHL at the next Preds game! You can also keep up with all the goings on with SlapShot Radio by following the show on Twitter @SlapShotRadio1

Also… make sure to “like” SlapShot Radio on Facebook… here’s the link.

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SlapShot Radio will be back on Wednesday, February 18th at 7pm on 102.5 the Game and the SlapShot Radio Network… Our premier, day one sponsor is Dr. Jane Bacon at Hermitage Family and Cosmetic Dentistry … make your appointment at 615-872-7762. Also The Wine Shoppe at Green Hills and Burger Republic!

We’ve got room for your business to be part of the SlapShot Radio family with effective and affordable advertising packages for every budget. Be part of the excitement of Nashville hockey… Advertisers… reach out to me to access our activated listener base via email at paul(@)slapshotradio(dot)com

Radio station owners/programmers, join the SlapShot Radio Network… contact me using the email above to carry SlapShot Radio on your station, we are satellite delivered every week via SkyView on the SlapShot Radio Network. Each show contains two full breaks for your usage.

Our podcasts are posted… Click here to download or listen to any of this season’s podcasts.

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