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Preds try to bounce back versus Flyers
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Nashville Predators will try to bounce back from their fourth shutout loss in November when they host the Philadelphia Flyers in Saturday's battle at Bridgestone Arena.
Nashville has compiled a 7-6-0 record this month and the club has been held without a goal in four of those losses. In fact, both of the Predators' two setbacks during a current 5-2-0 stretch came via a shutout, including Thursday's 3-0 defeat at the hands of visiting Edmonton.
The Oilers scored twice in a span of 51 seconds during the second period and Ilya Bryzgalov turned aside all 33 Nashville shots to help Edmonton secure the shutout victory in Music City.
"We talked before the game that we needed to get in the hard areas and throw some pucks, but obviously we didn't play hard enough in those hard areas," Predators head coach Barry Trotz said.
Marek Mazanec stopped 25 shots on Thursday, but the rookie couldn't help Nashville pick up a third straight win. Mazanec is 5-4-0 on the season and could garner a 10th consecutive start in net on Saturday.
The 22-year-old Czech goaltender has never faced Philadelphia during his brief career. Nashville backup Carter Hutton also has no experience playing against the Flyers.
All told, Nashville has been shut out six times this season and five of those occurrences came on the heels of a win. The Predators are averaging 2.31 goals per game this season, placing them 24th in the NHL -- one spot ahead of the Flyers.
Predators defenseman Shea Weber, who leads his club with seven goals this season, was injured in Thursday's loss when he suffered a cut to his face after getting hit with a puck. He left the game after the incident in the second period and did not return.
Weber is questionable for Saturday's contest, as are forwards Filip Forsberg and Patric Hornqvist, who have both been sidelined recently with upper-body injuries. Forsberg has sat out the past seven games with his injury, while Hornqvist has missed the last three.
Philadelphia is averaging 2.16 goals per game and was right around that number on Friday, when it notched a 2-1 win over the visiting Winnipeg Jets.
The Black Friday matinee began at 11:30 a.m. (et) and Philadelphia wasted no time in getting on the board, as Scott Hartnell took advantage of a turnover to give the Flyers a 1-0 edge just 48 seconds into the game.
Sean Couturier added a short-handed score for the Flyers in the early stages of the second period and Steve Mason stopped 25-of-26 shots to help the home team hold on for the win. The victory halted a two-game slide and was Philadelphia's fourth win in six games.
"As long as you get two points it's a great thing, but it's a big win for us," said Hartnell. "We had two bad games for us there on the road."
The Flyers will begin their longest road trip of the season on Saturday, as the tilt in Nashville marks the first of six in a row away from the City of Brotherly Love. Philadelphia is 4-5-2 on the road this season and has lost three straight as the guest.
Nashville is 6-4-1 as the host this season and is playing the second test of a four-game homestand tonight.
The Flyers have taken two of three in the series with Nashville and are 3-1-1 over the past five encounters. The Preds, however, have won three straight on home ice in this matchup and are 3-2-0 with a pair of ties in the seven all- time encounters in Music City.
11/30 11:21:50 ET