NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, October 10th
(All times Eastern)
Toronto Maple Leafs (3-1-0) at Nashville Predators (1-2-0), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Nashville Predators got their two young guns on the
board last time out. They'll look to make it two victories in a row on
Thursday night when they continue a five-game homestand with a visit from the
Toronto Maple Leafs.
After opening the season with road losses to St. Louis and Colorado, Nashville
kicked off its residency on Tuesday with a 3-2 victory over Minnesota. Eric
Nystrom capped a three-goal first period with a successful penalty shot, while
Filip Forsberg got the run started with his first NHL goal.
The 19-year-old Forsberg, who missed the club's first two games because of a
lower-body injury, put home his chance on the power play before pumping his
fists wildly in the air and jumping into the glass in celebration. He played
in five games last season after being acquired from the Washington Capitals
and had just one assist.
"I think for any player that gets to the National Hockey League, they dream of
scoring their first goal and when they do it's a time to celebrate. I think
you saw real good emotion from Filip. I know our bench was loving it," said
Preds coach Barry Trotz.
Defenseman Seth Jones, the 19-year-old fourth overall pick of the most recent
draft, picked up his first NHL point with an assist on Forsberg's goal.
Pekka Rinne was strong in net with 32 saves and has posted a .942 save
percentage in two games since getting pulled early in the club's season-
opening loss to the Blues.
Toronto came out of the gate winning its first three contests of the season
before dropping a 2-1 home decision to Colorado on Tuesday. The Avalanche got
the game-winner early in the third period.
Jonathan Bernier, who replaced James Reimer and stopped all 15 shots he saw in
Toronto's shootout win over the Senators on Saturday, made 31 saves in the
loss. He has a 1.18 goals against average and .963 save percentage in his
three games with the Leafs, including two starts, after being acquired this
past offseason from the Los Angeles Kings.
"We gave up too many chances," Toronto captain Dion Phaneuf said. "Bernier
kept us in it. It was right there for us."
Bernier could draw the start again tonight for the Maple Leafs and has been
very successful versus the Predators in his career, going 7-1-0 with a 1.88
GAA and .932 save percentage in eight meetings.
Rinne is 2-1-0 with a 2.87 GAA and .907 saver percentage in four lifetime
meetings with Toronto.
Joffrey Lupul, who scored Toronto's lone goal on Tuesday and has five points
over his last three games, is day-to-day with a calf injury sustained versus
Colorado. He did not practice on Wednesday, but did travel with the club to
Jay McClement practiced on Wednesday for the Leafs after missing Tuesday's
game after his wife went into labor.
The Maple Leafs had won two straight over the Predators before suffering a 4-1
road defeat in the last meeting on Nov. 17, 2011. It was their third loss in
their past four trips to Nashville.
10/10 10:47:42 ET