Preview: Stars at Predators (1/5)

The Dallas Stars come to Nashville on Thursday for a 7:00 tilt against the Predators at Bridgestone Arena.

Location: Bridgestone Arena

Game Time: 7:00 pm Central

TV: Fox Sports – Tennessee

Radio: 102.5 The Game (WPRT-FM)

Records:
Nashville: 21-14-4 (46 points, 4th Central, 7th Western)
Dallas: 21-16-1 (43 points, 3rd Pacific, 10th Western)

2011-12 Regular Season Series:
12/23/11 – NSH 3 – DAL 6

The Elephant in the Room: The last time Nashville played Dallas, the Stars’ Mark Fistric laid a hit on Nashville captain Shea Weber in the waning moments of the game. No penalty was called on the play, yet the Predators submitted a tape of the incident to the league.

However, the league did not feel there was enough to warrant any sort of discipline towards Fistric, despite Fistric’s prior suspension for charging the Islanders’ Nino Niederreiter. The hit was particularly concerning for Nashville, as Weber was sidelined with a concussion. As the NHL leveled no justice towards Fistric, it should be interesting to see how Nashville’s players react when Fistric hits the ice for the first time.

All Star Rookie: It took little time for Ryan Ellis to make his impact felt in professional hockey. On Wednesday, Ellis, along with Chris Mueller, was named to the American Hockey League’s Western Conference All Stars. The AHL’s All Star Classic will take place on January 30th in Atlantic City, New Jersey. While Ellis is currently on Nashville’s roster, he is expected to be returned to Milwaukee upon Shea Weber’s return. Thus, he should be available to play in the All Star Classic. PuckScene.com will be live in Atlantic City to provide coverage of all the festivities.

Familiar Faces: Former Nashville Predator Vern Fiddler will be suiting up for the Dallas Stars on Thursday night. The Edmonton native signed with Nashville in 2002, played 305 games with the Predators before signing with the Coyotes in the 2009 offseason. He played two seasons in Phoenix before signing with Dallas this season.

Spals to the Wall: The Nashville Predators are 11-0-1 all-time when Nick Spaling tallies a goal. However, Spaling has 0 career points with a -5 against the Stars.

Make it Seven? On Sunday, the Predators tied a franchise record with Bridgestone Arena’s 6th consecutive sellout. With fewer than 1,000 seats left the day before the event, all signs are trending that Thursday night could be the Nashville Predators record 7th straight sellout crowd.

Quick Notes: Dallas and Nashville will meet many more times next season, as they will be in the same conference…With 18 points on the season, Jordin Tootoo has already equaled his career-best…After an early season slide saw Nashville with the NHL’s worst home-ice record at one point, the Preds have  won 7 of their last 8 at home…Nashville is 13-10-1 all-time against the Stars.

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A native of Franklin, Tennessee, Patten Fuqua is the managing editor of PuckScene.com. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science from Belmont University in Journalism and Broadcasting.