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Barry Trotz


C - Darren Turcotte, Cliff Ronning, Greg Johnson, Patric Kjellberg, Sebastien Bordeleau. LW - Andrew Brunette, Blair Atcheynum, Scott Walker, Denny Lambert, Ville Peltonen, Jeff Daniels. RW - Sergei Krivokrasov, Brad Smyth, Tom Fitzgerald, Patrick Cote. D - Joel Bouchard, Bob Boughner, John Slaney, Jamie Heward, Jayson More, J.J. Daigneault, Drake Berehowsky, Jan Vopat. G - Mike Dunham, Tomas Vokoun.


Joel Bouchard, d (back, 1-2 weeks).


Acquired Cliff Ronning, c, and Richard Litner, d, from Phoenix for future considerations; assigned Jeff Nelson, c, to Milwaukee Admirals (IHL).


10/27 Vancouver     W 5-4
10/31 Colorado      W 3-2
11/04 at Edmonton   L 3-2
11/06 at Calgary    W 2-1
11/07 at Vancouver  L 5-3


Central Division    GP   W   L   T   PTS   GF   GA   
  Detroit           13   7   6   0    14   37   30   
  St Louis          12   5   3   4    14   30   26   
  Chicago           13   4   7   2    10   28   39 
  Nashville         12   4   7   1     9   30   37


by Jeff Middleton, Nashville Correspondent

Coming off the first road trip of the year, the Predators played three out of four games at home and were off again -- this time on the longest road trip of the year. This was not really considered a bad thing. The Predators had already proved they could win at home (2-1 so far), but had yet to win their first away from the friendly confines of Nashville Arena. Before they left, however, the team had some business to take care of.

A two-game home stand would give the Preds a chance to face some of the marquee players in the league as well as some future legends. Mark Messier brought his 600 goals in with the Canucks and made it 601, scoring the first of three goals in the first period. However it was not enough, with Nashville doubling Vancouver with tallies from Jeff Daniels and Sergei Krivokrasov. As has been their way this year, Nashville took a two-goal lead into the third period, picking up two goals for Vancouver's one in the second period as well.

Unfortunately, it has also been the Predators' way to let leads slip away, and 2:30 into the third all was tied. Messier's second assist and third point of the game pulled the Canucks even and set the stage for a hero.

With just 11 seconds remaining on Dave Satchard's elbowing penalty and 1:26 left in the game, Krivokrasov added his second of the night and sixth of the year, poking in a rebound that slid under Garth Snow's back into the crease. Goaltender Mike Dunham fought back the final wave of Vancouver shots and the victory was Nashville's.

On Halloween night, the Predators hosted the Colorado Avalanche, in the battle for almost last place in the league. Scary things were definitely lurking in the shadows, and it looked as though the Avs were ready to go trick-or-treating -- dressed up as a hockey team. The team formerly known as artists somehow got 41 shots, all but two turned away by the unintimidated Mike Dunham, but their play was uninspired. Goals by Sebastien Bordeleau, Greg Johnson and the game-winner by Andrew Brunette gave Nashville a great send- off and Nashville had it first-ever win streak.

Unfortunately, win streaks die fast deaths. The Oilers wasted no time in welcoming the Predators to Western Canada, scoring :26 into the first period, and while the good sign was Nashville would some back to within one, the bad sign was that this didn't happen until the last minute of play. The Preds could not put together what was needed to win on the road.

On a personnel note, this game was the first for newly acquired Cliff Ronning, brought on from Phoenix to spread out the scoring a little bit.

After one night off, the Flames were hosts at the Saddledome in Alberta. In case you had forgotten, Calgary had already visited Nashville, and had defeated the Predators. Hoping to return the favor, Jan Vopat and Patrik Kjellberg notched goals for Nashville and led the way in the first road victory of the year. The Predators played exactly 60:00 of hockey, which is luckily just enough time to win a game -- the Flames put one past Dunham one second after the green light went on signaling the end of the game. However desperately the Predators tried, they could not give this one away.

In the second meeting of the road trip, Nashville headed to the beautiful GM Place in the Pacific Northwest. Mark Messier was once again whining...I mean waiting...for the Predators, and scored what proved to be the game-winner, on a shorthanded feed from Alexander Mogilny in the third period. The Nashville squad looked dead tired for this game and could not provide backup Tomas Vokoun the support needed to win. Heck, even Vancouver goon Donald Brashear had a goal! Where's Patrick Cote when you need him.

Three games down, three to go. It's a tough life on the road, and it ain't getting any easier.

Notes: Denny Lambert returned to was still Kirk Maltby's fault...Nashville Arena has not yet had the pre-game anthems performed by anyone not on a major record label, and it's not just country acts -- Barenaked Ladies are in town on the 17th to open for the Chicago game...Sergei Krivokrasov's left his point- scoring streak at home, ended in Edmonton.

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