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Barry Trotz


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


Mike Dunham, g (groin, three MORE weeks); Ville Peltonen, lw (separated shoulder, 4-8 weeks); Jamie Heward, d (ankle, 1-2 weeks); Eric Fichaud, g (separated shoulder, 2-4 weeks); Jayson More, d (post-concussion syndrome, day-to-day); Greg Johnson, c (post-concussion syndrome, day-today).


Recalled Kimmo Timonen, d, Chris Mason, g, and Vitali Yachmenev, rw, from Milwaukee Admirals.


12/08 Edmonton      T 3-3
12/10 San Jose      W 2-1
12/12 Montreal      T 2-2
12/16 at Anaheim    L 6-1
12/17 at San Jose   L 3-1
12/19 at Vancouver  W 6-4


Central Division    GP   W   L   T   PTS   GF   GA   
  Detroit           30  17  12   1    35   94   76  
  St Louis          28  11  10   7    29   74   69  
  Nashville         30  11  16   3    25   70   93   
  Chicago           32   9  19   4    22   71  107


by Jeff Middleton, Nashville Correspondent


Eric Fichaud was facing one of his multiple former teams, and didn't even make it through the first period. Because of Mike Dunham's nagging groin injury, Fichaud had tried to step up and fill his skates. Unfortunately, the Predators were forced to insert Tomas Vokoun into the lineup to stave off the speedy Oilers when Fichaud re-injured his shoulder. Going into the third period, Vokoun had played well, stopping 27 of 30 shots on his way to a 3-3 tie. The Preds showed a lot of heart as they came back in the third period with goals 20 seconds apart to tie it up.


The Predators brought up goalie Chris Mason from Milwaukee to back up Tomas Vokoun as he earned his first NHL win against the Sharks. Mason is the last goalie under contract in the Nashville farm system, so somebody better get healthy soon. The game was rough, with two significant brawls, Bryan Marchment vs. Denny Lambert and Owen Nolan vs. Patrick Cote - both in response to hard, clean hits. One of those hits was on Greg Johnson, who suffered a concussion and has not made it back since. Another recall from Milwaukee, Vitali Yachmenev, scored the winning goal with a little less than 8:00 left in the game. The Predators have beaten the Sharks twice this year, leaving many fans in San Jose scratching their collective heads.


The most storied team in the National Hockey League visited the least storied team in the National Hockey League last Saturday night and decided nothing. Mark Recchi sat out his first game in a really, really long time, and Mike Dunham sat out his sixth game for Nashville, giving Tomas Vokoun another start in net. The Predators actually outplayed Montreal, which is no great feat, but Jeff Hackett kept the Habs in the game enough to salvage one point. The Preds outshot the Canadiens 43-27 and looked strong in their second tie in three games.


Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne were held in check the Friday after Thanksgiving, but revenge is sweet. Kariya tallied four assists and Selanne had two goals and an assist as the Ducks creamed the Predators. Denny Lambert scored the only Predators goal, ending Guy Hebert's shutout streak and providing Nashville with one lone highlight.


The city of San Jose would probably have sent the Sharks out to sea if they had lost another game to the Predators, but never fear. With Tomas Vokoun still between the pipes, Nashville has seemed to lose confidence in its abilities. While Vokoun has played very well under tough circumstances, he does not seem to give the Predators the sense of security they have when Dunham is behind them. Nashville made it once again into the third period down only one goal, but it lasted only 15 seconds as Joe Murphy put the Predators away early in the third.


Saturday night's game against the Canucks was one of the most entertaining hockey games the Predators have played this year. Facing a five-minute power play due to Drake Berehowsky's cross-checking, they had almost killed off the entire penalty when Bob Boughner was called for covering the puck in the crease. The ensuing penalty shot gave the Predators a two-goal deficit, which they quickly overcame. Sergei Krivokrasov and Sebastien Bordeleau exploded for two goals and two assists each to help Nashville score the most goals in franchise history, winning 6-4.

Notes: Mike Dunham returned for two periods against Vancouver on Saturday night, then re-injured his groin . . . .he also had a "fight" with Garth Snow, his college teammate - gotta love hockey! . . . Tomas Voukoun became the first goalie in Predators history to record a point . . . it was an assist . . . . country superstar Trisha Yearwood sang the National Anthem before the Edmonton game. . . it's nice to hear her without Garth Brooks' dueting away . . .if the injuries keep up at the same pace, the Nashville Predators will actually become the Milwaukee Admirals.

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