(SportsNetwork.com) - The Nashville Predators will try for their first three-
game winning streak of the season on Thursday, but they'll have to do it
against a Toronto team that shut them out earlier this season.
The Predators will aim for a bit of revenge when they visit the Maple Leafs
for a battle at Air Canada Centre. Nashville hosted Toronto back on Oct. 10
and was handed a 4-0 setback. Jonathan Bernier stopped 36 shots to notch the
shutout for the Leafs, while Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk each had a
goal to lead the offense.
Pekka Rinne, who is currently sidelined following hip surgery, surrendered all
four goals in the October meeting, as Nashville fell for the third time in the
last four meetings against Toronto.
The Preds are entering Thursday's rematch having won their last two outings.
Nashville halted a four-game slide with Saturday's shocking 7-2 rout over
visiting Chicago and then hit the road to pick up Tuesday's 2-0 victory in
Detroit. Gabriel Bourque and Shea Weber each had a goal for the Predators in
the win over the Red Wings.
Rookie goaltender Marek Mazanec earned the victory in each of Nashville's last
two games, stopping 39-of-41 shots against the Blackhawks before making 27
stops in his first career shutout on Tuesday.
Mazanec expects to again get the start over Carter Hutton on Thursday. Neither
goaltender has ever faced the Maple Leafs.
Thursday's game in Toronto also ends a road-heavy part of the schedule for the
Preds. Nashville is playing its ninth road tilt in 10 games tonight, but will
play six of its next seven in Music City.
The Predators are 5-7-1 on the road this season compared to a 5-2-1 mark at
The Maple Leafs, meanwhile, are 2-0 at the start of a five-game homestand,
giving Toronto an impressive 8-2-0 record at the ACC this season.
After recording a 4-2 win over Buffalo on Saturday, the Maple Leafs downed the
New York Islanders by a 5-2 score on Tuesday. Kessel scored twice and Trevor
Smith added a goal and two assists to help the Leafs down the Isles.
Mason Raymond and David Clarkson notched a goal apiece, while Joffrey Lupul
registered three assists for the Leafs, who had lost four of five prior to
recording consecutive wins.
Clarkson recorded his first goal with the Leafs after signing a seven-year,
$36.75 million contract with the club over the summer.
"It does feel good, I guess, to get some people off my back a little bit,"
Bernier backstopped Tuesday's victory with 35 saves. With an 8-1-0 record and
a 1.67 goals against average in nine career games against Nashville, Bernier
could get the call over James Reimer again on Thursday. Reimer has never faced
The Leafs will get Nazem Kadri back tonight, as the forward has completed a
three-game suspension for hitting Niklas Backstrom in the head during a
collision on Nov. 13.
Kadri has five goals and nine assists in 14 games this season and has two
assists in two career outings against Nashville.
The Sports Network