Series (Game 2 of 4)

Nashville leads 4-0

Game 1: Thursday, January 20th
Game 2: Saturday, February 12th
Game 3: Saturday, March 12th
Game 4: Thursday, March 31st

Avalanche 3

(25-25-6, 56 pts)

Predators 5

(30-19-7, 67 pts)

8:00 PM ET, February 12, 2011

Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee

1 2 3 T
COL 1 1 13
NSH 1 1 35

P. Hornqvist (Predators - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

C. Franson (Predators - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

M. Erat (Predators - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

Avalanche-Predators Preview


The Nashville Predators are trying to treat the remainder of the regular season like the playoffs. They feel the addition of Mike Fisher can get them to actually qualify.

The Predators hope Fisher will make his debut Saturday night while trying to deal the Colorado Avalanche a seventh straight loss in Peter Forsberg's second game during his latest comeback.

Nashville (29-19-7) is in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race, but on a 2-4-1 stretch after winning 10 of the previous 12, including 5-1 at Colorado (25-24-6) on Jan. 20.

Both of the Predators' recent victories have come against the Central Division-leading Red Wings, including Wednesday's 4-1 win in Detroit. However, they're seven points behind the Red Wings with 27 games remaining.

"The playoffs are now," coach Barry Trotz said.

In an effort to bolster their postseason hopes, the Predators acquired Fisher from last-place Ottawa on Thursday for two draft picks.

"We were seeking a top-six forward and Mike Fisher was the player we set our sights on," general manager David Poile said. "He plays playoff-style hockey all season long. He plays on the power play, kills penalties, is strong on draws and can match up against any opposing line.

"Mike's playoff experience will be invaluable to our team and he immediately makes our team stronger and deeper."

Fisher has 14 goals and 10 assists this season, but just one and three, respectively, over the last eight games. He had career highs of 25 goals and 53 points last season.

Fisher is hoping a familiar setting can help spur his offensive production. He and his wife, country music star Carrie Underwood, have a home in Nashville.

"I spend a lot of time there, and I'm comfortable there. I think it's a great setup for me, and I can't wait for it," Fisher said.

Fisher's debut, though, could be delayed as the Predators attempt to secure a work visa.

Nashville, which begins a four-game homestand, has won eight of the last 11 at Bridgestone Arena against the Avalanche, including both matchups last season.

Defenseman Shea Weber has three goals and seven assists over the past 10 overall meetings with Colorado

While Fisher may make his first appearance in a Predators uniform, the Avalanche didn't fare well in Forsberg's season debut, a 3-1 loss at Columbus on Friday.

Forsberg, who hadn't played in the NHL since 2007-08, played 17:38 and had one shot on goal. However, coach Joe Sacco was impressed with the 37-year-old center, who helped the Avalanche to their two Stanley Cups.

"You know what? He actually played better than I expected him to," Sacco said. "He was arguably our best player."

Forsberg had two goals and 13 assists in 17 regular-season games and two goals with two assists in five playoff games with Nashville in 2007 after being acquired from Philadelphia.

He'll likely find himself again on the same line as Matt Duchene and Milan Hejduk, Colorado's top scorers with 46 and 45 points, respectively.

"I'm playing with two good players. Maybe I should just give the puck to them instead of me having it," Forsberg said.

Duchene has scored in three consecutive games against the Predators, while Hejduk has four assists in the last three at Nashville.