Preds call up ’14 first-rounder Fiala

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The Predators announced that Kevin Fiala has been summoned under emergency circumstances. In the likely event that he makes his debut with Nashville during this stint, he will become fourth player in franchise history to play at the age of 18.

Fiala was taken with the 11th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. He started the season with the Swedish league club HV71, scoring five goals and 14 points in 20 games before making the move to North America in January.

“By getting a head start on the acclimation process to the North American style of play and smaller rinks, we expect Kevin – like Filip Forsberg two seasons ago – will continue his growth as a dynamic offensive prospect,” Predators GM David Poile said when it was announced that Fiala would start playing for AHL Milwaukee.

The 18-year-old forward done well in the minors with nine goals and 17 points in 26 contests.

Nashville will face the Montreal Canadiens at 8:00 p.m. ET tonight.

Goalie nods: Price versus Rinne in potential Vezina showdown

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All the latest from the blue paint…

Elite battle at Bridgestone

Two goalies most have penciled in as Vezina candidates will square off tonight in Nashville when Carey Price and the Habs take on Pekka Rinne and the Preds.

Price, widely considered to be the Vezina favorite, has been nothing short of brilliant all season long and heads into tonight’s action leading the NHL in wins (40), save percentage (.938), GAA (1.86) and shutouts (nine). The 27-year-old’s dominance has led to serious discussion about Hart Trophy consideration as league MVP.

Rinne, meanwhile, has been solid as well. He’s second to Price in both GAA (2.09) and wins (38), sitting fifth overall in save percentage (.927). What’s interesting about the two, however, is that Price has never been named a Vezina finalist over the course of his seven-year career; Rinne, who’s in his ninth NHL campaign, has been a finalist twice and fell just short of capturing the Vezina in 2011, when he finished a few votes shy of eventual winner Tim Thomas.

So with Price and Rinne likely to both be finalists this year, the conversation turns to who’ll be the third nominee. Right now, it seems like a three-horse race between New Jersey’s Cory Schneider, Washington’s Braden Holtby and Minnesota’s Devan Dubnyk.

Elsewhere…

Wild at Isles: Devan Dubnyk vs. Jaroslav Halak

Kings at Rangers: Jonathan Quick (probable) vs. Cam Talbot

Blues at Pens: Jake Allen vs. Marc-Andre Fleury

Ducks at Jackets: John Gibson vs. Sergei Bobrovsky

Coyotes at Wings: Mike Smith vs. Jimmy Howard

Panthers at Bolts: Roberto Luongo vs. Andrei Vasilevskiy

Jets at Canucks: Michael Hutchinson vs. Eddie Lack

NHL fines Craig Smith $5K for high-sticking Jerry D’Amigo

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The NHL handed Nashville Predators forward Craig Smith a $5K fine for high-sticking Jerry D’Amigo of the Buffalo Sabres. Smith received a double-minor penalty during the game for that infraction.

Video of the infraction isn’t immediately available, although TV Sports did manage a freeze-frame of the moment:

Onlookers described it as a bloody scene:

It appears that D’Amigo donned a full cage after taking that stick up high:

Smith, 25, receives a $2 million salary this season. Even as an RFA, he’ll likely get a healthy raise this summer, so maybe he’ll ask the Predators to throw in an extra grand or five for good measure?

Goalie Nods: The Hamburglar starts for the Sens

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Hammond looks to remain unbeaten in regulation

Andrew Hammond and the Ottawa Senators will look for a sixth straight win tonight when they play host to the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs. Hammond enters the game with a 12-0-1 record to go along with a 1.55 goals-against average since getting called up from Binghamton.

The Sens enter tonight’s action two points back of the Boston Bruins for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. Since the last meeting between the Leafs and Senators (Jan. 21), Ottawa is 17-6-2 while Toronto has gone 5-17-3.

James Reimer gets the nod for the Leafs.

Elsewhere…

Blue Jackets at Flames: Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Karri Ramo

Canucks at Kings: Eddie Lack vs. Jonathan Quick

Capitals at Jets: Braden Holtby vs. Ondrej Pavelec

Rangers at Hurricanes: Cam Talbot vs. Anton Khudobin

Islanders at Devils: Jaroslav Halak vs. Cory Schneider

Bruins at Panthers: Tuukka Rask vs. Roberto Luongo

Sharks at Canadiens: Antti Niemi vs. Carey Price

Sabres at Predators: Matt Hackett vs. Pekka Rinne

Blackhawks at Stars: Corey Crawford vs. Kari Lehtonen

Penguins at Coyotes: Marc-Andre Fleury vs. Mike Smith

Flyers at Oilers: Steve Mason vs. Ben Scrivens

Parise chirped Weber with ‘nothing you want to write’ after Wild’s OT win over Preds

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In the aftermath of Mathew Dumba’s overtime goal in Minnesota’s 2-1 win over Nashville on Tuesday, some viewers noticed Zach Parise chirping Preds captain Shea Weber prior to joining Dumba in the celebratory mob.

So, what exactly did Parise say to Weber?

“Nothing you want to write,” he explained, per the Star-Tribune. “We were just going after each other all game.

“You reach your boiling point. I think he reached his, too.”

The visual evidence (not overwhelming, but you can see Parise get after Weber around 0:08.)

Parise had good reason to chirp. The Wild are the NHL’s hottest team at the moment and, improbably, have trimmed Nashville’s 21-point lead in the Central Division — yeah, the Preds were up 21 on the Wild on Jan. 13 — to just nine heading into tonight’s action.