Although it’s early in the season, the Nashville Predators are concerned about an offense that has produced a league-low seven goals.
The Predators will begin their first set of back-to-back games this season when they visit the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night.
Nashville (2-2-0) had its offense flounder again along with the rest of its game Monday in a 6-1 home loss to Edmonton. The Predators fell into a 4-0 hole after one period and never recovered.
“We lost the game in the first period,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “We’ll learn from this, nobody likes to be embarrassed in their own rink.”
“We’re four games into the season and basically one line has scored all of our goals,” Trotz said. “Our second, third, and fourth lines - they’ve got to contribute.”
After stopping 41 of 42 shots in a 1-0 loss to Buffalo on Saturday, Pekka Rinne(notes) allowed the four first-period goals on nine shots. Dan Ellis(notes) replaced Rinne at the start of the second period.
“We didn’t play well, that’s the bottom line,” Rinne said. “I think it is that way for everybody, no one is really happy.”
Nashville hosts Chicago on Thursday.
Ellis was the starter as Nashville won 3-2 in a shootout at Dallas (1-0-3) in the season opener Oct. 3. Arnott and Steve Sullivan(notes) scored for the Predators while James Neal(notes) had both goals for the Stars.
This is the first home game for Dallas since that contest, and it has yet to lose in regulation. Unfortunately, the Stars have lost all three shootouts they’ve taken part in after a 4-3 loss to Vancouver on Sunday.
“We’ve got to get the shootout figured out,” coach Marc Crawford said. “We’ve worked at it, we’ve filmed it, we’ve actually done a lot of work with it. It s a big part of the game now. It’s the difference between somebody making the playoffs and not making the playoffs and 0-for-3 is not a stat we like.”
Dallas has also been plagued by a penalty kill that is the worst in the league at 56.3 percent. The Stars spent most of Tuesday’s practice working on the penalty kill and shootouts.
Stars veteran Mike Modano(notes) remains out with a rib injury suffered in the opener against Nashville. Predators forward J.P Dumont is also out after suffering concussion-like symptoms in the same game.
Ellis is 3-2 with a 2.17 goals-against average in five career road games against the Stars, who drafted him in the second round in 2000.