In just over a week, Nashville Predators forward Matt Cullen can make this his best month.
With three games to go – Thursday against Buffalo, Friday at Dallas and Sunday against Washington – Cullen already has three goals and seven points in March. The goals match the most he’s had in any month this season and the points are two shy of his high-water mark, both established in November.
He’s done virtually all of it in the last seven days. There was a four-point game (one goal, three assists) last Thursday at Calgary, something he had not done since December 2002. Then he had two goals Tuesday against Colorado, his first-multi-goal game for Nashville.
His only other point was an assist March 14 at Chicago.
“It helps to get something going,” Cullen said. “It’s been a frustrating season but it’s been nice playing with some pretty good players [Mike Fisher and Patric Hornqvist]. We’re getting a good opportunity here, playing a lot of minutes and starting to build a little chemistry, which is nice.”
October: 2 goals, 2 assists (13 games)
November: 3 goals, 6 assists (15 games)
December: 0 goals, 4 assists (12 games)
January: 0 goals, 5 assists (13 games)
February: 1 goal, 0 assists (2 games)
March: 3 goals, 4 assists (13 games)
The surge has made Cullen the seventh different Nashville player to reach 30 points this season. It is the eighth straight full season in which he has had at least that many (he had 27 in lockout-shortened 2012-13) and has brought him closer to the expectations created by the two-year, $7 million free agent deal he signed last offseason.
“[Cullen] has had a real tough sort of year in terms of being a little bit dry,” coach Barry Trotz said. “[Tuesday] he got a couple. He’s shooting more. He’s going to the harder areas. It’s just pucks are going in for him.”
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