Preview: Golden Knights at Predators
The Nashville Predators have hit a bump in the road while playing at home, splitting their six games at Bridgestone Arena while dropping two of three overall. The Predators look to avoid consecutive losses for the first time this season and give the Music City fans a thrill on Tuesday as they host the Vegas Golden Knights.
Filip Forsberg has been exciting the fans with nine goals in his last seven games, including his franchise-best sixth career hat trick in Saturday’s 5-3 setback to Edmonton. “Right now, Filip’s playing on a really high level,” Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. “In the last two games, he probably has close to 25 attempts at the net. When he puts the puck at the net like that, it’s going to go in the back of the net. He just has to continue to release it.” Vegas wrapped up a successful homestand in style as Jonathan Marchessault scored on a penalty shot in overtime as his team improved to 3-1-1 on that stretch following Sunday’s 4-3 win versus Ottawa. “I was excited,” the 27-year-old Quebec native told the Las Vegas Sun. “As a group, we really needed that game.”
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network
ABOUT THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS (5-5-1): The injury bug seems to have taken a liking to coach Gerard Gallant’s club, with Max Pacioretty sustaining an upper-body ailment against Tampa Bay on Friday before fellow forward Cody Eakin was felled two nights later following a hit from Ottawa defenseman Mark Borowiecki. Alex Tuch tallied twice versus the Senators and has three points in as many contests since signing a seven-year contract extension. The 22-year-old collected just 37 points last season before scoring six goals and setting four others during Vegas’ run to the Stanley Cup Finals.
ABOUT THE PREDATORS (8-3-0): Forsberg isn’t going it alone as Ryan Johansen and Viktor Arvidsson have aided in the line collecting 38 points (19 goals, 19 assists) and a plus-25 rating this season — including 16 (nine goals, seven assists) in the last four. “‘Joey’ and ‘Arvi’ are playing great hockey,” the 24-year-old Forsberg said of his linemates. “All three of us are playing well right now. We’re all playing fast and simple hockey and trying to take the puck to the net as quick as we can. It’s been working well lately.” Arvidsson scored in the first encounter with Vegas, a 4-3 shootout loss in Nashville on Dec. 8.
1. Vegas is just 4-for-37 on the power play this season.
2. Nashville G Juuse Saros has surrendered 12 goals in his last three games with countryman Pekka Rinne nursing an undisclosed injury.
3. Golden Knights G Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside 55 of 56 shots in a pair of meetings with the Predators last season, but finished with a 1-1-0 mark.