By Amanda DiPaolo
When the Nashville Predators hit the ice tonight for their third preseason matchup in as many nights, the lineup for the boys in blue will be a particularly strong one.
Steve Sullivan and Matthew Lombardi will see action tonight for the first time this preseason. It will be Lombardi’s first game as a Nashville Predators. Patric Hornqvist, J.P. Dumont and Colin Wilson are also scheduled to be in the lineup. Sergei Kostitsyn will also play as will Brentwood native Blake Geoffrion.
Of note is that tonight’s game is the first time fans will see Shea Weber on the ice as Captain of the Nashville Predators. Incidentally, Weber is the only defensemen playing tonight who was a regular on the blue line for Nashville last year. But tonight’s roster isn’t without defensemen with an abundance of NHL experience. Ryan Parent and Aaron Johnson are scheduled to be in the lineup. Parent, a first round pick of the Predators, played for the Philadelphia Flyers last year and Johnson spent time between Calgary and Edmonton.
A surprising name left off the roster for Nashville is Gabriel Bourque. The 20 year old had been particularly impressive during rookie camp as well as the two games the Predators prospects played against Florida’s rookies. When the regular training camp opened, Bourque continued to play well, if not being overshadowed by the veterans, but not in a way that would warrant losing an opportunity to play a preseason game before being sent to Milwaukee.
The Washington Capitals have left some of their superstars at home. Alex Ovechkin won’t be playing and neither will Alexander Semin. In goal, the Capitals are playing their backup to Simeon Varlamov, Michal Nirveuth. Predators starter Pekka Rinne will be sharing time with Anders Lindback. Lindback stopped all 17 shots he faced last night in Carolina.
Game time is at 7 p.m at the Bridgestone Arena. Tickets are still available for purchase.