Nashville Predators: Will it be home sweet home, or will the losing streak continue

(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

After a loss in Minnesota, the Nashville Predators return to Bridgestone Arena to face the Wild. Will it be a warm welcome or longer losing streak?

Losing is never fun, and nothing helps to get over a loss than winning. For the second game of a home-and-home series, the Nashville Predators will host the Minnesota Wild in Bridgestone. Losing last night in Minnesota left a bad taste in the Predators’ mouth. A win tonight would help eliminate that aftertaste.

The win is more than just two points, however. It is more than a chance at retaining the top spot in the Central Division. Or keeping pace with the surprising Western Conference-leading Vegas Golden Knights.

It means ending a three-game home losing streak.

Regaining control

Redemption is well within the grasps of the Nashville Predators. And the win would close out a great 2017 calendar year. To do so, they will need to rely on scorers other than Filip Forsberg.

The Predators’ top scoring threat this season, Forsberg left last night’s game with what is being called “a problem.” With a press conference coming later today and Frederick Gaudreau being recalled, it is likely Forsberg will miss significant time.

P.K. Subban and Kyle Turris notched the Predators’ two goals last night, but two goals on 43 shots were not enough. Of course, the Wilds’ Mikael Granlund gaining a hat-trick didn’t help either.

For victory tonight, the Predators will need to start fast and keep the pedal down for 60 minutes. In their last three home games, Nashville’s opponents scored first. And won. Last time out, the Carolina Hurricanes tallied four first-period goals. When the Predators are forced to play from behind, they struggle to find success.

When their opponents scored first, the Predators are 5-8-2. After a nine-game scoring streak, Kevin Fiala has gone three games without a point. Craig Smith has a lone goal in his last six games, his longest slump since the first ten games of the year.

Potential Lineup

With tonight’s game being the second in two nights, Juuse Saros will likely be in net. Additionally, line shifts will change with Forsberg out.

Forwards

Colton Sissons – Ryan Johansen – Viktor Arvidsson

Kevin Fiala – Kyle Turris – Craig Smith

Filip Forsberg – Calle Jarnkrok – Pontus Aberg

Miikka Salomaki – Nick Bonino – Austin Watson

Defense

Roman Josi – Mattias Ekholm

Alexei Emelin – P.K. Subban

Matt Irwin – Yannick Weber

Goaltenders

Juuse Saros

Pekka Rinne

Next: Heroic Rinne Not Enough to Redeem Visitors

Where to watch

Once again, the game from Bridgestone starts at 7 PM Central and will air on Fox Sports Tennessee and the Fox Sports Go app. You can also listen to the radio broadcast on 102.5 The Game in Nashville.