Nashville Predators: Predators Face Tough Task In Matchup With Lightning

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

The Nashville Predators have a very tough task tonight as they face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Who are the best team in the East.

The Nashville Predators look to extend their winning streak tonight to six games as they play the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tonight’s game is the last game of the five-game homestand before they head to New Jersey to face the Devils on Thursday night.

The Predators are coming off of a three-win week, as they beat the Vegas Golden Knights, the Arizona Coyotes, and the Florida Panthers. All three wins were hard fought games, with the Predators winning every one of them by just one goal. Kevin Fiala had an outstanding week for the Predators as he had the game-winning goal against the Golden Knights on Tuesday, and two goals in a 4-3 victory against the Panthers on Saturday.

Tampa Bay Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning are no doubt one of the NHL’s best team, even during the teams recent struggles. They have the league’s best record as they boast a 32-12-3 record and have 67 points. The Lightning have a 2-3 record over the last five games, with all three losses being blowouts to the Minnesota Wild, the Vegas Golden Knights, and the Calgary Flames.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have one of the deepest teams in the league, and also have two of the best players in the league in Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov. Kucherov leads the league in total points with 61 points, as he has 27 goals and 34 assists. Stamkos isn’t far behind as he boasts 54 points, with 17 goals and 37 assists.

Like the Predators, the Lightning have had to deal with injuries to some of their best players as well. Victor Hedman injured his knee last week and is likely out for 2-5 more weeks. The Lightning then announced today that Ondrej Palat is out 6-8 weeks.

The Nashville Predators

The Predators lineup hasn’t changed from Saturday’s game. Mattias Ekholm might be back tonight, as he been dealing with a sickness. The Predators have not announced who is in goal tonight, but Juuse Saros has been rumored as the starter. This would be his greatest challenge yet.

Scott HartnellRyan JohansenViktor Arvidsson

Pontus AbergKyle TurrisCraig Smith

Kevin FialaNick BoninoCalle Jarnkrok

Miikka SalomakiColton SissonsAustin Watson

Roman JosiRyan Ellis

Alexei EmelinP.K. Subban

Anthony Bitetto/Mattias EkholmMatt Irwin

Filip Forsberg, who is on the Injured Reserve because of an upper-body injury, is now skating with the team in a non-contact uniform.

What to Expect

This game is a matchup between two of the best teams in hockey. The Predators have had the luxury of a few days rest here in Nashville, while the Lightning will play the second game of a back to back. The Predators will come out with a sense of urgency, trying to extend their winning streak against the best team in hockey. Look for the third line to stay hot again tonight, as Fiala was able to click with Bonino and Jarnkrok last game.

Follow the Game

The game will be televised on Fox Sports TN, as the puck will drop around 7:00 PM. You can also listen to the game on 102.5 The Game.

Next: Everything Positive About The Panthers Game