Nashville Predators: Storylines and lineup as Vegas visits Bridgestone

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

The storylines are plentiful tonight as the Nashville Predators host the Vegas Golden Knights. Can the Predators avoid back-to-back losses or will Vegas take the house?

It is one of the more intriguing matchups on the season so far. The Vegas Golden Knights, the defending Western Conference Champions, visit the Nashville Predators, the team they dethroned for the title. Coming into the season, both teams were considered contenders for the conference crown, but the early season is proving rough for Vegas.

The Golden Knights started last season off hot. The energy and emotions around their home lifted the team to heights no one predicted. All season long, we waited for them to come crashing to Earth. While they fell back slightly, the Golden Knights still represented the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup Final. It certainly was a magical story.

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During the offseason, Vegas lost James Neal, but gained Paul Stastny and Max Pacioretty, two strong veteran players. The results have not come quite yet. Stastny is on the Injured Reserve and could miss two months of the season. Pacioretty only has two goals on the young season but is likely out tonight due to injury. It could be longer.

On the season, the Golden Knights are 5-5-1 and sit sixth in the Pacific Division. Sure, the division is packed tight, as they are still just three points behind the leaders, but the scoring is not there this season. Vegas lead the league in even-strength goals last year with 218 total. Right now, they sit 26th in the NHL with 19 goals in 11 games. The Nashville Predators are fourth with 31 goals.

The Predators started the season off hot, but were cooled off a bit last week. Nashville has three losses on the season, but all three have come on home ice. First, the Calgary Flames shutout the Predators on opening night. San Jose needed a great comeback to win, then the Edmonton Oilers took advantage of the poor special teams of the Predators. While Nashville is 5-0-0 on the road, they are 3-3-0 at home.

Not only will the Predators face the defending Western Conference Champions, but there will also be a sibling rivalry on the ice. Vegas announced Malcolm Subban will start in net, facing his brother, P.K. Subban. Malcolm is 2-1-0 on the season, with a .871 save percentage. Last season, he bested the Predators by allowing three goals on 44 shots. Vegas won the game in a shootout in Bridgestone Arena.

Tonights Predators Lineup

Even though Pekka Rinne practiced the last two days, he is still not active from the IR. Juuse Saros will start in net for the Nashville Predators. With Dan Hamhuis out for injury, Matt Irwin will be paired with Yannick Weber. The Predators’ top line remains intact, but the rest of the forward lines will see some changes. Kevin Fiala‘s slow scoring start pushes him to the third line, one that needs some scoring help. The second line will include Calle Jarnkrok alongside Kyle Turris and Craig Smith. The fourth line trio is not fully known, but will likely include Colton Sissons at center.

Filip Forsberg – Ryan Johansen – Viktor Arvidsson

Calle Jarnkrok – Kyle Turris – Craig Smith

Ryan Hartman – Nick Bonino – Kevin Fiala

Miikka Salomaki / Frederick Gaudreau – Colton Sissons – Zac Rinaldo / Rocco Grimaldi


Roman Josi – Ryan Ellis

Mattias Ekholm – P.K. Subban

Matt Irwin – Yannick Weber


Juuse Saros

Troy Grosenick

Next. Forsberg, Johansen on record pace. dark

Can the Predators bounce back from their loss to Edmonton, or will Vegas take the house? If penalties become a signant part of the game, Nashville could be in dire straights.