The Nashville Predators will be continuing their West Coast road trip tonight against the Vegas Golden Knights as they look to bounce back from one of the worst losses they will suffer all season.
In case you missed it, the Nashville Predators fell 7-4 to the lowly Los Angeles Kings on Saturday, so a lot of changes must be made to the game plan if they look to leave Las Vegas with a win tonight.
One pressing concern from Saturday’s loss was the defense, as they allowed the Kings to have too many quality scoring chances, which shows on the score sheet as they registered 38 shots on goal along with the seven goals they scored.
The defense will now be troubled with the harder task of bouncing back against a red hot Vegas Golden Knights offense that is currently tied for second in the NHL in goals for (24).
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This hot Vegas offense has been led by Mark Stone, who currently has six goals and nine points in six games so far this season, as he continues to be one of the most deadly offensive threats in the NHL.
The Predators will have their hands full stopping Stone, as he is not only one of the most prolific snipers in the league, but also a threat on the defensive end of the ice.
Stone was a finalist for the Frank J. Selke Trophy (the award given to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game) as he led the league in takeaways (122) and was sixth amongst forwards in blocked shots (71).
The Nashville Predators will have to watch out for Mark Stone’s play on both sides of the puck, as he is one of the league’s top talents and could be in for a solid game tonight.
Another Golden Knight the Preds will have to keep their eyes on is Max Pacioretty, who currently has two goals and six assists for eight points in six games this season.
Pacioretty had been one of the most prolific goal scorers in the NHL in the past but has now found new life as a playmaker alongside Mark Stone.
The Nashville Predators will now have their hands full between the two of them, as they are both very versatile on the offensive side of the ice and are seemingly gelling well together on the Golden Knights top line.
The Golden Knights will also likely have Marc-Andre Fleury in net, who is one of the most reliable goaltenders in the NHL.
The Nashville Predators offense will have to work extra hard to put the puck in the net tonight, as Fleury currently leads the NHL in wins (4) and is currently second in save percentage among goalies who have played at least four games in this young season (.933).
The Preds will have to counter-attack Fleury’s play with an offensive barrage of their own, led by their red hot second line which includes Matt Duchene.
Duchene is currently tied for 8th in the NHL in points with nine and has scored in his last two games, so him staying hot is important if the Nashville Predators look to win this game.
Another key factor is depth scoring, as the Predators have had major contributions from their bottom two lines in their wins so far this season.
A major concern for the Preds going into this game is the top line, as the Predators have failed to find a left-wing who can gel with Ryan Johansen and Viktor Arvidsson following the breakup of the JOFA line, so it will be interesting to see who will play there tonight.
Calle Jarnkrok had been on that line for the last two games, but his play hasn’t been nearly enough to contribute to the Nashville Predators’ success.
You can watch all of these questions be answered tonight at 9:00 p.m. CDT on Fox Sports Tennessee or listen to the game on the radio on 102.5 The Game.