After sweeping a home-and-home series with the Stanley Cup champs, the Nashville Predators are looking to stay in the win column against Vegas.
The Nashville Predators responded in a big way in the last two games by beating one of the top teams in the NHL twice in a two-day span. Now that they’ve gotten back on the winning track, it’s time to focus on making up some ground in the division.
In comes the Vegas Golden Knights, who are another team that you can say hasn’t been playing up to expectations. They’re sitting with a record of 11-11-4 heading into this matchup with Nashville.
These two teams met in mid-October and the Predators dominated in a 5-2 win. They took control after a strong second period that saw them make up a one-goal deficit to end up cruising to victory. Pekka Rinne had a great showing in net with a .943 save percentage, and Calle Jarnkrok got credit with the game-winning goal.
What to expect
Vegas is on a current three-game slide and only has three wins in the month of November. Sounds similar to the team their facing, the Nashville Predators, in the month of November. As bad as they’re struggling, Vegas is a team that can erupt and run you out of the building on any given night.
The Golden Knights are in the middle of the pack in both goals scored per game and goals against per game. Where the Predators can’t help them out at is the power play. The Golden Knights are a top-ten team in power play percentage and have some great goal scorers who can make you pay if you’re taking bad penalties.
More from Predlines
- Nashville Predators 2023 Training Camp Spotlight: Kiefer Sherwood
- Captain Candidates if Nashville Predators Didn’t Have Roman Josi
- The All-Time 25 Games or Less Nashville Predators Lineup
- Nashville Predators 2023 Training Camp Spotlight: Cody Glass
- Joakim Kemell Flashes his Offense in Nashville Predators Loss to Tampa
In the last meeting, the two teams combined for 38 penalty minutes. Vegas went 1-for-4 on the power play while Nashville went 1-for-5. It was a very exciting and physical game, with teams combining for 74 shots on goal and testing both goaltenders regularly.
I wouldn’t expect anything different in this one. The Predators have been doing an outstanding job recently of pushing the pace and controlling the tempo of the game. They’re getting a ton of shots off and creating a lot of havoc in front of the net. Vegas will end up doing the same things as these two teams are top-ten in shots per game.
Looking at the lineups
A projected lineup has been announced, and the big one is Juuse Saros getting another start. It will be his third-straight start. Saros has been sharp as of late, while Pekka Rinne has struggled. This is the case of just going with the hot hand in net, which is smart.
The watch on Kyle Turris and if he’s ever going to get back into the starting lineup remains in full swing. He’s been a healthy scratch as the team has opted to go with minor league players since November 16th. Even after the injury to Viktor Arvidsson, Turris hasn’t been able to crack back into the starting lineup.
I’ve actually been very pleased with the play of Mathieu Olivier in his first four NHL games of his career. He’s played a physical brand of hockey and brought new energy to the fourth line. I’m hoping he sticks around in the lineup, as does Carr.
Another huge point of recognition goes to Nick Bonino and how well he’s led that third line. He’s tied for the team-lead in goals at ten with Filip Forsberg, and is making the players around him better like Rocco Grimaldi.
So it looks like the Predators are going to stick with what worked so well in back-to-back wins over the St.Louis Blues. No changes to the lines, which is a welcome sight honestly. To see the Predators stick with a particular lineup and see if it continues to gel together.
When it comes to Vegas, it looks like they’re going to be without Marc-Andre Fleury for tonight’s game due to personal reasons:
There’s no shortage of great scorers and offensive firepower for Vegas. They have the likes of Max Pacioretty (23 points), Mark Stone (21 points) , William Karlsson (23 points) and Reilly Smith (17 points) leading the way. They’re a deep team and strong on the power play.
It’s not been rock solid defensively for the Golden Knights as of late. I see this game tonight and expect the Predators to have plenty of juicy scoring chances.
However, Vegas is one of those teams capable of hanging with them on the scoreboard. This might end up being a high-scoring affair between the two.
Puck drop is 7 P.M. CDT from Nashville and will be televised on Fox Sports Tennessee with the always great Willy Daunic, Chris Mason and Lyndsay Rowley on the coverage.