Following a successful two-day trip in the Big Apple, the Nashville Predators next take on the Ottawa Senators on their four-game road trip.
It’s not very often that you come across games on the schedule where you think it should be a lock for two points, but that’s what the Nashville Predators should have tonight in Ottawa if they play up to their full potential.
Only two teams in the league that have fewer points than the Ottawa Senators do entering tonight’s game. The Senators have 31 points and a minus-19 goal differential. They’ve lost five of eight games this month and most recently lost Tuesday night in overtime to Tampa Bay.
These two teams haven’t met since this time last December when the Senators won 4-3 in overtime. The Predators took the 3-1 win in the meeting in Nashville just a few days before that.
This is a game the Predators need to take care of business in. You can’t leave points on the table against teams you’re clearly more talented than. It’s that simple. Dropping one to the Senators would negate the big win you had on Tuesday over the Islanders, one of the league’s best teams.
The lead goal scorer for Ottawa is Anthony Duclair with 19 goals. He recently had a hat trick less than a week ago against Columbus and has six goals in his last five games.
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In net for Ottawa they’ll have Anders Nilsson going for them. His numbers aren’t stellar, but he’s definitely capable of putting out a solid performance. The Predators have been on fire over the last two games offensively, and that’s putting it mildly with 13 goals against the New York teams.
In the last game for the Predators they shook up the lines big time with no Viktor Arvidsson or Mikael Granlund able to go. Those are two of their top-six forwards, so head coach Peter Laviolette opted to go with a more physical lineup rather than going with the normal arrangement of the lines.
It’s fair to say that his lineup moves worked perfectly as the Predators erupted offensively for eight goals, and seven of them coming unanswered after the first period.
It appears Granlund will return to the lineup and be on the top line with Ryan Johansen and Yakov Trenin. I’ve really liked what Trenin has been bringing to the lineup in terms of physicality and just knowing his role.
The second line looks even more intriguing with Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene lining up together, and Rocco Grimaldi being the other forward. Love this trio and the offense they should be able to produce.
Nick Bonino, perhaps the MVP of the team so far, will center the fourth line for the Predators tonight according to lineup projections. This might be the most creative and interesting lineup Laviolette has rolled out all season.
Puck drop is 6:30 P.M. CDT and will be televised on Fox Sports Tennessee and also streamed on ESPN+.