Nashville Predators @ Boston Bruins Preview: Let's start 2014 off right

Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

The first game of 2014 sees the Predators making their only stop to Beantown this season.

The Nashville Predators ring in the new year by squaring up with the Boston Bruins at TD Garden tonight. The team hopes to keep the momentum of the last two games rolling against this Eastern Conference powerhouse, while Boston wants to get off their mini-schneid, as they've lost two straight.

The Boston Bruins

Unfortunately for the B's, they got news that stalwart defenseman Dennis Seidenberg is going to miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL and MCL. It isn't the end of the world for them since they still have options on the blueline, Zdeno Chara being the main minute-eater. Still, Tampa Bay and Montreal are only four points behind them in the Atlantic Division race, so having a top player out could give either of them an opportunity to take advantage of.

They will have reinforcements tonight, in the form of Carl Soderberg and Dougie Hamilton. Soderberg scored in the December 23rd game. It will also be a boost that the Bruins are playing on their home ice, where they have been remarkable so far this year (16-4-2).

Of course, with the roster of players they have, it's going to be a tough night for the Predators anyway. Jarome Iginla, David Krejci, and Milan Lucic all have a five-game point streak going, racking up eight goals and nine assists all together.

The Nashville Predators

Even though Seth Jones didn't get picked for the USA Olympic roster, (it was a long shot to begin with) he has still being playing some great hockey recently. The whole team has, but that means nothing right now. We've seen too many times this season where a couple of great games lead to a string of stinkers, and vice versa.

But climbing up the standings latter is not going to be an easy task for Nashville. Entering tonight's action they are last in the Central, three points behind the Jets and 12 points behind the third place Avalanche. The Phoenix Coyotes occupy the final Wild Card spot, a full nine points clear of the Preds.

Is it impossible? Not mathematically, although let's not get delusional. The Predators season is going to end in May. However, if they can put forth the effort we've seen recently into every game they play, they can at least make the last few months very interesting.

FS-TN has the action for you at 6:00 p.m. CST. I hope your New Year's resolution is to indulge in hockey more than you did last year.

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