The Nashville Predators look to even the season series with division rival Dallas tonight at Bridgestone Arena. These two clubs met back in October in the third game of the season, which Dallas won 2-1 in an uncharacteristically low-scoring affair.
Both teams are not off to the start each would like, as Dallas is only two points ahead of Nashville in the Central. Expectations were high entering the season as both teams were favored to make the playoffs and potentially make a run at the Stanley Cup.
These are two of the fastest teams in the NHL, so don’t blink or you might miss something.
The Dallas Stars
The Stars currently sit at third place in the Central behind the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues. It has been an up-and-down season for Dallas, only winning back-to-back games one time against Calgary and Edmonton.
Goaltending has been a problem for the Stars all season. They enter tonight’s game surrendering the second most goals this season (66) and have the highest goals-against-average per game (3.30).
Antti Niemi is 4-2-2 with a goals-against-average of 3.17 and save percentage of .907, while Kari Lehtonen has been much worse. Lehtonen is 4-5-3 with a goals-against-average of 3.31 and a save percentage of .889.
Whoever is in goal will have the tough task of slowing down a Predators offense that has really been clicking as of late. James Neal, Viktor Arvidsson, and P.K. Subban have all been red-hot recently and will provide a tough test for whoever Dallas throws out there.
The Nashville Predators
The Predators are coming in to tonight’s game having won five of their last seven games. Sitting at 2-5-1, Nashville used a five-game point streak to climb back into the thick of the playoff race and sit only two points behind Dallas in the standings.
Pekka Rinne has been outstanding this season. In the month of November, Rinne is 6-1-2 with a .953 save percentage. He will have a tough task tonight stopping always-dangerous scorers like Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.
James Neal, fresh off his six game goal streak, and Viktor Arvidsson have been giving the Predators an offensive boost paired together on the top line with Ryan Johansen. An offensive shootout was expected last time, but this game has all the making of a 5-4 affair.
Reasons to Watch
- Pekka Rinne has been nothing short of dominant in November. He always seems to play his best with the Bridgestone crowd cheering him on. If he can hold a potent Dallas lineup to two goals or less, look out rest of the Central Division.
- Filip Forsberg only has one goal this season. He is getting chances, taking shots, and making plays but the puck just hasn’t been bouncing his way. He is close to breaking out, and when he does you will want to say you saw it happen.
- Dallas’ goaltending is nothing to write home about. With the tandem of Niemi and Lehtonen surrendering more than three goals-per-game, it will be interesting to see what the Predators can do ranking 10th in goals-per-game.
Sights and Sounds
You can catch the game on FS-TN locally and listen to it on 102.5 The Game. You can also stream the game via the Fox Sports GO app. Puck drops at 7:00 pm CST.