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Nashville Predators vs. Philadelphia Flyers Preview: Optimism

There aren’t a lot of reasons to be optimistic if you’re a Preds fan right now. But, let’s just go against the grain and force ourselves to be optimistic heading into tonight’s contest. Do it.

NHL: New York Rangers at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Nashville Predators play visitor to the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday night for their second matchup in the past two weeks.

The Flyers beat the Predators in Nashville back on Dec. 4 by a count of 4-2. Calle Jarnkrok and Collin Wilson were your goal scorers while Juuse Saros stopped 24 of the 27 shots he faced in the loss.

The Predators enter the contest with a 1-3-1 record in their last five games played and the second worst road record in the NHL at 3-9-2 on the year.

The Flyers fell at Dallas on Saturday 3-1 snapping what was a 10-game winning streak for the orange and black. Philadelphia is the hottest team in the league while Nashville may just be the coldest.

Remember, we’re being optimistic here. Our positive brain waves will prove to be the difference maker.

The Philadelphia Flyers

It’s pretty remarkable that the Flyers have gone 9-1-0 in their last 10 games yet they sit fifth in the Metro Division.

The Flyers rank fourth in the league in goals scored per game averaging 3.12 goals per contest which doesn’t necessarily bode well for Nashville who allows the 12th most goals per night with 2.83.

Staying out of the box will be huge for Nashville tonight with the Flyers’ power play ranking third in the NHL. Wayne Simmonds scored two power play goals in Nashville when these two teams met just 15 days ago.

The last time the Flyers lost in Philadelphia was on Nov. 25 against the Rangers.

The Nashville Predators

The Predators haven’t been good, it’s pretty simple.

Let’s rephrase that, they’ve been extremely good at being inconsistent.

We’ve seen it and have been saying the same thing since the calendar turned to December. Nashville’s backend is allowing too many chances, too many high-scoring chances. On the offensive side of the puck the team isn’t creating chances at a consistent level. Sure, you can say Nashville isn’t ‘getting the bounces,’ but that can only be said so many times for so many games.

That excuse can actually be thrown out of the window in most cases seeing how the team ranks second in the Western Conference in goals for per game with 2.90 goals only behind the Minnesota Wild (2.93).

But hey, we’re being optimistic.

Reasons To Watch

  1. Mike Fisher is playing his tail off. The captain has four goals in his last three games played. If he continues to get going and Craig Smith and Filip Forsberg catch fire we’re looking at a different team. Tell me if you’ve heard that before.
  2. The Nashville blue line will be without P.K. Subban for the second straight night as he did not make the trip to Philly. Adam Pardy was recalled earlier in the day so he could slot in for what would be his second game in a Nashville sweater. He has seven points in 16 games played with AHL Milwaukee.
  3. Tonight is a chance to possibly turn things around. Picking up a road win against the hottest team in the NHL and winning your first road game since Nov. 29 could flip this team around. Sure, everyone said that after the come-from-behind win against St. Louis last week, but a huge road win is a different story; at least we can think it would be.

Song of the Game (brought to you by Charlie and Mac)

Sights & Sounds

You can watch the game on FS-TN or the Fox Sports Go app. You can also listen to it live on 102.5 The Game radio. Puck drops at 6:00pm CST.