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Nashville Predators vs. New Jersey Devils Preview: Eleven

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The Predators are on a franchise-record 10 win streak. Can they make it 11 tonight against the New Jersey Devils?

The Nashville Predators have been tearing it up recently. Save for a turtle-y third period against Anaheim, the Preds have been relentless in their winning. Tonight, they have a shot at winning a record-breaking 11th game in a row against the slowly collapsing New Jersey Devils.

The Predators shut out New Jersey 3-0 in late January while on a road trip. The Predators could sweep the season series with a win tonight.

The Nashville Predators

The Predators are currently in second place in the League with 97 points, right behind Tampa Bay. They are 44-14-9 on the season.

What else can we say? There are 14 players with over 20 points on the season. Viktor Arvidsson has 51 points, including 25 goals. P.K. Subban has 50 points, and Filip Forsberg is trailing them with 48.

Austin Watson has a career-high in NHL points: 11 goals and 3 assists, good for 14 points. Scott Hartnell and Nick Bonino have quietly eclipsed the 20-point mark, and Ryan Hartman is probably making Chicago fans shake their heads as he zooms around Bridgestone ice creating chances on nearly every shift.

Finnish goaltending god Pekka Rinne has a .928 save percentage and Juuse Saros can be proud of his .924. It’s about time for Saros to start some games. Rinne has shouldered the load for most of February and he handled the most threatening teams with ease. The debate will always arise when discussing Nashville goaltending because too much rest could result in rust.

Personally, I feel like Coach Laviolette is making good choices on which players to sit for “maintenance” each night. Even without known goal-scorers like Craig Smith or Kevin Fiala in the lineup, the Predators still put pucks in the net and secure wins.

The New Jersey Devils

20 games ago, the New Jersey Devils were firmly in playoff contention. They were rolling along at an excellent pace. Now, they’re fighting off the Blue Jackets and Panthers for a wild-card spot in the East. Some of their struggles can be attributed to injury, but it seems like the Devils were carried by Taylor Hall’s 26-game point streak.

Our friends at All About the Jersey suggest that Hall and goaltender Corey Schneider have literally no support around them. This year’s Devils sound a lot like the Predators of recent years...they lack consistency, not talent.

New Jersey is 34-26-8 this season. Their current road trip has them facing off against the Western powerhouses like Los Angeles, San Jose, and Anaheim. They have to go through the Western gauntlet before returning home. Yikes.

Taylor Hall has 30 goals and 44 assists this season. Wow. 2017 Draftee Nico Hischier has 14 goals and 29 assists for 43 points.

At the trade deadline, New Jersey acquired rental goal-scorer Michael Grabner from the New York Rangers and Patrick Maroon from the Oilers.

Goaltender Schneider has a .912% in 38 games played. He’s been backed up by Keith Kinkaid, Kinkaid has a .903%.

What can we expect from this Devils team? Desperation. They’re going to try to come at one of the top teams in the League to make a statement. The Predators need to be ready for New Jersey to come out with some fire.

Memories and Feelings

Here’s a big set of feelings for Mr. Gordie Howe Hat Trick. Congratulations, Ryan!

Reasons to Watch

-It’s another Hockey Fights Cancer night, as well as another Military Appreciation game.


Tonight’s Theme Song

Because I can’t reference Eleven without...

How to Watch

As always, tonight’s game will be broadcast on Fox Sports-TN, and 102.5 The Game will have the radio call. Puck drop is at 7 pm tonight.