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Nashville Predators vs. Florida Panthers Preview: Cat Fight

After a long break, it’s time for hockey!

NHL: Florida Panthers at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Predators hockey! They face the Panthers tonight.

Nashville Predators

After a break, how will the Predators look tonight in Florida? The Panthers last played before the All-Star break too, so both teams are equally rested / rusted.

Austin Watson was suspended and placed in Phase Two of the NHL’s Substance Abuse Program earlier this week. Kyle Turris and Miikka Salomäki are still on injured reserve. Zac Rinaldo practiced with the team yesterday but remains on IR. The Predators recalled Colin Blackwell from the Milwaukee Admirals.

With tonight’s game being the first of a back-to-back, expect Pekka Rinne and Juuse Saros to split the trip and each start one game. There’s also this:

Florida Panthers

The Panthers are led in points by Jonathan Huberdeau. He has 49 (12 goals, 37 assists). Aleksander Barkov has 47 points (17 goals, 30 assists). Mike Hoffman has 42 points (23 goals, 19 assists). All-Star Keith Yandle leads Florida defenders with 38 points (7 goals, 21 assists).

James Reimer looked fabulous in net for Florida when they visited Nashville earlier this month. He has a .897 Sv% over 27 games, and Roberto Luongo has a .896 Sv% in 26 games.

After beating Nashville before the All-Star break, the Panthers routed the San Jose Sharks by a score of 6-2.

Panthers prospect Anthony Greco set an incredible record at the AHL All-Star Game last weekend. He posted a time of 13.251 seconds in the Fastest Skater competition. That time would have beaten the NHL’s winner, Connor McDavid.

Florida is 6th in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference.

Memories and Feelings

  • The Predators played like hot garbage when Florida came to town. Can they repay the favor tonight?

Reasons to Watch

  • It’s the FINAL stretch of the season. How will the Preds respond?
  • Will David Poile have seen enough to make a big trade or two?

Panthers Social Media

  • @FlaPanthers
  • @LitterBoxCats: Florida’s SB Nation site is Litter Box Cats.

Tonight’s Theme Song

“Boom” by X Ambassadors.

Tonight’s Drink of Choice

Make something island-themed tonight in honor of better weather. A mai tai maybe?

How to Watch

Catch tonight’s action on FS-TN at an earlier time of 6 Central. 102.5 The Game has the radio call.