Game Preview/Live Thread: Nashville Predators vs Florida Panthers 2/18/23

Go Preds.

The Nashville Predators have a chance to make up—at least to their fans if not in the standings—for a resounding loss on Thursday when they take on the Florida Panthers today. The Panthers, meanwhile, have had an up-and-down February with more ups than downs, and are looking to solidify their position.

Offseason acquisition Matthew Tkachuk is performing just as the Panthers hoped, with 75 points (27G/48A) and a surprisingly low 74 PIM. In spite of his jawdropping offensive prowess, Tkachuk isn’t even the team’s goalscoring leader—that honor goes to Carter Verhaege, who’s notched 29 and added 22 assists to take second in team scoring. The Panthers have also gotten significant playmaking contributions from Aleksander Barkov and team PIM leader Brandon Montour.

Sergei Bobrovsky and Spencer Knight are an adequate goaltending duo, with a .905 and .902 sv% respectively. They could be doing better, and so could the Panthers’ defense, but they haven’t been awful by any stretch of the imagination. What’s really been going wrong is the Panthers’ ice-cold finishing, despite a powerhouse offense generating buckets of high-danger shots both at even strength and on the power play. When they start converting on those, watch out.

It’s probably a vain hope, but the Predators should try to stay out of the penalty box today. While the Panthers’ power play has also been suffering from their bad shooting luck, it will exhaust the skaters and goalie just trying to keep up. Their penalty kill has struggled, but so has the Preds’ power play; still, it might be a chance to make some practice pay off.

How to Watch

The game airs at 1 PM (2 PM Eastern) on Bally Sports South and 102.5 The Game.