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Game Preview/Live Thread: Nashville Predators v Montreal Canadiens 3/5/24

The Predators are looking for win number 9 in a row tonight against some visitors from north of the border.

Nashville Predators

Tonight is a great game for Kevin Lankinen to start. He’s only played in 17 games, and if Nashville plans to go into the playoffs with a rested Saros, it’s time for Lankinen to start after some great games by Juuse Saros. Lankinen has a .892 Sv%, but he’s not been bad at all. I know I’m not on the Nashville coaching staff, but “Lanky” could spell Saros against Montreal tonight or later this week against Buffalo.

I’m looking for Roman Josi and Tommy Novak to have very explosive games. Josi was just named the NHL’s First Star of the Week and Novak has signed a new contract beginning in the 2024-25 season. They’ll be playing for themselves and their team. Cody Glass had an excellent (and emotional) night out on Saturday — will he be amped up tonight too? This is a team seeking their ninth straight win. While that’s not a NHL record by any stretch, it’s based on incredible team play. Potting points in March sets Nashville up for playoff success. If teams like Colorado continue to waver, Nashville could sneak into third place in the Central.

Filip Forsberg hasn’t been skating in practices, but he has yet to miss a game. I’m assuming this is simply maintenance and precautionary, because Forsberg leads the Preds in goals with 29. A goal tonight gives him 30, and I expect he’ll be looking for that 30th goal.

Nashville defeated Montreal back in December. They have quite the outstanding record against the Habs — they’re 4-0-1 against Montreal inside Bridgestone Arena.

Montreal Canadiens

We know that veteran netminder Jake Allen will be in net tonight for the Habs. Their road trip isn’t going so well, but neither is their season. I mentioned on X (Twitter?) that this week’s games are perfect trap situations. Young stars like Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield should give the Predators plenty of trouble tonight, and the Habs have a good mix of veterans in their lineup who are unafraid to get scrappy.

2022’s #1 pick Juraj Slafkovsky did not skate in Montreal’s practice on Monday, but it’s not clear whether he hits the ice tonight. NHL seasons are difficult for veterans, and I’m sure even more difficult for younger players.

The Habs are 7th in the Atlantic Division. Their season has been a train wreck since October, and I think many have them written off for the next few seasons.

Keep Your Eye on This Guy

I’m keeping an eye on Alexandre Carrier. He’s still popping up in various trade articles, and a right-handed defender like him always gathers significant interest around the trade deadline. Will he remain a Predator? I’m assuming so, but a deal could always come across GM Barry Trotz’s desk that blows him away. Carrier has been sturdy when he’s been healthy.

Reasons to Watch

  1. Trade chatter will always make “Trade Deadline Week” watching a little more interesting.
  2. Roman Josi is quietly making a solid Norris Trophy case.

Tonight’s Theme Song

How to Watch

Puck drop is at 7:00 Central. Bally Sports South has the broadcast and 102.5 The Game has the radio call.

Talking Points