Game Preview: Nashville Predators vs. Boston Bruins 2/16/23
The best team in the league comes to Bridgestone Arena for the first time in 2023.
The Nashville Predators have had a rough start coming out of the All-Star break. They’ve lost two of their three games, with their only win coming in overtime against the Philadelphia Flyers. Their two losses have also been bad to the Vegas Golden Knights and the Arizona Coyotes. Now, they face the toughest team in the league to beat in the Boston Bruins.
The Bruins don’t lose. That has been the narrative throughout this season, and it’s still continuing in the second half. They beat the Toronto Maple Leafs handily by a score of 5-2, lost to the Washington Capitals 2-1, and then bounced back with a huge overtime win against the Dallas Stars. They are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games with Pavel Zacha leading in goals (3) and points (5) over their last five while Charlie McAvoy leads in assists with three. To really put into perspective how good they’ve been, their regulation losses haven’t hit double digits yet, and their record of 40-8-5 has earned them 85 points, which is seven points more than the next closest team in the East, the Carolina Hurricanes.
David Pastrnak is the team’s leading scorer by a very wide margin. He sits currently at 74 points in 53 games and is one goal away from the 40-goal mark. Brad Marchand is over a point per game with 46 points in 45 games and other key contributors include Pavel Zacha (37 points in 53 games) and David Krejci (43 points in 48 games).
Linus Ullmark is having a Vezina-caliber season, who has a .937 save percentage and 1.90 goals against average. Part of those numbers being so high is the absence of many high-danger chances against him, which shows just how well the Boston defense is playing.
The Predators have their work cut out for them tonight. With Juuse Saros in net, they always have a chance, and it’s confirmed that he’s starting against the best team in the league. Not having Filip Forsberg for this game is a tough blow, seeing as the offense without him is much less lethal.
I think everyone knows how tough this game is going to be for Nashville, but considering this team’s recent history, it may not surprise many in the slightest to see the Predators come out on top. It will be a tough test, but with a Vezina-contending goalie in net (albeit against another Vezina-caliber goaltender), anything can happen.
How to Watch
When: 7:00 pm CT/8:00 pm ET
Where: Bridgestone Arena
TV: Bally Sports South
Radio: 102.5 The Game