The Nashville Predators continue their west coast road trip with their third and final game against the Vegas Golden Knights. The two teams have been polar opposites over their last 10 games despite both teams fighting for their lives in the wild card race. The Predators are trying to keep their seat at the table, while the Knights are fighting to steal one.
In their last 10 games, the Predators are 7-3-0 while the Knights are 3-7-0. The season series is tied at one game apiece.
Over the last five games, the Predators have had some of the hottest players in the entire NHL, starting with the captain Roman Josi. He has 12 points, and 11 assists over the last five games, and his recent hot streak earned him the NHL’s first star of the week. Filip Forsberg leads the team in goals in that span with four, and he had an incredible five-point game against the Anaheim Ducks. Most importantly, he broke David Legwand’s franchise record for goals (210) and Viktor Arvidsson’s single-season franchise record for goals (34). Matt Duchene tied Arvidsson’s previous record against the Ducks as well.
However, the Predators are coming off a terrible loss to the Los Angeles Kings. Against a western conference foe like the Kings, losing 6-1 and appearing to be asleep through your play on the ice. It was lazy, and knowing how head coach John Hynes has motivated the team after losses, I would expect to see a different team tonight. And if the Predators are serious about trying to contend for the Stanley Cup, they need to have a huge game against a team that might steal their spot. Of course, the Knights need to get their act together first.
January 4th was the last time the Predators saw the Knights, and the roster was much different. They didn’t have the 2015 NHL Draft’s second overall pick, Jack Eichel. The superstar was still fighting for his right to get the surgery he wanted with the Buffalo Sabres. In 18 games with the Golden Knights, Eichel has 11 points.
However, Mark Stone and Alec Martinez—two essential pieces for the Knights on both ends of the ice—had to be put in long term injured-reserve to bring him over. Not only are those players on LTIR, but Max Pacioretty, Reilly Smith, Brayden McNabb, and Robin Lehner are on regular injured reserve. To say the Knights are suffering in the injury department would be an understatement.
One major drama in the NHL is the Golden Knights and the voided trade of Evgeni Dadonov. There are too many details to delve into in this preview, but if you want to read a little more on it, check out our friends at Knights on Ice and this article on the subject. The trade was voided, and Dadonov is still a Golden Knight.
Although the Knights still have Dadonov, they’re very shorthanded for this matchup against a Predators team looking for redemption from their last game. T-Mobile Arena is a hard place to play, but the Predators have come out on top there once already this season. Games against the Knights are always full of fireworks, so I would expect this one to be the same.
You can find this game on Bally Sports South at 9:00 p.m. central time.
That’s all from me, everybody. Go Predators!