Nashville Predators at Washington Capitals Preview: Put Up a Fight

The Preds face the Caps tonight for the first game of a back-to-back.

After a disappointing finish against the Maple Leafs, will we see signs of life from the Predators tonight?

Nashville Predators

The Preds received an “F” for effort on Monday night. There seemed to be no life in the rested Predators against Toronto.

With tonight’s contest starting a back-to-back, how will Coach Hynes handle the goaltending situation? Neither Pekka Rinne nor Juuse Saros inspire much confidence right now, but neither do the other 18 players on the bench.

Many of us are disappointed in the underwhelming Predators right now. Will another loss or two force David Poile’s hand before the trade deadline? Which player will be traded first?

Washington Capitals

The Capitals are in a class of their own in the Metropolitan Division. Led by defender John Carlson in points, the Caps dominate lesser-skilled teams with ease and compete against the best with a fully engaged lineup. Tonight will be a great chance to compare our very own Roman Josi with Carlson. Both Carlson and Josi should be Norris Trophy nominees this summer.

Captain Alex Ovechkin has 34 goals and 16 assists. He had to sit out Washington’s last game because he didn’t skate in the NHL All-Star Game, so expect Ovi to be chasing some goals tonight as he tries to break more records.

Evgeny Kuznetsov has 43 points (16 goals, 27 assists), followed closely by Jakub Vrana with 42 (23 goals, 19 assists) and Nicklas Backstrom with 39 (10 goals, 29 assists).

Youngster Ilya Samsonov has been a force in net for the Caps, posting a .927 Sv% over 19 contests. Braden Holtby has a .899 Sv% over 27 games. We might see Holtby in another sweater next season.

Reasons to Watch

- If you’re still hoping for big things from the Predators, tonight might not be your night. The Capitals are a sure thing for the Stanley Cup playoffs in April and the Predators are finding more ways to exasperate their fan base.

- T.J. Oshie is one of my FAVORITE non-Pred NHLers.

Tonight’s Theme Song

I’ve been feeling kinda “2006-high school emo” lately.

How to Watch

Tonight’s puck drop is at 6:30 Central. NBC Sports has the broadcast and 102.5 The Game has the radio call.