On Monday night, the Nashville Predators engaged in a physical, highly contentious match-up against their division rival, the Dallas Stars.

The Nashville Predators needed to come out fast, and were able to do so, with the only first period goal when Craig Smith (12) scored at 11:32.

The second period allowed for the Stars to take the lead for a short time. The Preds went on the power-play when Antoine Roussel was called for slashing against Carter Hutton. Cody Eakin (11) scored a short-handed goal at 5:42. Dallas was able to get another goal at 6:59 of the second period when Ales Hemsky scored his seventh goal of the season to give Dallas a 2–1 lead. Nashville was able to respond at 16:18 when Filip Forsberg set up in front of the net for a Craig Smith’s pass.

Neither team was able to break through during the third period, so the game went to overtime. In overtime, Mattias Janmark scored at 3:49 to give the Dallas Stars the 3-2 victory.

Keys to Watch

Goalie Switch

In sports, responding to adversity is the name of the game. It has been announced that Carter Hutton will serve as the back up to Pekka Rinne tonight. Hutton has started the last two straight games, and has played well. It is now time to see if Rinne can get his act together and be the goaltender that all of the Nashville Predators fanbase knows that he can be. In the last five games, Pekka Rinne has given up four goals to Tampa Bay, four goals to Washington, two goals to San Jose, six goals against Philadelphia, and one goal to St. Louis. If he cannot be the goaltender from year’s past, look for the coaching staff to lean on Carter Hutton down the stretch towards the playoffs. Nashville currently holds one of the wildcard spots and needs to preserve that over the next 25 games.

Great Road Team

The Boston Bruins are an interesting team to look at in regards to their record at home versus being away from the state of Massachusetts. At home, the team is 12-14-3. On the road, Boston has a record of 19-6-3. Most teams in the NHL are better at home, amongst their fans, than on the road. This team thrives away from Boston. The Predators will need to put forth a great effort tonight against a solid road team who has won six out of there last 10 matches.

Johansen’s Goal Drought

Since coming to the Nashville Predators, Ryan Johansen has proven his ability to offensively help the squad out. On the season with Nashville, Johansen has four goals and 12 assists. Over the last five games, Johansen has not scored a goal for the Predators. He is getting 2-3 shots per game, where early on he was getting as high as six shots a game. The Predators need Johansen to score. He has been able to help out in setting up his teammates, but the Predators could use more scoring from their first line center.

The Predators will look to get back on their winning ways tonight at Bridgestone Arena. Be sure to catch all of the action on Fox Sports-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game! Puck drops at 7:00 pm!