On Monday night, the Nashville Predators traveled to Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets, and the thought was it was going to be a hard-fought matchup. Columbus came into the game 8-0-1 in the month of December and was one of the hottest teams in the NHL. After the first period, a scoreless tie was expected, but after that it was an offensive explosion by the Preds. Nashville would go on to win 5-1, and stop the Blue Jackets undefeated in regulation streak for December.
Tonight, the Preds will play on back-to-back nights as they travel to TD Garden to face the Boston Bruins at 6:00 CST.
The Bruins (17-14-3) last played on Sunday against the Buffalo Sabres at home. In an eventful, back-and-forth contest that went to OT, Boston was able to come out victorious in a 4-3 battle. Loui Eriksson (7) scored the game-winning goal at 2:14 of the OT.
On the season, Patrice Bergeron and Carl Soderberg are tied with the team lead in points with 23. Both are also tied for the team lead in assists with 17. Brad Marchand and Reilly Smith are the Bruins’ leaders with 8 goals a piece.
Keys to Watch
A Team Determined
Early on this season, the Nashville Predators have been a team on a mission. Their never say die attitude has been evident this season in their play. For example, the Preds were struggling early on against Columbus and were not able to break through until the 2nd period. If they get down against any team, they claw, fight, and scratch their way back in contention. There is no game they are out because of this new attitude.
Bartley: Taking Advantage!
For the first part of this season, Victor Bartley was a healthy scratch for many of the games. As a professional, he had to be willing to take advantage of any situation and he did. In the last two games, Bartley has four assists. On the season, Bartley has five assists in seven games. This pales in comparison to the 50 games played last season and only posting six points. Bartley has taken advantage of his opportunity in 2014-15.
Shots, shots everywhere!
In the last 17 games, the Nashville Predators have out shot their opponents 14 times. In those 17 games, they are 12-5 in this time-span. On Monday, when the Preds had 35 shots-on-net against Columbus, this made the 13th time this season that the Preds have had more than 35 shots or more on net. The team is currently ranked 3rd in the NHL with 32.2 shots per game. The Preds are getting the puck to the net and it is paying dividends in the Win/Loss column.
Tonight’s matchup will be the last one for the Preds until Saturday as they will have their Christmas break. As usual, your Nashville Predators can be seen on FS-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game.