On Saturday afternoon, the Nashville Predators welcomed the New York Rangers to Bridgestone Arena. Pekka Rinne and the Nashville Predators were on their game as they were able to defeat the Rangers by a score of 3-2.
This afternoon, the Preds are on the road in Florida to take on the Panthers.
The Florida Panthers (23-17-10) last played the LA Kings on Thursday night. The game was tied 1-1 going into the final period of play. In a spirited third period, the Panthers were able to get goals from Nick Bjugstad at 7:26 and Brandon Pirri at 16:55. The Panthers would go on to win 3-2. The three goals for Florida were only on 20 shots on goal.
Statistically, Nick Bjugstad leads the Panthers this season with 17 goals and 32 points. Jussi Jokinen has the current lead on the team with 23 assists.
Keys to Watch
The back-to-back games have been a tale of two complete opposites. This will be the Preds seventh back-to-back series of the season. The first game in the seven back-to-back series has been exceptional. The Preds have put up a record 5-0-2 in the first game. The second game is another story. The Nashville Predators have a record of 1-3-2 in the second set. Let’s hope today that Nashville turns around their struggles in the second game of these back-to-back games.
Josi and Weber
Stability. Focus. Production. As of recent, it seems like these two have been having a competition offensively to see who will produce more. Out of the past 7 games, both Josi and Weber have put up at least a point in 5 of those games. No defensive pair has been as productive. With a combined point total of 73, if these two can stay healthy, the Preds defensive core looks set for success during the 2nd half of the season.
Two teams. Two mediocre (at best) PPs. Both teams have a PP% less than 17%. Nashville’s PP, ranked 23rd, has dramatically increased since early on this season, but 16.9% is not good. Florida’s PP struggles as well. Ranked 27th in the NHL at 14.9%, the Panthers are looking to increase their ability with the extra attacker. In many cases, Bjugstad is their big offensive weapon on the PP. Pay attention to the special teams because this could be critical in the outcome of this game.
Today, at 2 p.m. CT at BB&T Center, the Preds look to continue their winning ways. The barrage of Eastern Conference teams will continue as they take on the Panthers. You can catch the game on FOX Sports Tennessee or listen live on 102.5 The Game.