On Saturday night, the Nashville Predators showed why they were a playoff team last season and shut out Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers 2-0.
The Preds started off extremely sluggish during the 1st period, but were able to break through during the 2nd period as Craig Smith notched his second goal of the season at 18:52. To clinch the win, Filip Forsberg was able to get one past Cam Talbot at 13:02 from an exemplary pass from Mike Ribeiro.
Tonight, the Preds have their first match of the season away from Bridgestone Arena as they travel to Prudential Center to take on the New Jersey Devils at 6 PM.
In their last outing, the Devils were in a high scoring matchup against the Washington Capitals, as New Jersey lost 5-3.
The first period had a total of four goals, two of which for the Devils from Adam Henrique and PPG – Eric Gelinas. The remainder of the game was dominated by Washington with three goals in the third period, the lone goal for the Devils was by Mike Cammalleri during the third.
Keys to Watch
Struggles in Net
Early on this season, the net-minders for the Devils, Cory Schnieder and Keith Kincaid, have been thrashed as the Devils have given up 8 goals in 2 games. The Devils are currently ranked 5th in the NHL for the most goals/game (4.00) and are giving up 28.5 Shots Against/Game. Keith Kincaid has been named the starter against the Preds and will need to be on top of his game or it will be a long night for the NJ Devils. Kincaid currently has a record of 0-1-0, 4.17 GAA, and .846 SV%.
Mike Cammalleri is the engine to success for the Devils. Currently, Cammalleri leads the team in points (3), assists (2), PP Points (2), 2nd in shots (4), and top 5 on the team in shifts/game (25). Defensively, the Preds will need to keep an ever-present focus on Cammalleri when he is on the ice. He can hurt you with his ability to create for his teammates, and to finish with the puck.
PP Problems….. Already!
The Nashville Power Play looked inept on Saturday night. Last season, the Preds PP was as strong as they’d like it to be. With a PP% of 16.2, Coach Peter Laviolette looked to increase the PP and become a more dominant team with the man advantage. The improvement seemed nominal at best on Saturday. This season, Nashville is currently at 20%, but the season is very young. This young, talented team has to take advantage because this seems to be another down PP year.
Tonight’s matchup will be the 1st time the Preds will be away from Bridgestone Arena in 2015-16. The Preds will need to get a quick start against the Devils and it should be a great start of the current road trip. You can catch all of tonight’s action at 6 PM on Fox Sports-Tennessee and listen live on 102.5 The Game.