The Nashville Predators went into the match against Chicago on Tuesday night desperately needing a win against a division foe.
The game did not start the way that the Preds coaching staff had envisioned. Chicago was able to get a 3-0 lead against Nashville up to the 13 minute mark of the second period. The Predators nemesis, Andrew Shaw, scored one goal in the first period and another goal early in the second period.
Nashville was able to respond 18 seconds after the Chicago third goal by Brent Seabrook. Mike Ribeiro banked a shot off of Corey Crawford at 13:36 to get the Preds within two goals.
Down by two, Nashville was able to score a late goal in the third period, a power-play goal by Filip Forsberg at 19:23.
Unfortunately, it was too little too late for the Nashville squad as the Preds would lose once again to the Chicago Blackhawks by a score of 3–2.
Tonight, the Predators end their extended road trip as the make their last stop of the current trip in Winnipeg against the Jets. In their last outing, the Jets were dominated by the San Jose Sharks 4-1.
Keys to Watch
Break the Streak
Let us evaluate the recent struggle of the Nashville Predators. They have lost four straight, seven out of the last nine, and 13 out of the last 20. To say that they are on a losing streak is a gross underevaluation of the current state of the Preds. The Jets are not in a better situation either. Winnipeg has lost three straight and four out of the last five. One team will break their streak tonight. Hopefully, it will be the team in gold.
Switching up the lineup
Over the past 24 hours, the Nashville Predators have made some extreme changes to their lineup. The Preds recalled Kevin Fiala and Cody Bass from the Milwaukee Admirals, sent Viktor Arvidsson to Milwaukee, and placed Colin Wilson on Injured Reserve. The Preds also placed Cody Hodgson on the waiver wire. Earlier today, Hodgson cleared waivers and will meet up with the Admirals. These are necessary moves to increase offensive production for the Preds. Fiala has six goals and 15 assists in 34 games with the Admirals, while Cody Bass has five points in 24 games in Milwaukee. Hopefully, we will see more production from this shaking up of the lineup.
Fiala’s increased role
Due to the lineup changes for tonight there have been some changes in line mates. The defense is staying fairly steady with Pekka Rinne in goal, Josi/Weber, Ellis/Ekholm, and Bitetto/Jackman. The interesting projections are on the first and second lines for Nashville. Filip Forsberg is projected to be on the second line tonight with Ribeiro at center and Calle Jarnkrok on the far wing. The first line has Ryan Johansen at center with James Neal and recently-called Kevin Fiala. This will be a HUGE opportunity for young Fiala. He has the opportunity to show that he is worthy of staying in Nashville for the foreseeable future. If he wants to stay, he needs production and show that he can be a major factor tonight.
Tonight, the Preds will look to break the streak against the struggling Jets at the MTS Centre. 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!