Last Friday, the Nashville Predators traveled to Washington, DC to take on the league-leading Capitals in the nation’s capital. The Predators were the first to get on the board at 3:30 of the second period with a power-play goal from Filip Forsberg.
After that initial score, Washington dominated the ice with four unanswered goals over the 12:44 of play for the duration of the second period and the first 36 seconds of the third period. Nashville was unable to breakthrough and fell to the Capitals by a score of 4-1.
Keys to Watch
Possible First-Round Matchup
Tonight’s matchup could be a preview of the Predators first round opponent in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Los Angeles has already clinched a playoff spot with 93 total points and a record of 44-22-5. The Kings are currently in first place in the Pacific Division. Nashville, on the other hand, has a lead on the first wild card spot with 85 points and a record 36-23-13 with ten games remaining. Both teams have played exceptionally well over the last ten games. Los Angeles has 15 points and Nashville has 14 over this span of games. If the playoffs started today, these two teams would face-off. We could possibly see a series against both teams in the first round and tonight’s match-up could give us a good indication of how that series would go.
After a slow start to the 2015-16 season, Filip Forsberg has come into his own and is leading the Predators in points with 53 points (29 goals, 24 assists). Over the last five games, Forsberg has seen a plateau of offensive production with only one point in those games, with a -3 rating. He has already eclipsed his goal total from last season and is only ten points away from breaking his point total of 63. The Predators will need Forsberg to continue his style of play he had from February 15th-March 5th where the Ostervala, Sweden native scored an impressive 10 goals in 10 games.
Led By Centers
The Los Angeles Kings are led on the offensive side by the play of their top three centers. The leader among this group is Anze Kopitar with 65 points, which leads the team. The always dangerous, Jeff Carter, has always played well against Nashville and is second on the Kings roster with 51 points. Tyler Toffoli leads the Kings in goals with 26 and is third on the team with 48 points. These three centers are a dominating force for the Kings and will be a key to their success moving forward.
Tonight will be a good starting point for the Preds to get back on track after a rough outing last Friday. Be sure to catch all of the action tonight on Fox Sports-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game. Puck drops at 7:00 pm!