Going into the game on Monday night, the Nashville Predators looked to assert themselves as a dangerous playoff team coming up in April. The Los Angeles Kings are the Pacific Division leaders and have clinched for the post-season. Nashville would dominate this game with a 5-2 victory.
The second period was all Nashville with a 3-0 lead after the first 40 minutes of play. James Neal started the scoring at 7:37 with his 28th goal of the season. Nashville was given a power-play after the Kings were called for too many men on the ice at 11:49 and Mike Fisher scored his 12th of the year at 13:17. The final goal of the period was Filip Forsberg‘s team leading 30th goal of the season at 15:23 of the second period.
The Kings were able to get back in the game with two goals after the first 8:00 of the third period (Doughty-00:32, Martinez-8:00). Nashville would respond with another goal at 11:45 when Ryan Johansen extended the Preds lead to 4-2. With the goalie pulled, Roman Josi scored an empty-net goal at 19:31 to give Nashville the victory.
Keys to Watch
Tonight, the Nashville Predators will host the struggling underdogs, the Vancouver Canucks. According to My Top Sportsbooks, the Preds are a -2 favorite against the Canucks. Historically, the contests between these two squads are close. On January 26th, in the midst of Nashville’s lengthy Canadian road-trip, the Preds were able to defeat the Canucks 2-1 on a late third period goal by James Neal. The Preds will need to come out of the game with a win, the points are critical for them making a late season push toward the playoffs.
Many players have certain teams they play better against due to certain match-ups. Mike Fisher has been a man possessed against the Canucks. Over the last four games against the Canucks, Fisher has three goals and three assists. Yet, it has not just been recent success against the Canucks. The Peterborough, ON, Canada native has also played well over the last five games, where he has amassed two goals and one assist. The Preds will need Fisher to continue his successful style of play on Thursday night.
Look on the Bright Side
The Canucks have struggled this season and have now gone three in a row without a goal. In 72 games this season, Vancouver has a record of 27-33-12 with 66 total points. They have a traditional powerhouse on the front lines with the Sedins’ that always tend to be a bright spot. Another positive note for their team recently has been the play of Jacob Markstrom. Over the last two starts, Markstrom has stopped 70 of 73 shots. The problem is that their team cannot produce offensively in front of the Gävle, Sweden native. This has been the norm for the Canucks during the 2015-16 season.
The Preds will look to get another win tonight in front of the hometown fans at Bridgestone Arena and push their opportunity to get into the playoffs. 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!