Keys to Watch
Typically, the Nashville Predators don’t have back-to-back opponents, but this afternoon, they will. On Friday evening, the Preds finished a three-game home stand, defeating the Winnipeg Jets 5-1. The Predators dominated the game in almost every facet of the game with power-play goals, successful penalty kills, and outstanding play by Pekka Rinne. Rinne has been one of the best goaltenders in the league during the month of November. The Jets are currently on a five-game losing streak as they look to break that streak at home today in Winnipeg. This early 12:00pm start will be interesting to see if either team comes out sluggish.
Early on this season, there was some concern on the scoring of the front lines for the Preds. One player of concern was Ryan Johansen. He was struggling getting involved and just seemed out of sorts, in a way. Over the last five games, the Vancouver, BC native has six points, three goals and three assists, and a total of four goals and ten assists on the season. Due to the mounting injuries for Nashville, the Predators will need Johansen to keep pace and continue his offensive success.
Now, the Predators have stayed relatively healthy this season, until the end of Friday night’s game. Since Friday, the Nashville Predators have placed three players on injured-reserve with upper-body injuries: Ryan Ellis, Colton Sissons, and James Neal. The Predators have also called up from the Milwaukee Admirals the following: Kevin Fiala, Frederick Gaudreau, Mike Liambas and Petter Granberg. These projected lineup changes have effected the pairings dramatically, and according to Scott Billeck, the pairings are as follows:
Predators projected lineup
Viktor Arvidsson — Ryan Johansen — Kevin Fiala
Filip Forsberg — Mike Ribeiro — Craig Smith
Colin Wilson — Mike Fisher — Pontus Aberg
Frederick Gaudreau — Calle Jarnkrok — Austin Watson
Mattias Ekholm — P.K. Subban
Roman Josi — Matt Irwin
Anthony Bitetto — Yannick Weber
Scratched: Mike Liambas, Petter Granberg
Injured: Miikka Salomaki (upper body), Ryan Ellis (upper body), James Neal (upper body), Colton Sissons (upper body)
The Predators will look to continue their success they had at home as Nashville begins a short, two-game road-trip against the Jets. Be sure to catch all of today’s action on Fox Sports-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game. Puck drops at noon!