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Preview: Avalanche at Predators

Nashville trying to defeat Colorado for fifth straight time this season

by Robby Stanley / Correspondent

AVALANCHE (16-39-3) at PREDATORS (28-22-9)

8 p.m. ET; SN360, SNP, ALT2, FS-TN, NHL.TV


Avalanche team scope

The Colorado Avalanche will attempt to defeat the Nashville Predators for the first time in five games this season. The Avalanche are 0-4-0 against the Predators and have been outscored 17-9. "They're a dangerous team and get a lot of help offensively from their back end, which can be tough to deal with sometimes," coach Jared Bednar said. "They're active. They're up in the play in the offensive zone. They have a lot of movement, so that's a challenge to defend against. We've had some decent games against them, but it's always a challenge to defend against this group." The Avalanche are 1-6-1 in their past eight games and 1-10-1 in their past 12 road games. "We just talk about narrowing our focus and just taking it one game at a time," Bednar said. "We haven't gotten some of the results we've wanted. With where we're at in the standings, it's hard to look at big picture. Just trying to incrementally improve every night, make sure that we're focused and we're playing hard and we're doing the right things so we can keep progressing our team to where we want to be."


Predators team scope

The Predators are two points behind the St. Louis Blues for third place in the Central Division and lead the Calgary Flames by one point for the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. Forward Filip Forsberg scored three goals in a 6-5 overtime loss to the Flames on Tuesday. Forsberg's line, with Ryan Johansen and Viktor Arvidsson, has emerged as a dangerous one for the Predators; Forsberg and Arvidsson each have a hat trick in their past five games. "I think we've been playing good the whole stretch with each other and finding each other," said Arvidsson, who has 10 points (six goals, four assists) in his past nine games. "[Johansen] is a great passer, he can protect the puck and throw awesome passes and find you in a spot where you don't believe you can get a pass. [Forsberg] can beat anyone one-on-one and is a really good goal scorer. I think we complete each other really good." The Predators are 16-7-7 at home.


Avalanche projected lineup

Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Matt Nieto

Mikko Rantanen -- Matt Duchene -- Blake Comeau

Mikhail Grigorenko -- John Mitchell -- Jarome Iginla

Andreas Martinsen -- Carl Soderberg -- Joe Colborne

Fedor Tyutin -- Tyson Barrie

Francois Beauchemin -- Mark Barberio

Patrick Wiercioch -- Cody Goloubef

Calvin Pickard

Jeremy Smith

Scratched: None

Injured: Rene Bourque (head), Erik Johnson (broken fibula), Nikita Zadorov (broken ankle), Semyon Varlamov (hip surgery)


Predators projected lineup

Filip Forsberg -- Ryan Johansen -- Viktor Arvidsson

Kevin Fiala -- Mike Fisher -- Craig Smith

Colin Wilson -- Calle Jarnkrok -- James Neal

Harry Zolnierczyk -- Vernon Fiddler -- Austin Watson

Roman Josi -- Ryan Ellis

Mattias Ekholm -- P.K. Subban

Matt Irwin -- Yannick Weber

Pekka Rinne

Juuse Saros

Scratched: Anthony Bitetto, Brad Hunt, Colton Sissons

Injured: Cody McLeod (lower body), Miikka Salomaki (lower body)


Status report

The Avalanche held an optional morning skate. … Zolnierczyk took rushes on the fourth line for the Predators and is expected to play in place of Sissons. McLeod participated in the morning skate but is expected to miss his fifth straight game.


Who's hot

Rantanen has three goals in a three-game goal streak. … Jarnkrok has 11 points (six goals, five assists) in his past 12 games. Subban has seven points (one goal, six assists) during a four-game point streak. 

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