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game preview

Stars at Predators preview

Dallas has lost three straight; Nashville looks to gain in West playoff race

by Robby Stanley / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

STARS (37-21-8) at PREDATORS (32-26-8)

8 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-TN, FS-SW, NHL.TV

 

The Game

The Nashville Predators will try to end a three-game losing streak and gain in the Western Conference standings when they play the Dallas Stars at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday.

Nashville is two points behind the Vancouver Canucks, Winnipeg Jets and Arizona Coyotes for the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the West and one point behind the Minnesota Wild.

The Predators lost 3-1 to the Wild on Tuesday. A four-game losing streak would match their longest of the season from Nov. 12-21. 

The Stars are 0-1-2 in their past three games after going 7-1-1 in their previous nine. They are third in the Central Division, six points behind the second-place Colorado Avalanche.

This will be the first game at Bridgestone Arena since a deadly tornado swept through the Nashville area on Monday.

 

Players to watch

Stars forward Jamie Benn has seven points (one goal, six assists) in a six-game point streak.

Predators defenseman Roman Josi has five points (two goals, three assists) in a four-game point streak.

 

They said it

"I think at this point you're kind of seeing the finish line. Every game is going to be a big one. Every game is going to be a playoff mentality, especially when you're playing a team like Nashville. They're obviously looking for a [playoff] spot and we're trying to gain in the division. You have just a certain amount of games to gain or lose ground." -- Stars defenseman Jamie Oleksiak  

"It's going to be emotional. As a team, you can inspire people and give some hope to people, and that's what we need to do tonight. We need to go out there and play as hard as we can and get a win for Nashville." -- Predators defenseman Roman Josi on playing in Nashville for the first time since the tornado on Monday

 

Stars projected lineup

Jamie Benn -- Tyler Seguin -- Corey Perry

Andrew Cogliano -- Radek Faksa -- Blake Comeau

Mattias Janmark -- Joe Pavelski -- Alexander Radulov

Roope Hintz -- Jason Dickinson -- Denis Gurianov

Esa Lindell -- John Klingberg

Miro Heiskanen -- Stephen Johns

Jamie Oleksiak -- Andrej Sekera

Anton Khudobin

Ben Bishop

Scratched: Taylor Fedun, Roman Polak, Justin Dowling

Injured: None

 

Predators projected lineup

Filip Forsberg -- Matt Duchene -- Mikael Granlund

Colton Sissons -- Ryan Johansen -- Calle Jarnkrok

Yakov Trenin -- Kyle Turris -- Viktor Arvidsson

Rocco Grimaldi -- Nick Bonino -- Craig Smith

Roman Josi -- Ryan Ellis

Jarred Tinordi -- Mattias Ekholm

Dan Hamhuis -- Dante Fabbro

Juuse Saros

Pekka Rinne

Scratched: Korbinian Holzer, Yannick Weber, Austin Watson, Colin Blackwell

Injured: None

 

Status report

Bishop participated in the morning skate and is healthy. He missed a 2-1 overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday because of a lower-body injury. … Johansen took part in the morning skate. He missed the game against the Wild on Tuesday because of illness.

 

Stat pack

Khudobin is 4-3-1 with a 2.48 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage in 10 games against the Predators. … Josi has 27 points (10 goals, 17 assists) in 34 games against the Stars.

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