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Preview: Predators at Bruins

Nashville can firm up hold on third place in Central; Boston looking to expand lead in wild-card race

by Matt Kalman / Correspondent

PREDATORS (39-25-11) at BRUINS (39-30-6)

7 p.m. ET; SN1, SNO, TVA Sports, NESN, FS-TN, NHL.TV


Predators team scope

The Nashville Predators will look to extend their one-point lead on the St. Louis Blues for third place in the Central Division. They have won four in a row and seven of their past eight games (7-1-0). "All of us are on the same page," center Ryan Johansen said after a 3-1 win at the New York Islanders on Monday. "We're playing a team game. You look at all the teams that are successful at this time of year, and in the postseason, it's the depth of your team that comes out, and we've got a lot of guys stepping up." The Predators did not hold a morning skate Tuesday and did not announce a starting goaltender. Pekka Rinne may start after backup Juuse Saros made 24 saves against the Islanders. Rinne is 5-0-0 with nine goals allowed in his past five starts. The Predators have won their past three games against the Boston Bruins, including a 2-1 home win Jan. 12.


Bruins team scope

Goaltender Tuukka Rask is expected to start and center David Krejci will be a game-time decision when the Bruins try to increase their lead for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. The Bruins lead the Tampa Bay Lightning by one point, the Islanders by two points and the Carolina Hurricanes (who have one game in hand) by four points. Rask missed the Bruins' 2-1 win against the Islanders on Saturday with a lower-body injury and will play his 60th game of the season. "It's just a matter of getting your rest when you have a chance and everybody's in the same boat, I think," said Rask, who is 0-4-0 with 15 goals allowed in his past four games. "It's not easy for anybody but this is what we play for, the games mean a lot and it's fun. It's going to go down to the wire again and everybody seems to be in a good mood and ready to battle again tonight." Krejci left practice early Monday and didn't take part in an optional morning skate Tuesday because of an upper-body injury. "He stayed off the ice this morning, got some treatment," coach Bruce Cassidy said. "I think he'll play but again he'll have to go through warmups and we'll go from there." The Bruins, who have won once in their past five games (1-4-0), trail the Toronto Maple Leafs by one point for third place in the Atlantic Division; the Maple Leafs have one game in hand. Defenseman Zdeno Chara is one point shy of 600 for his NHL career.


Predators projected lineup

Filip Forsberg -- Ryan Johansen -- Viktor Arvidsson

Colin Wilson -- Colton Sissons -- Craig Smith

Kevin Fiala -- Calle Jarnkrok -- James Neal

Cody McLeod -- Vernon Fiddler -- Austin Watson

Roman Josi -- Ryan Ellis

Mattias Ekholm -- P.K. Subban

Anthony Bitetto -- Matt Irwin

Pekka Rinne

Juuse Saros

Scratched: PA Parenteau, Brad Hunt, Harry Zolnierczyk

Injured: Mike Fisher (lower body), Yannick Weber (upper body), Miikka Salomaki (lower body)

Bruins projected lineup

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Backes

Drew Stafford -- David Krejci -- David Pastrnak

Frank Vatrano -- Ryan Spooner -- Jimmy Hayes

Dominic Moore -- Riley Nash -- Noel Acciari

Zdeno Chara -- Brandon Carlo

Torey Krug -- Adam McQuaid

John-Michael Liles -- Kevan Miller

Tuukka Rask

Anton Khudobin

Scratched: Matt Beleskey, Colin Miller, Joe Morrow, Zane McIntyre

Injured: Tim Schaller (lower body)


Status report

Liles will play for the first time since Feb. 26. He was a healthy scratch the past 13 games. ... The Bruins recalled goalie Zane McIntyre from Providence of the American Hockey League on an emergency basis.


Who's hot

Arvidsson has nine points (six goals, three assists) in his past eight games. ... Josi has 16 points (two goals, 14 assists) in his past 16 games. ... Johansen has 18 points (four goals, 14 assists) in his past 17 games. ... Marchand has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in his past seven games. ... Pastrnak has 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in his past 15 games.

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