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Preview: Predators at Hurricanes

Nashville starts backup goalie Juuse Saros; Eddie Lack plays second straight game for Carolina

by Kurt Dusterberg / NHL.com Correspondent

PREDATORS (35-24-11) at HURRICANES (29-27-12)

7 p.m. ET; FS-TN, FS-CR, NHL.TV

 

Predators team scope

Goaltender Juuse Saros will start for the Nashville Predators, who lead the St. Louis Blues by two points for third place in the Central Division. The Predators are 9-3-3 in their past 15 games, including a 2-1 overtime win at the Washington Capitals on Thursday. Forward Colin Wilson returns to the lineup after missing one game with a lower-body injury. He replaces Craig Smith, who has two assists in his past 21 games. The Predators are 3-0-1 in their past four games against the Hurricanes, including Carolina's 3-2 shootout win at Nashville on Nov. 5. "I told our guys I think they're one of the most dangerous teams in the League. I really do, with the teams they're beating right now," coach Peter Laviolette said. "They work hard, they're tenacious on the puck, they're well-coached. We've done our best to wind our guys up to prepare for what I think might be one of the toughest games we've seen in a while."

 

Hurricanes team scope

Goaltender Eddie Lack will make his second straight start for the Carolina Hurricanes, who are 3-0-2 in their past five games. Lack, who made 30 saves in a 3-1 home win against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday, has allowed four goals in his past three starts. Forward Phillip Di Giuseppe returns to the lineup after missing six games with an upper-body injury. Coach Bill Peters stressed the importance of limiting the scoring chances for Nashville's offensive-minded defensemen. "Make them play in the other end, wear them out down there," Peters said. "Get some offensive-zone grind time. If it's an up-and-down flow game, advantage Nashville. If there's a little bit of grind to it, it makes a little more level playing field."

 

Predators projected lineup

Filip Forsberg -- Ryan Johansen -- Viktor Arvidsson

Kevin Fiala -- Mike Fisher -- PA Parenteau

Colin Wilson -- Calle Jarnkrok -- James Neal

Cody McLeod -- Colton Sissons -- Austin Watson

Roman Josi -- Ryan Ellis

Mattias Ekholm -- P.K. Subban

Matt Irwin - Yannick Weber

Jusse Saros

Pekka Rinne

Scratched: Vernon Fiddler, Brad Hunt, Anthony Bitetto

Injured: Miikka Salomaki (lower body)

 

Hurricanes projected lineup

Sebastian Aho -- Jordan Staal -- Teuvo Teravainen

Jeff Skinner -- Derek Ryan -- Lee Stempniak

Brock McGinn -- Victor Rask -- Elias Lindholm

Joakim Nordstrom -- Patrick Brown -- Phillip Di Giuseppe

Jaccob Slavin -- Justin Faulk

Noah Hanifin -- Brett Pesce

Klas Dahlbeck -- Ryan Murphy

Eddie Lack

Cam Ward

Scratched: Matt Tennyson

Injured: Jay McClement (lower body), Valentin Zykov (upper body)

 

Status report

The Predators, who did not practice on Friday, had a high-tempo morning skate. ... Hurricanes rookie forward Lucas Wallmark was reassigned to Charlotte of the American Hockey League. Zykov skated Saturday morning in a yellow no-contact sweater.

 

Who's hot

Forsberg has 18 points (12 goals, six assists) in his past 13 games. ... Johansen has 15 points (three goals, 12 assists) in his past 12 games. ... Josi has 15 points (two goals, 13 assists) in his past 13 games. ... Arvidsson has 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in his past 12 games. … Slavin has nine points (three goals, six assists) in his past 10 games.

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