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Predators at Hurricanes preview

Nashville seeks fifth win in row; Carolina shakes up defense pairs after allowing 11 goals in two games

by Kurt Dusterberg / Correspondent

PREDATORS (14-6-2) at HURRICANES (9-8-4)

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


The Game

The Nashville Predators will try for their fifth straight win when they play the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on Sunday. The Predators are 9-1-0 in their past 10 games following a 2-0 win against the St. Louis Blues on Friday. Pekka Rinne made 34 saves for his 45th NHL shutout, passing Miikka Kiprusoff for most by a Finland-born goalie.

The Hurricanes allowed 11 goals in losing back-to-back games, 5-4 to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday and 6-1 to the New York Rangers on Wednesday. Carolina will separate its top defense pair of Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce, and Klas Dahlbeck is expected in the lineup to take the place of Trevor van Riemsdyk on the third pair.


Players to watch

Predators center Ryan Johansen has eight points (three goals, five assists) in the past five games.

Hurricanes forward Teuvo Teravainen has 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in the past six games.


They said it

"We can find ways to improve, and that's just how it is early in the season. But we're finding ways to win hockey games right now, and that's really all that matters. We'll keep fine-tuning our game and polishing it up and try and work our way to the top of the West and maybe the top of the League." -- Predators center Ryan Johansen following their win against the Blues on Friday


"The [Kyle] Turris trade seems to have given [the Predators] more balance up front. They're very deep down the middle. They're very aggressive in the offensive zone with their defense holding the line and being active in high cycles." -- Hurricanes coach Bill Peters


Predators projected lineup

Filip Forsberg -- Ryan Johansen -- Viktor Arvidsson

Kevin Fiala -- Kyle Turris -- Craig Smith

Pontus Aberg -- Nick Bonino -- Calle Jarnkrok

Miikka Salomaki -- Colton Sissons -- Austin Watson

Roman Josi -- Mattias Ekholm

Alexei Emelin -- P.K. Subban

Matt Irwin -- Anthony Bitetto

Juuse Saros

Pekka Rinne

Scratched: Cody McLeod, Frederick Gaudreau

Injured: Ryan Ellis (knee), Scott Hartnell (lower body), Yannick Weber (lower body)


Hurricanes projected lineup

Sebastian Aho -- Jordan Staal -- Teuvo Teravainen

Brock McGinn -- Victor Rask -- Elias Lindholm

Jeff Skinner -- Derek Ryan -- Justin Williams

Joakim Nordstrom -- Marcus Kruger -- Josh Jooris

Jaccob Slavin -- Justin Faulk

Noah Hanifin -- Brett Pesce

Klas Dahlbeck -- Haydn Fleury

Scott Darling

Cam Ward

Scratched: Phillip Di Giuseppe, Trevor van Riemsdyk

Injured: Lee Stempniak (lower body)


Status report

Carolina is 1-2-0 entering the last of its four-game homestand, the lone win a 4-2 victory against the New York Islanders last Sunday.


Stat pack

Forsberg has three goals and seven assists during a seven-game point streak. … Rinne is 6-1-1 in eight games against the Hurricanes. ... Skinner has eight goals in 11 games against the Predators. … Carolina is averaging the fewest penalty minutes per game in the NHL (5:14).

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