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Predators at Avalanche preview

Nashville seeks record-tying eighth straight win; Colorado is 13-1-0 in past 14 home games

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

PREDATORS (41-14-9) at AVALANCHE (35-24-5)

3 p.m. ET; SN, ALT, FS-TN, NHL.TV 


The Game 

The Nashville Predators will try for their eighth consecutive win, which would match their longest winning streak, when they play the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Sunday. They won eight straight from Oct. 5-25, 2005. 

Goalie Pekka Rinne is expected to start for the Predators, who lead the Vegas Golden Knights by four points for first place in the Western Conference, and the Winnipeg Jets by six points for first place in the Central Division.

The Avalanche could move into the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference with a win. They are one point behind the Anaheim Ducks, who hold the second wild card, and four points behind the Dallas Stars and Minnesota Wild for third place in the Central Division.

Goalie Semyon Varlamov will make his eighth consecutive start for Colorado, which has won three straight games and is 13-1-0 in the past 14 at home.


Players to watch

Predators defenseman Roman Josi has 12 points (one goal, 11 assists) in his past six games.

Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon has 11 points (six goals, five assists) in a four-game point streak. He has 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in his past six games.


They said it 

"Everybody's getting a boost from it. Everybody's excited Mike's back. He was such a big part of our team. Our team was doing well, but to add him back, I think just strengthens the room, strengthens the depth, strengthens our play on the ice." -- Predators coach Peter Laviolette, on the return of forward Mike Fisher


"Nashville, it's always a challenge. They're one of the best teams in the League and they're playing real well right now. They have a lot of weapons, they're a real deep team, so it's going to be another challenge for us." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar


Predators projected lineup

Filip Forsberg -- Ryan Johansen -- Ryan Hartman

Kevin Fiala -- Kyle Turris -- Craig Smith

Scott Hartnell -- Nick Bonino -- Calle Jarnkrok

Austin Watson -- Mike Fisher -- Colton Sissons 

Roman Josi -- Ryan Ellis

Mattias Ekholm -- P.K. Subban

Alexei Emelin -- Yannick Weber

Pekka Rinne

Juuse Saros

Scratched: Viktor Arvidsson, Anthony Bitetto, Matt Irwin, Miikka Salomaki

Injured: None 


Avalanche projected lineup

Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen

Tyson Jost -- Alexander Kerfoot -- J.T. Compher

Matt Nieto -- Carl Soderberg -- Blake Comeau

Gabriel Bourque -- Dominic Toninato -- Nail Yakupov

Nikita Zadorov -- Tyson Barrie

Patrik Nemeth -- Samuel Girard

Duncan Siemens -- Anton Lindholm 

Semyon Varlamov

Spencer Martin

Scratched: Mark Alt

Injured: Sven Andrighetto (lower body), Mark Barberio (upper body), Jonathan Bernier (concussion), Andrew Hammond (concussion), Erik Johnson (upper body), Vladislav Kamenev (fractured arm), Colin Wilson (concussion)


Status report

Bernier practiced Saturday and might play as early as Tuesday against the Chicago Blackhawks.


Stat pack

Fisher scored and won 11 of 13 face-offs (85 percent) in his season debut Friday against the Vancouver Canucks. ... Rantanen has seven points (two goals, five assists) in a three-game point streak.  

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