Predators at Stars preview
Nashville aims to sweep home-and-home, climb in wild-card race; Dallas tries to end slideby Josh Clark / NHL.com Independent Correspondent
PREDATORS (33-26-8) at STARS (37-22-8)
2 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-SW, FS-TN, NHL.TV
The Nashville Predators will try to sweep a home-and-home against the Dallas Stars and climb in the wild-card race when they begin a season-high five-game road trip at American Airlines Center on Saturday.
The Predators trail the Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets by two points for the two Western Conference wild cards into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Juuse Saros made 33 saves in a 2-0 win against the Stars in Nashville on Thursday that ended a three-game losing streak. Filip Forsberg scored on the power play to end a 16-game goal drought.
Goalie Ben Bishop will return for Dallas after missing the past three games because of a lower-body injury.
The Stars, who begin a four-game homestand, are 0-2-2 in their past four games. They have not gone five straight without a win since Oct. 10-18.
Dallas is in third place in the Central Division, six points ahead of Winnipeg and six behind the Colorado Avalanche for second.
Players to watch
Predators defenseman Roman Josi has two goals and four assists during a five-game point streak.
Stars forward Jamie Benn had a six-game point streak (one goal, six assists) before the shutout loss to the Predators.
They said it
"At the times when we played them, we weren't playing our best hockey and we were in a tough situation with the team. A lot has changed, and we play a lot better. We played a lot better than we did the last couple of times against them. I'm sure they're going to adjust to it on Saturday, but we'll be ready for it." -- Predators forward Filip Forsberg on their first win in three games this season against the Stars
"It's nice to say that we have nine more home games, but don't get comfortable with that. We're aware of the other teams and their status. But more importantly, where are we? We know they are going to be desperate, but so should we. Until we see that X, we should be just as desperate. No one should be more desperate than we are. We aren't in and we haven't done anything yet." -- Stars coach Rick Bowness on their upcoming homestand
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
Korbinian Holzer -- Dante Fabbro
Scratched: Yannick Weber, Austin Watson, Colin Blackwell
Injured: Dan Hamhuis (lower body)
Stars projected lineup
Jamie Benn -- Tyler Seguin -- Alexander Radulov
Denis Gurianov -- Jason Dickinson -- Corey Perry
Andrew Cogliano -- Radek Faksa -- Blake Comeau
Mattias Janmark -- Joe Pavelski -- Roope Hintz
Esa Lindell -- John Klingberg
Miro Heiskanen -- Stephen Johns
Jamie Oleksiak -- Andrej Sekera
Scratched: Justin Dowling, Roman Polak, Taylor Fedun
Bishop backed up Khudobin in two of the past three games, including Thursday, and missed a 2-1 overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday. ... Radulov and Sekera did not practice Friday, each taking a maintenance day. ... Polak, a defenseman, practiced after missing the game in Nashville for personal reasons.
Saros is 5-0-1 with a 2.29 goals-against average and .927 save percentage in six games against the Stars. ... Duchene has three points (two goals, one assist) in three games against the Stars this season. ... Radulov has three points (one goal, two assists) in three games against the Predators this season.