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game preview

Predators at Lightning preview

Nashville eyes point in 12th consecutive game against Tampa Bay

by Corey Long / Independent Correspondent

PREDATORS (6-3-1) at LIGHTNING (5-3-1)

7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SUN, FS-TN, NHL.TV


The Game

The Nashville Predators look to extend their point streak to 12 straight games against the Tampa Bay Lightning when they meet at Amalie Arena on Saturday.

Goalie Juuse Saros will start for the Predators, who are 9-0-2 in their past 11 games against the Lightning; Nashville has not lost to Tampa Bay in regulation since Dec. 19, 2013. Saros is 0-3-0 with a 4.75 goals-against average and .853 save percentage in three starts this season.

Forward Matt Duchene was expected to be in the Nashville lineup after leaving in the second period of a 4-0 win against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday because of a lower-body injury, but he was scratched despite being a full participant at the morning skate.

Goalie Curtis McElhinney will start for the Lightning, who are 3-1-0 in their past four games after going 1-2-1 in their previous four games. McElhinney is 0-1-1 with a 3.50 GAA and .909 save percentage in two starts this season.


Players to watch

Predators center Ryan Johansen has eight points (two goals, six assists) in a five-game point streak against the Lightning and has 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) in 17 games against Tampa Bay.

Lightning forward Steven Stamkos has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in his past eight games and is three goals shy of 400 in the NHL.


They said it

"We're getting contributions from everybody, up and down the lineup, outside of the guys that have been on the top line. We're getting it from the back end as well. The depth has been good. The attack has been good." -- Predators coach Peter Laviolette

"[Nashville] is a top-tier team in the League. They've just got a plethora of skill … We've had our hands full with them." -- Lightning coach Jon Cooper, whose team is 1-12-2 in its past 15 games against Nashville


Predators projected lineup

Calle Jarnkrok -- Ryan Johansen -- Viktor Arvidsson

Mikael Granlund -- Kyle Turris -- Austin Watson

Rocco Grimaldi -- Nick Bonino -- Craig Smith

Miikka Salomaki -- Colton Sissons -- Anthony Richard

Roman Josi -- Ryan Ellis

Mattias Ekholm -- Dante Fabbro

Dan Hamhuis -- Matt Irwin

Juuse Saros

Pekka Rinne

Scratched: Yannick Weber

Injured: Filip Forsberg (lower body), Matt Duchene (lower body)


Lightning projected lineup

Steven Stamkos -- Tyler Johnson -- Mathieu Joseph

Ondrej Palat -- Brayden Point -- Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli -- Yanni Gourde

Pat Maroon -- Cedric Paquette -- Luke Witkowski

Victor Hedman -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Ryan McDonagh -- Erik Cernak

Braydon Coburn -- Mikhail Sergachev

Curtis McElhinney

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Scratched: Jan Rutta, Carter Verhaeghe

Injured: None


Status report

Forsberg did not make the trip and is skating on his own. … Watson did not take part in the morning skate and will be a game-time decision. … The Predators recalled Richard from Milwaukee of the American Hockey League on Saturday.


Stat pack

Nashville has won two straight and outscored opponents 10-1 after going 1-2-1 in its previous four games. … The Predators are 5-1-1 in their past seven road games against the Lightning. … Ellis has nine assists in his past six games. … Josi has nine points (four goals, five assists) in his past eight games. … Hedman has four points (two goals, two assists) during a four-game point streak.

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