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Preview: Predators at Capitals

Kevin Shattenkirk returns from suspension for Washington; forward Colin Wilson out for Nashville

by Katie Brown / Correspondent

PREDATORS (34-24-11) at CAPITALS (45-17-7)



Predators team scope

The Nashville Predators are two points ahead of the St. Louis Blues for third place in the Central Division with 79 points and have earned a point in 10 of their past 12 games (7-2-3). Nashville has trailed by at least two goals in five of its past 14 games and has come back to win three of them. "Lately we've been playing pretty good," forward Filip Forsberg said. "We've been getting points in a lot of the games and obviously we had a huge, huge comeback win against Winnipeg (5-4 overtime win on Monday). We'll just try to take that with us into tonight's game. We obviously want to go out and take the lead. Especially at home they've been playing well, they've been scoring a lot of goals. So it's going to be a tough challenge for sure." Forward Colin Wilson will not play because of a lower-body injury; Kevin Fiala will replace him in the lineup. Goaltender Pekka Rinne will play in his 500th NHL game. 


Capitals team scope

Washington Capitals defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk returns after serving a two-game suspension for charging Los Angeles Kings defenseman Kevin Gravel on Saturday. "I've just been trying to tell myself to make sure I'm playing the same way, not playing timid at all," Shattenkirk said. "More importantly, jump back in with these guys and give any sort of boost that I can. I felt good out there today, working with the guys again and work getting some power play reps in. I think tonight should be pretty seamless, the first couple shifts I have to make sure I keep it simple." Washington ended a four-game losing streak with a 4-2 win against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday and leads the Pittsburgh Penguins by two points for first place in the Metropolitan Division, Eastern Conference and NHL. Goaltender Braden Holtby, who leads the NHL with a 2.03 goals-against average and is fifth in save percentage (.926), will start.


Predators projected lineup

Filip Forsberg -- Ryan Johansen -- Viktor Arvidsson

Kevin Fiala -- Calle Jarnkrok -- James Neal

PA Parenteau -- Mike Fisher -- Craig Smith

Cody McLeod -- Colton Sissons -- Austin Watson

Roman Josi -- Ryan Ellis

Mattias Ekholm -- P.K. Subban

Matt Irwin - Yannick Weber

Pekka Rinne

Juuse Saros

Scratched: Vernon Fiddler, Brad Hunt, Anthony Bitetto

Injured: Miikka Salomaki (lower body), Colin Wilson (lower body)


Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Nicklas Backstrom -- T.J. Oshie

Marcus Johansson -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Justin Williams

Brett Connolly -- Lars Eller -- Jakub Vrana

Daniel Winnik -- Jay Beagle -- Tom Wilson

Karl Alzner -- John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov -- Matt Niskanen

Brooks Orpik -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: Taylor Chorney, Nate Schmidt

Injured: Andre Burakovsky (hand)


Status report

Burakovsky is expected to take part in a full practice Friday, coach Barry Trotz said. Washington will then determine if he'll travel for the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.


Who's hot

Forsberg has 18 points (12 goals, six assists) in his past 12 games. ... Johansen has 14 points (three goals, 11 assists) in his past 11 games. ... Neal has four points (two goals, two assists) in a four-game point streak. ... Josi has 14 points (two goals, 12 assists) in his past 12 games. ... Backstrom has seven points (two goals, five assists) in his past six games.

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