PREDATORS (32-21-12) at AVALANCHE (33-29-4)
TV: 3 p.m. ET; FS-TN, ALT, NHL.TV
Season series: The Colorado Avalanche defeated the Nashville Predators twice. Andreas Martinsen scored at 9:36 in the third period in Colorado's 3-2 victory Dec. 12 at Bridgestone Arena. Tyson Barrie scored the go-ahead goal at 11:00 of the third period in the Avalanche's 5-3 win Jan. 8 at Pepsi Center. Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekholm each had two assists for Nashville.
Predators team scope: Nashville begins a five-game road trip looking to continue its franchise-record point streak. Despite losing 5-4 in overtime Thursday against the New Jersey Devils, the Predators earned a point for the 11th consecutive game. Nashville is 7-0-4 during that stretch. "Every game, you want to keep getting better, even when you are winning," defenseman Shea Weber told the Predators website. "We're still going over things we need to improve on." Nashville's 12-3-4 record since Jan. 21 has propelled the Predators into position as the first wild card out of the Western Conference, six points ahead of the Minnesota Wild. "We can't take anything for granted," forward Filip Forsberg told The Tennessean. "There's only good teams in this League, so we've got to play our best game every single game basically for the rest of the year to make the playoffs here."
Avalanche team scope: Recently acquired defenseman Eric Gelinas won't play, coach Patrick Roy confirmed Friday. "His back has been bothering him," Roy told the Avalanche website. "I'm sure he'll play soon." Gelinas, acquired Monday in a trade with the Devils, made his Colorado debut Tuesday, but missed the 3-2 win against the Florida Panthers on Thursday. Goaltender Calvin Pickard will start. Pickard, who made 38 saves Thursday, is 6-4-1 with a 2.57 goals-against average and .921 save percentage this season. "The thing I like about him is his swagger," Roy said. "He seems very confident right now in front of the net. He looks big and he's moving well. I love that intensity that he's bringing, the compete level."