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Golden Knights at Predators preview

Fleury starts for Vegas; Nashville eyes third straight win

by Robby Stanley / Independent Correspondent

GOLDEN KNIGHTS (26-20-7) at PREDATORS (24-19-7)



The Game

The Nashville Predators will try for their third straight win when they play the Vegas Golden Knights at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday.

The Predators defeated the Washington Capitals 5-4 on Wednesday and the New Jersey Devils 6-5 in a shootout on Thursday. They will try to win three consecutive games for the first time since Oct. 22-29, when they won four straight. 

The Golden Knights, who won 4-3 against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on Friday, hold the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference and are four points ahead of the Predators. 

Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury will return to the lineup after serving a one-game suspension for skipping the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Game. Goalie Pekka Rinne starts for Nashville.


Players to watch

Golden Knights forward Paul Stastny has six points (three goals, three assists) in his past four games.

Predators defenseman Roman Jose has five assists in his past five games. He is second among NHL defenseman with 51 points (14 goals, 37 assists), trailing John Carlson of the Washington Capitals (62 points, 13 goals, 49 assists).


They said it

"He's probably one of the smartest guys on the ice, so he makes your life easier every time he's out there. He talks a lot and he holds on to pucks. Honestly, he's a world-class player and we're lucky to play with him." - Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault on playing with linemate Paul Stastny

"There's been times when we've struggled in games and kind of shied away and have just fallen apart on some nights. To have that adversity early in some of those games and have leads and then have to come from behind shows a lot of character. It's really good to see, especially this time of year." -- Predators forward Colton Sissons on finding ways to rally when trailing


Golden Knights projected lineup

Jonathan Marchessault -- Paul Stastny -- Reilly Smith

Max Pacioretty -- Chandler Stephenson -- Mark Stone

William Carrier -- Cody Eakin -- Alex Tuch

Tomas Nosek -- Nicolas Roy -- Ryan Reaves

Brayden McNabb -- Nate Schmidt

Nick Holden -- Shea Theodore

Jon Merrill -- Deryk Engelland

Marc-Andre Fleury

Malcolm Subban

Scratched: None

Injured: William Karlsson (upper body), Cody Glass (lower body)


Predators projected lineup

Matt Duchene -- Ryan Johansen -- Mikael Granlund

Filip Forsberg -- Kyle Turris -- Viktor Arvidsson

Rocco Grimaldi -- Nick Bonino -- Craig Smith

Colin Blackwell -- Colton Sissons -- Austin Watson

Roman Josi -- Yannick Weber

Jarred Tinordi -- Mattias Ekholm

Dan Hamhuis -- Dante Fabbro

Pekka Rinne

Juuse Saros

Scratched: Yakov Trenin, Matt Irwin, Calle Jarnkrok

Injured: Ryan Ellis (upper body)


Status report

The Golden Knights did not have a morning skate. … Tinordi moved to a pairing with Ekholm at the morning skate. Fabbro moved to the third pairing with Hamhuis.


Stat pack

Fleury is 9-7-1 with a 2.14 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage in 17 games against the Predators. … Rinne is 1-1-1 with a 2.30 GAA and a .933 save percentage in three games against the Golden Knights.

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