The Nashville Predators continue their four-game home stand tonight as they welcome the Colorado Avalanche to Bridgestone Arena. It's the fifth and final meeting between the two clubs; the Preds have won the previous four games against the Avs and have won five straight in the series (dating back to last season).
Nashville is coming off a 6-5 overtime loss on Tuesday night to Calgary, a game that saw the Predators come back from a 4-1 deficit to take a 5-4 lead in the second period, before ultimately falling. Filip Forsberg recorded a second-period hat trick in the outing, his third career regular-season hat trick. P.K. Subban and Colin Wilson also scored for Nashville. Pekka Rinne was pulled in the second period in favor of Juuse Saros, who eventually took the loss.
Ryan Johansen leads the Predators with 41 points, followed by Viktor Arvidsson with 40 and Filip Forsberg with 39. Forsberg's 19 goals are tops on the club, with Arvidsson and James Neal tied for second with 18 tallies apiece. Subban has assists in four-straight contests and Roman Josi has eight points in his last seven games. Rinne owns a 22-15-6 record in net; Saros is 6-5-3.
Colorado (16-39-3) sits last in the League and is 3-6-1 in their last 10, including a 2-1 loss to Los Angeles on Tuesday. Nathan MacKinnon leads the team in points with 39; Matt Duchene is first in goals with 16. Calvin Pickard is 10-19-2 between the pipes; former Predators draft pick Jeremy Smith is 0-1-0; Semyon Varlamov - who had season-ending surgery last month - is 6-17-0.
Video: Preds Web Team looks at Colorado vs. Nashville
Morning Update: The Predators held a full morning skate on Thursday with Harry Zolnierczyk taking rushes on the fourth line in place of Colton Sissons. For a look at the team's projected lineup, click here.
As the Preds look to rebound from Tuesday with a win at home, here are three things to watch for:
Filip Forsberg continues to heat up, and his Tuesday hat trick can only help his cause. He tallied all three goals in the second period for the second time in his career and has five points (4g-1a) in his last four games. Plus, it wasn't just Forsberg that Head Coach Peter Laviolette was praising after Tuesday's game, but his linemates as well in Viktor Arvidsson and Ryan Johansen. Stay tuned to see what the trio can produce tonight.
A number of Preds have solid stat lines against the Avs this season, so keep your eye on these players to see if they add to their totals before the season series is out. Ryan Johansen has six points (2g-4a) in four games against the Avs this season, while Roman Josi has four points (2g-2a) in three games and James Neal owns three points (1g-2a) in three contests. Pekka Rinne is 4-0-0 with a 2.26 goals-against average and .929 save percentage.
Video: Smith, Josi and Fiala preview Avs vs. Preds
Rocky Mountain High:
It's been good news for Nashville when they've gotten together with the Avalanche this season, winning all four meetings to this point, most recently a comeback win in Colorado on Jan. 14. On the contrary, this is a game where the Preds will have to keep their guard up - the Avs are last in the NHL standings, and on paper, the Predators should be able to beat them. But there are no easy games in the League and a 60-minute effort will be needed once more.
Video: Laviolette previews Preds fifth game against Avs
When You Go:
Every Thursday, Bridgestone Arena's doors open at 5 p.m. CT for Hockey Happy Hour with half-priced domestic draft beer and sodas at bars between Barrel House and FOX Sports Tennessee Bar until 6:30 p.m. Season-ticket holders can get the offer through the first intermission by showing their passport.
In support of Hockey is for Everyone Month, the Preds are hosting their second annual Pride Night in support of the LGBTQ community of Middle Tennessee. Home and away players will be taping their sticks with Pride Tape during pregame warmups as prt of the awareness for the You Can Play Project and Hockey is For Everyone.
Take It In:
Tonight's game comes with a 7 p.m. CT puck drop, with pregame coverage on Fox Sports Tennessee beginning at 6:30 p.m. Pregame coverage on 102.5 The Game and the Preds Radio Network commences at 6 p.m.