(26-23-11) Colorado Avalanche vs. Nashville Predators (40-13-7)
7 P.M. | Bridgestone Arena
TV: FS-TN | Radio: 102.5 The Game | Nissan Pregame 6:30 P.M. Tickets
The Nashville Predators are back at Bridgestone Arena after a three-game road trip, set to kick off a three-game home stand of their own, beginning tonight with the Colorado Avalanche.
Tuesday's contest is the fourth of five meetings between the two clubs this season and the final outing in Nashville. The Preds are 2-1-0 against the Avs thus far in 2014-15.
The Predators became the first NHL team to hit the 40-win mark this season with a shootout victory on Sunday in Buffalo. It was Nashville's 60th game of the season, setting a new franchise record for the fewest games to 40 wins; the previous record was 61 games set in the 2006-07 season.
The shootout victory, the Preds sixth of the season, ties the team for the second-most shootout wins in a season in franchise history. Nashville has won via the shootout or in overtime on 12 occasions this season, also tied for the second most in club history and tied for first overall in the League this season.
Filip Forsberg recorded the game-winning shootout tally for the Preds on Sunday in Buffalo, his third shootout-deciding marker of the season, tying him for second in the NHL. Forsberg has also potted five game-winning goals this season. The Swede leads the team in points (20g-31a, 51pts) and has 12 points in his last 17 games. Among rookies, Forsberg maintains the top spot in goals, assists, points, power-play goals and so on.
Mike Ribeiro scored a power-play goal for the Preds with less than five minutes remaining in regulation on Sunday to tie the game and push it into overtime. The goal, Ribeiro's 12th of the season, puts the Montreal native one point back of the team lead in points this season. Ribeiro's 50 points are the most he has tallied since the 2011-12 season with Dallas. In his last 38 games, Ribeiro has 33 points (7g-26a). He is tied for fourth on the team in power-play points (10) and leads Nashville forwards in average time on ice (18:40).
Defenseman Cody Franson tallied an assist on Sunday, his first point with the Predators since the 2010-11 season. Franson's helper, which game on Ribeiro's power-play goal, game one week after he was acquired from Toronto along with forward Mike Santorelli. Both Franson and Santorelli are set to make their (second) Preds home debuts tonight against Colorado. On the season, Franson has 16 power-play points, tied for ninth among League defensemen, and 33 points, which puts him in the NHL's Top 25 in scoring by blueliners.
Colin Wilson is in the midst of a career year with the Preds, totaling 39 points (19g-20a) this season. Wilson is one goal shy of hitting the 20-goal plateau for the first time in his career and is just one assist away from 100 for his NHL career.
The Avalanche, who sit last in the Central Division but still maintain a winning record, have won two in a row and are 4-1-0 in their last five outings. Colorado is led on offense by Jarome Iginla with his 18 goals and 41 points. Iginla's point totals are followed closely by teammates Alex Tanguay (39), Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog (38), Tyson Barrie and Nathan MacKinnon (36), and Ryan O'Reilly (34). Landeskog enters tonight's contest riding a six-game point streak.
Semyon Varlamov, who shut out the Preds 3-0 in the most recent meeting between the two teams, is 18-15-7 on the season with a 2.59 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage to go along with four blank sheets. Colorado is 10-11-8 on the road this season.
Dating back to Nov. 8, 2008, the Predators are 16-8-3 against the Avalanche, including an 8-0-0 mark from Jan. 20, 2011 to April 7, 2012. All-time Nashville is 27-24-(5)-3 versus Colorado and 16-10-(2)-2 on Bridgestone Arena ice.
Predators Game Day Video:Preds Players: Cody Franson, Mike Santorelli and Pekka Rinne
What to Watch for: Willy and Brent's Breakdown
Coach Presser: Head Coach Peter Laviolette
Morning Skate Update:
The Preds had full participation at this morning's skate, with the exception of defenseman Anton Volchenkov (IR). The club reassigned
defenseman Anthony Bitetto back to Milwaukee prior to the skate. Nashville Morning Skate Lines:
Forsberg - Ribeiro - Neal
Smith - Fisher - Cullen
Santorelli - Jarnkrok - Wilson
Nystrom - Gaustad - Bourque
Josi - Weber
Ekholm - Franson
Bartley - Jones
Carter HuttonProbable Starter*Colorado Projected Lines:Forwards:
Landeskog - O'Reilly - MacKinnon
Talbot - Duchene - Iginla
Tanguay - Mitchell - Everberg
McLeod - Cliche - CareyDefensemen:
Holden - Stuart
Guenin - Barrie
Redmond - ElliottGoaltenders:
Reto Berra*Projected Starter