(15-13-2) Boston Bruins vs. Nashville Predators (19-8-2)
7 P.M. | Bridgestone Arena
TV: FS-TN | Radio: 102.5 The Game
The Nashville Predators return to Bridgestone Arena tonight for their final home game before the Christmas holiday, welcoming the Boston Bruins to town. Tonight's matchup is the first of two scheduled on the season, with the finale set to take place in just one week in Boston.
On the season, Nashville's record on home ice is 11-2-1, a mark that contains 11 one-goal decisions, including one that ended in overtime and three more that needed a shootout.
Predators General Manager David Poile is just one win away from slotting into second place all-time in wins by an NHL GM. Poile currently has 1,170 victories to his name, a number that is tied with former Bruins GM, Harry Sinden. Poile, who has been at the helm of the Predators since the franchise's inception in 1998, ranks second in all-time games as a general manager (2,405) and is the third-longest tenured GM in League history at 32 full seasons in the position.
With 19 wins on the season, Preds goaltender Pekka Rinne leads League backstops in the category. His 1.75 goals-against average is third among all NHL goalies and his .937 save percentage ranks fourth overall. Rinne also recorded his third shutout of the season on Dec. 9 against Colorado, tying him for third in the League in the category.
Rookie sensation Filip Forsberg continues to add points for the Preds, leading the team and all NHL rookies with 29 points this season. His four game-winning goals tie him for first in the League and his plus/minus of +24 leads all NHL skaters.
Across the rink, Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron leads his club in points with 20 (5g-15a), while Brad Marchand paces the B's in goals with eight. Normally near the top of the Eastern Conference, the Bruins find themselves right in the middle of the pack out east, having lost two in a row and owning a record of 3-5-2 in their last 10 contests. Boston is 6-7-0 on the road this season.
Tonight marks the 20th all-time meeting between the two franchises, with the home team winning seven of the last eight games dating back to Dec. 30, 2006. Nashville is 7-9-(1)-2 all-time against the Bruins and are 5-5-(0)-0 in Music City. Off the ice, Boston is the only team Nashville has not made an additional transaction with (trade or waiver claim) since the Expansion Draft when Nashville selected Mike Sullivan from the Bruins on June 26, 1998.
Predators Game Day Video:What to Watch for: Brent and Willy's Breakdown
Preds players: Pekka Rinne, James Neal, Eric Nystrom
Coach Presser: Head Coach Peter Laviolette
Morning Skate: Nashville Morning Skate Update:
All healthy Predators players participated in this morning's skate, plus forwards Viktor Stalberg (lower-body) and Taylor Beck (concussion). Today marked the first time that Beck has skated with the team since his concussion was diagnosed. Nashville Lines:Forwards:
Forsberg - Ribeiro - Neal
Wilson - Fisher - Cullen
Roy- Jarnkrok - Smith
Nystrom - Jokinen - BourqueDefensemen:
Josi - Weber
Ekholm - Ellis
Volchenkov - JonesGoaltenders:
Carter Hutton*Projected StarterBoston Projected Lines:Forwards:
Marchand - Bergeron - Smith
Lucic - Kelly - Cunningham
Fraser - Soderberg - Eriksson
Paille - Campbell - GriffithDefensemen:
Chara - Hamilton
Morrow - Seidenberg
Krug - MillerGoaltenders:
Niklas Svedberg*Projected Starter