(23-14-3) Vancouver Canucks vs. Nashville Predators (28-9-4)
7 P.M. | Bridgestone Arena
TV: None | Radio: 102.5 The GameTickets
The Nashville Predators welcome the Vancouver Canucks to Bridgestone Arena for the first time this season on Tuesday night in the second of three meetings between the two clubs in 2014-15. The Preds and Canucks met in British Columbia back in early November, with Nashville recording a 3-1 victory.
Saturday's 3-1 win over Minnesota marked the halfway point of the season for the Predators, and things have gone quite well thus far. Nashville sits tied for first in the NHL with 60 points and holds their best 41-game record in franchise history. The Preds have a winning record against every NHL division, including a 12-3-2 mark against their own Central Division and an 8-2-2 tally against Vancouver's Pacific Division.
After being in net for Nashville's 28th win of the season on Saturday, Pekka Rinne became one of only two goaltenders in the past seven seasons to record each of his team's first 28 wins. Rinne's 28 victories are first among NHL netminders, his 1.98 goals-against average is second and his .930 save percentage and three shutouts slot him third. Of eight goaltenders to have seen overtime in 10 or more occasions this season, Rinne is the only one that is yet to allow a goal during the session.
Captain Shea Weber tallied his 29th point of the season on Saturday, continuing to lead Preds defensemen in points. Weber sits fifth overall among League D-men in the category and has registered 14 points in his past 14 games.
Filip Forsberg leads the Preds and all NHL rookies in points with 38 (14g-24a) through 41 games this season, while his linemate, Mike Ribeiro, has tallied 19 points in his last 19 outings. Ribeiro's 27 assists this season leads the Predators and is tied for 10th overall in the League.
Colin Wilson has five multi-point outings in his last 10 games and 22 points in his last 24 contests. Center Mike Fisher has tallied 12 points in his last 14 games and 14 points in 20 outings overall.
The Sedin twins, Daniel and Henrik, lead the Canucks offense, as has become the norm over their careers with the franchise. Daniel has recorded nine goals and 36 points while Henrik sits just one point behind his brother. Radim Vrbata, who was named to the 2015 NHL All-Star Game, has potted 16 goals and 29 points for Vancouver.
In his first full NHL season with a team other than Buffalo (he also appeared in St. Louis last season), Ryan Miller sees a bulk of the work in net for the Canucks. Miller is 20-9-1 on the season with a 2.48 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage to go along with three shutouts. The Preds did not face Miller earlier in the season, instead seeing Eddie Lack. (Note: Lack is expected to start for Vancouver tonight.)
The Canucks have lost two in a row but are 5-4-1 in their last 10 and 12-6-2 on the road. Nashville has gone 7-1-2 in their last 10, including three wins in a row. The Preds own the League's best home record at 16-2-1 in Music City. All-time, Nashville has posted a 22-31-(2)-5 record against Vancouver, including an 11-13-(1)-5 record at Bridgestone Arena.
Predators Game Day Video:Preds Players: Mike Ribeiro, Filip Forsberg and Mattias Ekholm
What to Watch for: Brent and Willy's Breakdown
Coach Presser: Head Coach Peter Laviolette
The Predators held their session with full participation from healthy skaters, as well as forward Eric Nystrom, who is currently on Injured Reserve with an upper-body injury. Pekka Rinne is expected to get the start in net tonight for the Preds.Projected Nashville Lines:
Forsberg - Ribeiro - Smith
Wilson - Fisher - Neal
Cullen - Jarnkrok - Jokinen
Bourque - Gaustad - BeckDefensemen:
Josi - Weber
Ekholm - Jones
Volchenkov - BartleyGoaltenders:
*Projected StarterCanucks Update:
Vancouver held an optional morning skate at Bridgestone Arena. Eddie Lack is expected to get the start in goal tonight for the Canucks.Vancouver Projected Lines:
D. Sedin - H. Sedin - Burrows
Higgins - Bonino - Vrbata
Matthias - Richardson - Hansen
Dorsett - Horvat - Kassian Defensemen:
Sbisa - Bieksa
Stanton - Tanev
Edler - Corrado