The boys are back in town.
After starting the 2017-18 season on the road, the Nashville Predators return to the friendly confines of Bridgestone Arena this evening to open their home schedule and raise a banner for the first time in franchise history.
The Preds will unveil their Western Conference Championship banner during a special pregame ceremony before turning their attention to the Philadelphia Flyers and trying to acquire their first win of the season. Nashville has started out 0-2-0 - not the ideal beginning - but far from a reason to panic.
[Click here to see the Predators projected lineup for tonight's game]
"You have to remember, we're two games into the season," Nashville defenseman P.K. Subban said. "We know it's a long season, but at the same time, it's important to play the right way… We're just looking to take the next step forward, and that's at home and making sure that we're doing the right things."
It's been a while since the Preds have played in front of the home crowd, and they want nothing more than to put on a show for the locals while collecting two points.
"I always said it's a catch 22," Preds Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. "Our fans are loud and they're with us and we have to make sure we do our end on the ice to make sure we give them a reason to get noisy. That's what we're working on right now."
Update: Laviolette called defenseman Roman Josi and forward Colton Sissons "game-time decisions" after Tuesday's morning skate. Meanwhile, defenseman Samuel Girard told the media he expects to make his NHL debut tonight. For a projected lineup, click here.
Video: Girard, Arvidsson preview the Preds home opener
Last Time Out:
The Predators fell 4-0 to the Penguins in Pittsburgh on Saturday night. Juuse Saros allowed four goals on 34 shots, while Viktor Arvidsson had a team-high four shots.
Philadelphia has started the season with a 2-1-0 record, including an opening night win in San Jose with three goals from Wayne Simmonds. The Flyers are coming off a 3-2 win at Anaheim on Saturday night and are led offensively by Simmonds and Jakub Voracek who have four points apiece.
Video: Laviolette wants more speed from the Preds
The Predators are 9-9-3-3 against the Flyers all-time with the series dating back to 1999. The two teams split the regular-season series in 2016-17, with the Preds earning a 2-1 shootout victory on Dec. 19, 2016 in Philly following the Flyers' 4-2 win at Bridgestone Arena earlier that month.
Home Ice Advantage:
The Preds are 10-6-1-1 all-time in home openers, but more impressive, Nashville has won eight of its last 10 home openers, including victories in the last four such occasions. Ryan Johansen and his teammates have every intention of bumping that streak to five.
"We love playing at home; it's always special playing in this building," Johansen said. "For us, we need to use the energy and the atmosphere to our advantage and go out there and take care of business."
Video: The Preds host the Flyers in their home opener
Preds Auction Items:
The hurricane relief auction featuring Kenny Chesney autographed items, Pekka Rinne's autographed goalie mask, a Ryan Johansen locker package and Tampa Bay Lightning items will close tonight at 9:30 p.m. (CT). All proceeds from the auction will benefit hurricane relief efforts. Text "Houston" to 52182 to bid and visit the Foundation Area (Section 106/107) to see the items.
Fans can also bid on a new ride. The 2017 Nissan Predzilla GT-R auction will end tonight at 8:45 p.m. Nissan has graciously donated this one-of-a kind Preds-themed car to the Nashville Predators Foundation, which one lucky bidder will win along with two season tickets for the 2017-18 season. This package is valued at $120,000. Text "Nissan" to 52182 to place your bid.
When You Go:
Opening Night in Smashville comes with a number of activities for fans of all ages to enjoy. Beginning at 3 p.m. CT, a Plaza Party presented by Lee Company commences on the Bridgestone Arena plaza. At 3:45 p.m., the annual player Gold Walk begins at 5th and Broadway as part of Tootsie's Birthday Bash before the players enter the arena through a sea of fans.
Doors to Bridgestone Arena open at 5 p.m. in advance of the 7 p.m. start, and fans are asked to be in their seats by 6:45 p.m. to view the Opening Night ceremonies, including the introduction of the 2017-18 Preds and the unveiling and raising of the Western Conference Championship banner.
All fans in attendance will receive a rally towel presented by Nissan and their very own miniature Western Conference Champion banner.
Take It In:
A special one-hour edition of Predators Live begins at 6 p.m. CT on Fox Sports Tennessee ahead of tonight's game with coverage from Lyndsay Rowley and Terry Crisp. Puck drop will be shortly after 7 p.m. with Willy Daunic, Chris Mason and Kara Hammer on the television side and Pete Weber alongside Hal Gill on 102.5 The Game and the Predators Radio Network. Plus, follow @PredsNHL on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat for updates from Smashville.