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Game Day: Hurricanes at Preds

The Predators Look to Get Back on Track as They Open a Four-Game Home Stand

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

The Nashville Predators return to Bridgestone Arena tonight to host the Carolina Hurricanes and begin a four-game home stand. The Preds are coming off of a five-game trip out west - their longest of the season - a journey that saw them go 1-2-2, including a shootout loss to Arizona on Thursday.

Filip Forsberg is Nashville's leading scorer with seven points, all of them assists. Ryan Johansen (1g-5a), P.K. Subban (2g-4a), Roman Josi (2g-4a), Mike Ribeiro (1g-5a) and Viktor Arvidsson (4g-2a) are all tied for second with six points apiece. Craig Smith leads the team in goals in five, including three in his last two games. Pekka Rinne is 2-4-2 in net for the Preds this season.

Carolina (2-4-3) sits last in the League with seven points. Jeff Skinner leads the team with five goals and 11 points, followed by Victor Rask who has four goals and 10 points to his name. Goaltender Cam Ward is 1-3-2 on the season for the Hurricanes.

As the Preds look to get on a run at home, here are three things to watch for against the Canes.

Home Sweet Home:

After returning from a five-game, 11-day trip away from Nashville, the Predators are anxious to get back in front of their fans and try to string together some wins. Carolina has a League-worst seven points, one point behind Nashville. A win on Saturday is crucial for the Preds to get the home stand off to a good start, and a backing from the Smashville faithful could add the extra boost the Preds haven't had in two weeks.

Video: The Preds web team previews tonight's game

Second in Line:

The Preds trio of Mike Ribeiro centering Craig Smith and Colin Wilson have gotten good looks during their two games together, with Smith potting three goals in his last two games. Ribeiro has an assist in each of his last two outings, and the line has been responsible for a number of shifts with sustained offensive pressure, leading to a few goals. Look to see if the chemistry between these three continues to build to provide a spark for the Preds.

Video: Ribeiro, Weber and Forsberg preview Canes matchup

60 Minutes:

After Thursday's game in Arizona, a common theme in the Preds locker room from the players dealt with the belief that their effort wasn't strong enough through 60 minutes. Putting together a consistent, 60-minute game has been a challenge for the Preds in the early going, so that will likely be at the forefront of the focus heading into tonight's contest.

Video: Laviolette says he wants more effort from his team

When You Go:

The first 5,000 Preds fans to enter Bridgestone Arena this evening will receive a Predators luggage bag tag courtesy of the Nashville International Airport. A plaza party, presented by Lee Company, begins at 5 p.m. on the Arena plaza, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m.

Projected Lineups: 

Predators Projected Lineup
Forwards    
Viktor Arvidsson Ryan Johansen James Neal
Colin Wilson Mike Ribeiro Craig Smith
Filip Forsberg Calle Jarnkrok Kevin Fiala
Cody Bass Colton Sissons Austin Watson
Defense    
Roman Josi Ryan Ellis  
Mattias Ekholm P.K. Subban  
Matt Irwin Yannick Weber Matt Carle
Goaltenders    
Pekka Rinne Marek Mazanec  
Hurricanes Projected Lineup
Forwards    
Jeff Skinner Victor Rask Lee Stempniak
Joakim Nordstrom Jordan Staal Andrej Nestrasil
Sebastian Aho Elias Lindholm Teuvo Teravainen
Viktor Stalberg Jay McClement Phillip Di Giuseppe
Defense    
Ron Hainsey Justin Faulk  
Jaccob Slavin Brett Pesce  
Noah Hanifin Ryan Murphy  
Goaltenders    
Cam Ward Eddie Lack  

Take It In:

Tonight's game against the Hurricanes begins at 7 p.m. (CT) on Fox Sports Tennessee, with the Predators Live! pregame show kicking off at 6:30 with Willy Daunic, Stu Grimson and Lyndsay Rowley. Pete Weber and Chris Mason call the action on 102.5 The Game and the Predators Radio Network.

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