After completing their season series against Detroit with a 7-1 victory, the Predators return to Nashville for a three-game homestand, and it starts tonight when the Tampa Bay Lightning come to Bridgestone Arena. This evening's contest is the seventh of eight meetings between the two this season; the Preds have one win in six tries against the Lightning in 2021.
Despite that record against Tampa Bay, the Predators continue to be one of the League's hottest teams. They've won 11 of their last 13 games overall, including a three-game winning streak with a shutout of Chicago before a pair of triumphs in Detroit.
The stretch has allowed Nashville to climb back into playoff contention, and they'll need all the points they can get in the final 15 games of the regular season.
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Video: Coach Hynes talks about how he constructs his lineup"The identity that you have to have to win, you can't be a mentally weak team, a physically weak team if you're going to have any success," Preds Head Coach Hynes said following Thursday's win. "We've continued to try to work with that, hammer it home and show some examples and give guys the opportunity to showcase that, and we have. I think when you look at any team that has success, you have to be mentally and physically tough. You have to be able to get through adversity in pro sports, and our guys are doing a good job with a no-excuse mentality. That's what we need to continue here down the stretch."
The Predators did not practice on Friday, but they did receive more disappointing news on the injury front.
Video: Josi touches on injury challenges, facing Lightning
Forward Eeli Tolvanen (lower-body) and defenseman Dante Fabbro (upper-body) both missed Thursday's game in Detroit and are now listed as week-to-week with their respective injuries. Additionally, forward Mathieu Olivier will miss 4-6 weeks with a lower-body injury, and the Preds also placed forward Filip Forsberg on Injured Reserve on Friday.
Those four players join Matt Duchene, Brad Richardson, Ryan Ellis, Mark Borowiecki, Alexandre Carrier and Luca Sbisa as Preds players who are currently out due to injury.
After both making their Predators debuts on Thursday, defensemen David Farrance, who also made his NHL debut, and Tyler Lewington were reassigned to the taxi squad.
Update: The Preds have activated defenseman Ryan Ellis from injured reserve. Additionally, forwards Michael McCarron and Rem Pitlick have been recalled from the taxi squad.
Video: Arvidsson's hat trick lifts Predators to big win
The Good Guys:
Viktor Arvidsson's birthday hat trick led the Preds to their 7-1 trouncing of the Red Wings on Thursday night. Erik Haula, Nick Cousins, Mikael Granlund and Yakov Trenin also found the back of the net, and goaltender Juuse Saros earned his 13th win of the season.
Arvidsson became the first player in Predators franchise history to complete a hat trick with a penalty-shot goal and just the third player in the last 10 years to do so, joining Noel Acciari (Dec. 20, 2019, with Florida) and Sam Steel (March 26, 2019, with Anaheim).
Preds Captain Roman Josi is the team's active leader in scoring with 24 points (4g-20a), followed by Arvidsson with 21 points (8g-13a) and Calle Jarnkrok with 20 points (11g-9a). Granlund has now reached the double-digit mark with 10 goals on the season, and both he (10g-7a) and Mattias Ekholm (5g-12a) have 17 points apiece. Saros is 13-7-0 on the season, while Pekka Rinne has a 9-11-1 record.
The Lightning snapped a two-game skid with a 6-4 win over Columbus on Thursday night in Tampa. Victor Hedman leads the Bolts in scoring with 37 points (7g-30a), followed by Steven Stamkos (17g-17a) and Ondrej Palat (12g-22a) with 34 points apiece. Brayden Point has 16 goals and 33 points, Yanni Gourde has found the back of the net on 13 occasions. Andrei Vasilevskiy is 24-6-1 in net for the Lightning; Curtis McElhinney is 3-4-1.
The Predators are 17-13-(2)-4 all-time against the Lightning, including a 9-6-(0)-3 record at Bridgestone Arena. Overall, the Preds have earned a point in 14 of their last 19 games (11-5-3) and 17 of their last 23 games (14-6-3) against the Lightning.
This will be the seventh of eight meetings between the two teams this season. The Predators are 1-5-0 against the Lightning in 2020-21, picking up a 4-1 win in their last contest on March 15. Nashville's loss to Tampa Bay on Jan. 30 - the first matchup between the teams this season - was its first in regulation against the Lightning since Dec. 29, 2013, a 13-game span.
Notables Versus Tampa Bay:
Colton Sissons notched his first career regular-season hat trick on Jan. 5, 2017, versus Tampa Bay and became the first player in NHL history to score at least three goals in a game with his second being an empty-netter and his third being scored on a goalie.
Ryan Johansen has 12 points (2g-10a) in his last 12 contests against Tampa Bay, a run that included a six-game point streak from Jan. 5, 2017 to Oct. 26, 2019. Calle Jarnkrok owns 15 points (4g-11a) in 15 career games versus Tampa Bay. He tallied a career-high four points (1g-3a) against the Lightning on March 15.
Watch & Listen:
Coverage for this evening's 7 p.m. CT puck drop from Nashville begins at 6:30 p.m. CT with the Predators Live! pregame show on Bally Sports South hosted by Lyndsay Rowley and Terry Crisp. Willy Daunic, Chris Mason and Kara Hammer have the call on the television side, while Pete Weber and Hal Gill will broadcast on 102.5 The Game and the Predators Radio Network. Pregame coverage on the radio begins at 6 p.m. For broadcast information and channel locations throughout the country, click here.
*All of Bally Sports South's channel locations and programming remains the same, just with a new network.
Listen to a Live Radio Feed (only active during the game broadcast window).
Watch a Live Stream of the game on the Fox Sports Go App or Watch on NHL.TV
*As we transition to Bally Sports, one of our primary goals was to ensure that local fans and subscribers everywhere still get their teams whenever and wherever they want. The FOX Sports GO app will remain functional until the transition is complete. Once the Bally Sports app becomes widely available, the FOX Sports GO app will update to the all-new Bally Sports app. If a fan has updates enabled, the app will transition automatically; if not, they will need to manually update the app.