There is only one team the Predators have yet to conquer on their schedule this season, and they'll get another chance to face the Hurricanes tonight in Carolina at PNC Arena. This evening's contest is the sixth of eight meetings between the two temporary divisional foes, and the Preds are 0-4-1 following a 4-1 loss to the Canes on Thursday.
With 11 games remaining in the regular season, Nashville continues to push for the fourth and final playoff spot in the division, and with wins in 13 of their last 17 games, the Preds are eager for a rematch with the Hurricanes.
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Video: Gudbranson excited for shot at playoffs with Preds
"You've got to go back and look at the things that make you successful, look at the things that you can do better and then make sure that you take that and take it to the next game," Preds forward Erik Haula said following Thursday's loss. "There's going to be another game on Saturday, and we get another crack at them."
Video: Coach Hynes says Duchene, Gudbranson will play
The Predators held meetings and off-ice workouts on Friday in Carolina, but they are expected to skate this morning ahead of tonight's game. Nashville's lineup did not change from Tuesday's win to Thursday's loss, and none of the injured Preds are expected to return until next week at the earliest.
Morning Skate Update: Following Saturday's morning skate, Preds Head Coach John Hynes announced forward Matt Duchene will return to the lineup tonight in Carolina. Defenseman Erik Gudbranson, who was acquired via trade from Ottawa last Monday, has joined the team in Raleigh and will make his Predators debut tonight alongside Ben Harpur.
The Good Guys:
Haula scored the lone goal in Thursday's loss, his team-leading second shorthanded marker of the season, and Juuse Saros made 25 saves in net for the Preds. Colton Sissons assisted on Haula's goal to push his point streak to three games (1g-2a); he now has seven points (3g-4a) in his last eight games. Ben Harpur earned his seventh assist and point of the season, a career high in both categories.
Roman Josi remains Nashville's active leading scorer with 27 points (5g-22a), followed by Viktor Arvidsson with 24 points (10g-14a) and Calle Jarnkrok with 20 points (11g-9a). Mikael Granlund also has 11 goals on the season, Rocco Grimaldi has nine and Sissons has seven. Saros is 15-8-0 overall in net; Pekka Rinne is 9-12-1.
Carolina's win over the Preds on Thursday ended a two-game skid and gave them 60 points to sit tied atop the Central Division. Sebastian Aho leads the Canes with 39 points (18g-21a), followed by Vincent Trochek with 36 points (17g-19a) and Dougie Hamilton with 34 points (6g-28a). Nino Neiderreiter has 15 goals, Jordan Staal has 13 and Martin Necas has tallied 11 times. Petr Mrazek got the win on Thursday and is 5-1-1 in net for the Hurricanes, while James Reimer is 14-5-1.
The Predators are now 15-16-(1)-4 all-time against the Hurricanes, including a 6-9-(1)-3 record on the road. The Predators are 1-3-1 in their last five road games versus the Hurricanes; they are 2-6-2 in their last 10 games at PNC Arena.
Notables Versus Carolina:
Mikael Granlund has points in four of his last nine games versus Carolina and 12 points (4g-8a) in 17 career contests against the Hurricanes. Ryan Johansen has 12 points (4g-8a) in 22 career meetings with the Hurricanes and had a four-game point streak (1g-3a) against Carolina from Jan. 27, 2014 to Nov. 4, 2014.
Erik Haula played 41 games for Carolina in the 2019-20 season, tallying 12 goals and 22 points. Ryan Ellis owns nine points (2g-7a) in 14 career games against the Hurricanes, including points in six of seven contests (1g-6a) from Jan. 6, 2015 to March 9, 2019.
Watch & Listen:
Coverage for this evening's 6 p.m. CT puck drop from Raleigh begins at 5:30 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 5 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.