A day trip to the Buckeye State is on the schedule for the Nashville Predators today as they jet off to Columbus to continue their preseason slate.
The Preds and Blue Jackets will meet at 2 p.m. (CT) this afternoon at Nationwide Arena, the fourth of six exhibition contests for the Preds this season. As they did on Friday night in Tampa Bay, the Predators are expected to ice a less-experienced lineup as coaches and management continue to evaluate some younger players as the season inches closer.
"There's going to be opportunities for guys that maybe were on the bubble last year," Nashville Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. "There's still an evaluation occurring. We'll probably get more toward our lineup in the last couple of home games that we have where we're looking at our lines. For me, this is still pretty early in the camp and a good chance to continue to evaluate. Certainly, there's lots of opportunity out there for our players."
Nashville did make some moves on Saturday, taking the roster from 53 to 36 players. Forwards Justin Kirkland, Tyler Moy and Anthony Richard, as well as goaltender Matt O'Connor, were among those assigned to AHL Milwaukee. Click here for full details.
To view today's roster in Columbus, click here.
Last Time Out:
The Predators fell 3-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night at Amalie Arena. Austin Watson scored the lone goal for Nashville, while goaltender Juuse Saros stopped 26 shots on the evening. Nashville is 1-2-0 in the preseason.
The Blue Jackets will be playing their third preseason game in as many days this afternoon when they host the Preds. Columbus won their first game of the exhibition schedule last night, a 3-2 victory in Chicago. Columbus is now 1-2-1 in the preseason.
Nashville has faced Columbus on 23 different occasions since the year 2000, winning 13 of those meetings. The Preds played the Jackets twice in the 2016 preseason, dropping both contests by identical 3-2 overtime scores.
Take It In:
Today's game can be heard on 102.5 The Game and the Predators Radio Network with Pete Weber and Hal Gill on the call. Fans within the Preds/FOX Sports Tennessee viewing area may also tune to NashvillePredators.com for a stream of this afternoon's action. Follow along on Twitter @PredsNHL and me, @brooksbratten, for updates from Columbus.