It's time to begin.
The Nashville Predators are in the state of Massachusetts tonight for the commencement of their 20th NHL season, a slate that begins this evening against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden.
Coming off the most successful campaign in franchise history, the Preds are eager to prove themselves once more, a task that is never easy, no matter who the defending Western Conference Champions are. But one thing is certain - when Head Coach Peter Laviolette says his club is ready to play, they usually back it up.
[Click here to see the Predators projected lineup for tonight's game]
"This group will have to makes its own way," Laviolette said. "Our group is going to have to go out and fight for every game and every opportunity that they get to be successful. We're going to have to grow something internally like we did last year, and I think there's confidence that those guys can do it, but what happened last year, what happens the year after this one, really all that matters is what happens this year. Our guys are ready to play. Our guys will be ready."
Video: The Preds open the season tonight in Boston
The Preds are 10-7-1 all-time in regular-season openers, including a 3-4-0 record on the road. Nashville has won all three of their previous season openers under Laviolette dating back to 2014.
Nashville set its Opening Night roster on Tuesday afternoon, which includes 19-year-old defenseman Samuel Girard. For the full roster, click here.
The Predators are 11-11-1-2 all-time against the Bruins, including an 8-5-0 record at home and 3-6-1-2 mark in Boston. Nashville has won three of the last four games vs. Boston, including a season-series sweep of the Bruins in 2015-16.
The Bruins begin the season with familiar names like forwards Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak, defensemen Zdeno Chara, plus goaltender Tuukka Rask. Marchand led the Bruins in goals (39) and points (85) last season.
Feels Like the First Time:
Scott Hartnell, then playing in his first season with the Predators, scored his first career NHL goal vs. Boston on Nov. 11, 2000. P.K. Subban tallied his first career NHL goal at Boston on Nov. 11, 2010 as a member of the Montreal Canadiens.
Video: Preds try to channel their best Boston accents
Take It In:
Tonight's game from Boston begins at 6 p.m. CT, with the Predators Live Pregame starting at 5:30 p.m. on Fox Sports Tennessee. Willy Daunic, Chris Mason and Lyndsay Rowley have the call on the television side, while Pete Weber and Hal Gill get behind the mics on 102.5 The Game and the Predators Radio Network. Plus, follow @PredsNHL on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat for updates from Boston.