(22-8-2) Nashville Predators vs. Boston Bruins (17-14-3)
6 P.M. | T.D. Garden
TV: FS-TN | Radio: 102.5 The Game
For the second occasion in a week's time, the Nashville Predators are set to get together with the Boston Bruins, this time from the TD Garden in Boston. The Preds defeated the Bruins last Tuesday in Nashville by a 3-2 final in a shootout. Tonight marks the second and final meeting between the two clubs this season and the Predators final contest before the League-wide Christmas break from Dec. 24-26.
Nashville defeated Columbus 5-1 last night, getting two goals from Craig Smith to lead the way. Eleven different Preds tallied points in the win, while goaltender Pekka Rinne picked up his 22nd victory of the season. The Predators have now scored 11 goals in their past two contests.
Rookie sensation Filip Forsberg assisted on Smith's second tally against the Jackets, pushing his point total to 32 on the season, a mark that leads the Preds and all League rookies. Forsberg is converting at a point-per-game pace, having recorded 32 in the same amount of games.
After defenseman Mattias Ekholm potted his first goal of the season on Saturday, fellow blueliner Seth Jones got in on the act (with his first marker of the campaign), tallying Nashville's third goal on Monday against Columbus. The goal for Jones goes along with six assists for a total of seven points from the backend, a total shared with Ekholm. Shea Weber (21), Roman Josi (18) and Ryan Ellis (13) are the Preds defensive point leaders ahead of Ekholm and Jones.
The Bruins currently sit sixth in the Atlantic Division and are just 3-5-2 in their last 10 outings. However, Boston has put together a winning record at home, going 10-6-2 at TD Garden this season. Forwards Patrice Bergeron and Carl Soderberg have identical statlines, posting six goals and 17 assists through 34 games to share the Boston lead in points with 23 each. Both Brad Marchand and Reilly Smith have notched eight goals for the B's, tying for the team lead in that category. Tuukka Rask is 13-10-3 for the Bruins between the pipes, posting a 2.52 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage. Rask was in net during Nashville's win over Boston last Tuesday.
Tonight's matchup against the Bruins marks just the second occasion that the Predators have played back-to-back games this season.
Note: The Predators did not hold a morning skate on Tuesday after playing against Columbus on Monday. Below is the lineup used against the Jackets in the Preds 5-1 win.
Projected Nashville Lines:
Forsberg - Ribeiro - Smith
Wilson - Fisher - Cullen
Beck - Jarnkrok - Neal
Nystrom - Jokinen - Bourque
Roy - Gaustad (IR) - Stalberg
Josi - Weber
Ekholm - Ellis
Bartley - Jones
Extra: Volchenkov (day-to-day, lower-body)Goaltenders:
Pekka Rinne*Probable Starter
Boston Projected Lines:
Lucic - Krejci - Cunningham
Marchand - Bergeron - Smith
Kelly - Soderberg - Eriksson
Paille - Campbell - Griffith/FraserDefensemen:
Chara - Hamilton
Bartkowski - Seidenberg
Krug - MillerGoaltenders:
Niklas Svedberg*Expected starter