Rise and shine, Smashville.
The Predators are in New York City today to close out their two-game trip and meet the Rangers at Madison Square Garden for an 11:30 a.m. CT puck drop. Nashville is in search of its third consecutive win and also has a chance at points in six-straight games today, the most-recent victory coming in Philadelphia on Thursday night.
After starting the season 0-2, Nashville Head Coach Peter Laviolette continues to see marked improvement in his club, something he and his team believed was only a matter of time.
[Click here to see the Predators projected lineup for today's game]
"It comes down to every player doing a good job of managing their own game, first of all," Nashville defenseman Mattias Ekholm said. "The first two games we were on a bit of a cruise, thought it was going to be easy, with last year in mind. As of late, I think everyone has grabbed the rope and has really pulled together, and we're playing some good hockey. Not too high, not too low, we're looking to keep it going. For sure, it has looked a lot better lately and it's a lot more fun playing."
The Predators practiced on Friday afternoon at Chelsea Piers in New York, and following the skate, defenseman Yannick Weber was removed from Injured Reserve, while center Nick Bonino, who left last Saturday's game in Chicago, was placed on IR.
Last Time Out:
Colton Sissons scored the game's only goal and Pekka Rinne made 28 saves for his 44th career shutout as the Preds defeated the Flyers 1-0. It was the 18th time in franchise history the Preds have won a 1-0 game and also marked the first time Nashville has defeated Philadelphia twice in regulation during the same season.
Sissons now has goals in two-straight games and Rinne has only allowed four goals in his last four starts.
Filip Forsberg saw his scoring streak come to an end but continues to lead the team in points with nine, followed by P.K. Subban with seven and Viktor Arvidsson with five. Forsberg has found the back of the net on five occasions; Arvidsson and Scott Hartnell have each done it three times.
The Rangers have won just once in eight tries this season and have lost their last two games either via overtime or a shootout. New York has lost five straight overall with a 0-3-2 record during that span.
Mats Zuccarello, Kevin Shattenkirk and J.T. Miller all have identical stat lines (2g-5a-7pts) to lead the Rangers in scoring, while Mika Zibanejad has tallied five times this season. Henrik Lundqvist is 1-3-2 in net for the Rangers with a .905 save percentage.
The Predators are 10-11-1-2 all-time against the Rangers and are looking to snap a three-game losing streak at Madison Square Garden, with their last win at the historic venue coming on Dec. 10, 2013. In the early 2000s, Nashville enjoyed considerable success against New York, earning points in six of seven games from Dec. 23, 2000 to March 25, 2004.
Roman Josi has six points (2g-4a) in nine career games vs. the Rangers, including two multi-point efforts, while Cody McLeod has a two-game goal streak against New York. P.K. Subban has a two-game point streak against the Rangers and has 12 points (1g-11a) in 20 career games vs. New York dating back to his time with the Montreal Canadiens.
Take It In:
The Predators Live Pregame show commences at 11 a.m. CT this morning on Fox Sports Tennessee prior to puck drop at 11:30. Willy Daunic, Terry Crisp and Lyndsay Rowley have coverage on the television side while Pete Weber and Hal Gill are behind the mic on 102.5 The Game and the Predators Radio Network. Plus, follow @PredsNHL on Twitter and Instagram for updates from New York.