The Nashville Predators can extend their winning streak to three games when they host the Colorado Avalanche this afternoon at Bridgestone Arena for a special 4:30 p.m. (CT) start. It's the fourth and final meeting of the season between the two divisional foes with Nashville taking two of three games thus far.
After collecting a 5-3 win in Dallas on Tuesday, the Preds returned to Nashville and began a three-game homestand with a 2-1 victory over Los Angeles. The most recent contest featured a power-play goal off the stick of Kyle Turris, but Friday's practice in Nashville still featured even more work on the man advantage.
The team split into two groups, with Predators Assistant Coach Dan Muse dishing out a majority of the instruction for both units. The Preds alternated power-play units on both sides of the ice, with only one group working at a time. The approach was different on Friday, and at this point in the season, with the schedule as compact as it is and practice time at a premium, the group took full advantage of the day.
"You're able to isolate one group, talk to one group and not worry about 12 other players on the ice where they might be standing there or you're wasting their time out there," Preds Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. "We're just trying to manage the day, and I don't think we needed a big sweat. We have an afternoon game coming up, so this is more just details and walking through things in smaller groups."
Forward Miikka Salomaki, who remains on Injured Reserve, was a full participant in drills on Friday and shed his non-contact jersey as well, another positive sign in his recovery. Forward Craig Smith, who was placed on Injured Reserve on Thursday with a lower-body injury, did not participate.
Video: Josi, Rinne lead Predators to 2-1 win against Kings
Last Time Out:
Predators Captain Roman Josi tallied the game-winner for the second-consecutive outing, and Pekka Rinne made 28 saves as the Preds topped the Kings on Thursday.
Ryan Johansen continues to lead the Predators in scoring with 53 points, followed by Josi with 51 and Mattias Ekholm with 41. Viktor Arvidsson's 26 goals are tops on the team, with Forsberg's 21, then Josi and Nick Bonino's 14 up next.
After a skid through parts of January that led into February, the Avalanche have rebounded as of late, including a 7-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday. They started off a back-to-back set last night in Chicago with a 5-3 victory over the Blackhawks.
Mikko Rantanen leads the club in scoring with 78 points, followed by Nathan MacKinnon with 77 points and Gabriel Landeskog with 63. Landeskog has 32 goals on the season, MacKinnon has 30 and Rantanen has 25. Semyon Varlamov stopped 41 shots last night in Chicago, so the Preds could see Philipp Grubauer today for the Avalanche.
Video: Laviolette previews Preds vs. Avalanche
The Predators are 44-29-(5)-3 all-time against the Avalanche, including a 22-13-(3)-1 record at Bridgestone Arena. Nashville has won 12 of its last 13 regular-season games against Colorado, including an 11-game win streak from April 5, 2016 to Nov. 7, 2018. During the win streak, Nashville posted 4.2 goals per game and held Colorado to two-or-fewer goals seven times.
Notables Versus Colorado:
Roman Josi has points (5g-11a) in 12 straight regular-season games versus Colorado, including four multi-point contests. He has 29 (11g-18a) points in 31 career meetings with the Avs. Colton Sissons posted a five-game point streak (7g-1a) against the Avalanche from Oct. 17, 2017 to Nov. 7, 2018. He has 10 points (8g-2a) in 12 career regular-season games versus Colorado; including the postseason, he has 17 points (11g-6a) in 18 games.
Filip Forsberg notched his fourth career hat trick on Feb. 23, 2017 against the Avalanche. He's averaged more than a point per game in his career against Colorado, recording 26 points (13g-13a) in 23 games, including four game-winning goals. Pekka Rinne is 25-8-2 against the Avalanche in his career with a 2.23 goals-against average, .918 save percentage and one shutout.
When You Go:
Bridgestone Arena doors open at 3 p.m. (CT) ahead of today's 4:30 p.m. start for Hockey Fights Cancer Day in Smashville.
Hockey Fights Cancer is a League-wide initiative of the NHL, one that has a special place in the mission of the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund presented by Twice Daily. Today, special guests from the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt will visit Bridgestone Arena and the young hockey fans will have an extra-special, one-of-a-kind experience with the Predators.
Be sure to stop by the Predators Foundation area outside of Section 106/107 to bid on unique auction items and to purchase Hockey Fights Cancer autographed mystery pucks to support the cause.
Watch & Listen:
Coverage for this afternoon's contest begins with Predators Live on Fox Sports Tennessee at 4 p.m. 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. For broadcast information and channel locations throughout the country, click here.
If the Predators are playing hockey, you can count on the game being on at Preds Approved Bars & Restaurants. Locations throughout Tennessee may be seen by clicking here.
Listen to a Live Radio Feed (only active during the game broadcast window).
Watch a Live Stream of the game on the Fox Sports App or Watch on NHL.TV