The Nashville Predators will try to remain perfect on their current homestand, as the Colorado Avalanche come to town tonight for a special 6 p.m. CT puck drop at Bridgestone Arena. This evening's contest is the second of four meetings between the two division rivals this season; the Preds and Avs will face each other two more times in March.
After enduring a three-plus month stretch where the Predators were unable to string together a single three-game winning streak, the group has now done so twice in the past three weeks, and they're currently on one now, with all of those triumphs coming at home.
The most recent came on Thursday night in what was perhaps one of the most dramatic comebacks in franchise history. Mikael Granlund tied the game with 0.1 of a second remaining in regulation, before he then won it in overtime to give Nashville a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames.
Video: Hamhuis, Blackwell preview Colorado
That victory left the Predators with another boost of confidence, and while they certainly took a moment to enjoy the accomplishment, Head Coach John Hynes was quick to caution Thursday's effort guaranteeing another win tonight.
"The energy is going to be important for [the Colorado game]," Hynes said following Thursday's win. "It was about not getting too high or too low, but to enjoy it tonight - let's take the day tomorrow and make sure we come back here on Saturday, not lost in this game either. This win isn't going to help us beat Colorado. What's going to help us is our preparation for Colorado. Winning the type of game that we won tonight, if we get into situations in games in the future, I think that's where you really benefit from it."
Video: Coach Hynes previews the Avalanche
The Predators were given the day off on Friday. Prior to Thursday's game, Nashville reassigned goaltender Connor Ingram to Milwaukee of the AHL as Pekka Rinne returned to the ice after dealing with an illness. Juuse Saros has started each of the past three games for the Predators.
Video: Granlund's heroics lifts Predators past Flames
Last Time Out:
In addition to Granlund's two goals, Colton Sissons and Roman Josi also tallied for the Preds in their overtime thriller against the Flames. Saros is now 14-10-4 on the season, and he's won nine of his last 12 starts.
Josi leads the Preds with 58 points, followed by Filip Forsberg with 43 points and Matt Duchene with 38. Forsberg has 18 goals on the season, while Granlund, Craig Smith and Nick Bonino each have 17 tallies. Ten Preds skaters have scored at least 10 goals this season, tied with St. Louis and Colorado for the most in the NHL.
Tonight marks the second half of a back-to-back for the Avalanche; they defeated the Hurricanes last night in Carolina by a 3-2 final, the fifth-straight win for Colorado.
Nathan MacKinnon leads the Avs with 33 goals and 85 points, followed by Cale Makar with 46 points and Andre Burakovsky with 20 goals and 45 points. Mikko Rantanen has 19 goals and 41 points; Nazem Kadri has 19 goals and 36 points. Pavel Francouz got the win last night for the Avs, so the Preds could face Michael Hutchinson tonight in net.
The Predators are 44-31-(5)-3 all-time against the Avalanche, including a 22-14-(3)-1 record at Bridgestone Arena. The Preds have won five of their last seven games over the Avalanche on home ice, scoring at least four goals in every victory.
Nashville has won 12 of its last 15 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:
Matt Duchene was drafted third overall by the Avalanche in the 2009 NHL Draft. He recorded 428 points (178g-250a) in nine seasons with Colorado from 2009-17.
Roman Josi recorded a 12-game point streak versus Colorado (5g-11a) from March 28, 2016 to Jan. 21, 2019. He's recorded a point in 23 of his 33 career games against the Avalanche, tallying 11 goals and 30 points.
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 14 career regular-season games versus Colorado; including the postseason, he has 17 points (11g-6a) in 20 games against the Avs.
Filip Forsberg notched his fourth career hat trick on Feb. 23, 2017, versus the Avalanche. He's averaged more than a point per game in his career against Colorado, recording 27 points (14g-13a) in 25 games, including four game-winning goals.
When You Go:
Bridgestone Arena doors open at 4:30 p.m. ahead of tonight's special 6 p.m. CT puck drop.
Fans are encouraged to show up loud, proud and Gold for the Saturday Night in Smashville March to the Game tonight. Meet at 4th Avenue & Demonbreun at 5:20 p.m. CT to join in on Smashville's newest tradition.
Fox Sports Tennessee's Saturday Night in Smashville pregame show will bring the excitement of live television to the heart of downtown Nashville and kickstart the Saturday party on Broadway. Join Preds broadcasters Terry Crisp and Lyndsay Rowley as they go live from the Bridgestone Arena Plaza and feature fans along with Voice of the Preds Pete Weber.
Watch and Listen:
Coverage for tonight's contest begins with Smashville Live on Fox Sports Tennessee at 5:30 p.m. with Lyndsay Rowley and Terry Crisp. 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. Pregame coverage on the radio side begins at 5 p.m. CT with Darren McFarland. 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 Go App or Watch on NHL.TV