The Predators have returned to Nashville to begin a three-game homestand tonight when they host the Chicago Blackhawks at Bridgestone Arena. It's the second of five meetings between the division rivals; the Preds shut out the Hawks two days before Halloween.
A four-game road trip didn't quite go as planned for the Preds - they beat Detroit before falling to Colorado, San Jose and Vancouver over the last week and a half. With two solid days of practice back at home now complete, the Predators are eager to reverse the trend and get back in the win column tonight.
"It's great to be home, and we love playing here," Preds forward Austin Watson said. "We can't wait to play Saturday night in front of our crowd. And it's a long season, 82 games, you're going to lose some hockey games. It's definitely no reason to panic, but we all want to be better. No one was happy with the way that the road trip turned out as far as wins and losses and, you know, we have a great opportunity coming back home here playing a division game."
Filip Forsberg has scored in four-straight games for the Preds and has points in his last five overall (4g-2a). Forsberg has also recorded at least a point in all but one of his 12 games played this season.
Mikael Granlund returned to practice on Friday after missing Thursday's session due to a maintenance day. The Preds have a full healthy complement of players ahead of tonight's game.
Video: NSH Recap: Granlund, Forsberg score in 5-3 road loss
Last Time Out:
Calle Jarnkrok, Granlund and Filip Forsberg all tallied for the Preds during Tuesday's 5-3 loss in Vancouver. As of games played through Nov. 14, the Preds remain second in the NHL in goals per game (3.78) and are tied for second in goals (68). The Preds have scored at least four goals in 10 of their 18 contests; they've scored at least five goals in seven games.
Captain Roman Josi continues to lead the team in scoring with 18 points, followed by Ryan Ellis with 16 and Matt Duchene with 15. Forsberg paces the club with nine goals, followed by Nick Bonino with eight, then Jarnkrok and Viktor Arvidsson with six each.
Video: Arvidsson, Hamhuis preview Preds vs. Blackhawks
The Blackhawks have points in each of their last three games and have won two straight, including a 5-3 victory in Vegas on Wednesday. Patrick Kane leads the team with nine goals and 23 points, followed by Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome with 15 points apiece. Robin Lehner is 4-3-2 in net for the Hawks with a .934 save percentage.
The Predators are 52-49-(4)-9 all-time against the Blackhawks, including a 30-21-(3)-3 record at Bridgestone Arena. The Preds have earned at least a point in seven of their last nine games against the Blackhawks (6-2-1). Nashville has limited Chicago to two-or-fewer goals in eight of their last nine meetings.
This will be the 115th time the Predators and Blackhawks clash in the regular season - Nashville's most games played against a single opponent.
Video: Coach Laviolette says Preds excited to be back home.
Notables Versus Chicago:
Ryan Johansen has 22 points (5g-17a), including six multi-point games, in 30 career regular-season meetings with the Blackhawks.
Mattias Ekholm has four assists in his last five games versus the Blackhawks. He's recorded 10 points (1g-9a) and a +12 rating in 26 career games against Chicago.
Viktor Arvidsson has scored in two of his last three contests against Chicago, including his record-breaking 34th goal of the 2018-19 season on April 6, 2019, the most in a single season in Preds history.
When You Go:
It's Saturday night in Smashville, and the festivities begin with a Plaza Party beginning at 5 p.m. CT at Bridgestone Arena. Arena doors open at 5:30 p.m. CT ahead of tonight's 7 p.m. puck drop, and all fans in attendance will receive a Predators luggage tag courtesy of BNA airport.
Fans are encouraged to show up loud, proud and Gold for the Saturday Night in Smashville March to the Game this evening. Meet at 4th Avenue & Demonbreun at 6:20 p.m. to join in on Smashville's newest tradition, and bring a sign or make one when you get to the plaza to show off on FOX Sports Tennessee's live presentation of Saturday Night in Smashville.
Watch and Listen:
Coverage for tonight's contest begins with Smashville Live on Fox Sports Tennessee at 6:30 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 6 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