The Nashville Predators conclude their three-game homestand tonight at Bridgestone Arena as the Vancouver Canucks come to town. It's the second of three meetings between the two clubs this season; the Preds fell to the Canucks in Vancouver by a 5-3 count just over one week ago.
This evening marks the latest opportunity for the Predators to put an end to their current skid; Nashville has dropped five-straight outings, including a 2-1 loss to Winnipeg on Tuesday.
The Preds say they have seen improvement in their overall efforts in their past two contests, but they also know they're in the business of winning hockey games. It doesn't matter how it happens; they just want to find their way back into the win column.
"We're doing good things," Preds forward Rocco Grimaldi said following Tuesday's loss. "We had a lot of pucks to the net, we had a lot of good opportunities, we hit a post; it's one of those times where it's frustrating and everyone's frustrated… It's something that everyone goes through, but if you're a great team, it's how you respond to this and how do you grow closer together through this. This is something we have to make band us together and not break us apart."
Predators forward Mathieu Olivier made his NHL debut on Tuesday night, and defenseman Steven Santini participated in his first game with Nashville after both were recalled from Milwaukee on Monday. Forward Kyle Turris, as well as defenseman Matt Irwin and Yannick Weber were scratched for the Preds in Tuesday's loss.
Video: NSH Recap: Bonino scores in 2-1 loss to Jets
Last Time Out:
Nick Bonino scored the lone goal for Nashville and Juuse Saros made 23 saves in net during Tuesday's loss. Bonino's tally was his ninth of the season, a mark that's good enough to tie him with Filip Forsberg for the team lead in goals.
Roman Josi continues to pace the Preds in points with 20, followed by Ryan Ellis with 17 and Matt Duchene with 16. Josi has seven goals on the season; Viktor Arvidsson and Calle Jarnkrok have six goals apiece.
After beating the Predators last week, the Canucks have dropped three straight, including a 6-1 defeat in Dallas on Tuesday night. Elias Pettersson leads the team with 25 points, followed by Brock Boeser with 21 points and J.T. Miller with 20. Boeser has nine goals; Pettersson and Miller have eight each and Bo Horvat has seven goals.
Jacob Markstrom took the loss in Dallas; he's 5-6-3 on the season for the Canucks, while Thatcher Demko, who got the win over the Preds last week, is 5-2-1 with a .916 save percentage.
The Predators are 31-36-(2)-6 all-time against the Canucks, including a 17-14-(1)-6 record at Bridgestone Arena. The Preds are 9-5-1 in their last 14 games against the Canucks, including wins in seven of their last 11 meetings.
Notables Versus Vancouver:
Roman Josi has 10 points (10a) in his last 10 games against the Canucks. Calle Jarnkrok has eight points (5g-3a) in his last eight games versus Vancouver, including a game-winning goal and two multi-point efforts.
Nick Bonino has recorded four points (2g-2a) in his last three games against Vancouver and has 14 points (8g-4a) in 23 career matchups with the Canucks. Bonino spent the 2014-15 season with Vancouver, tallying 15 goals and 39 points.
When You Go:
Bridgestone Arena doors open at 5:30 p.m. CT ahead of tonight's 7 p.m. puck drop. It's 80s Night in Smashville, so fans are encouraged to dress up in their best 80s fashions to celebrate.
Prior to the game, the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, also called "The People's Tree," will make a special stop in Smashville on its way from New Mexico to Washington D.C., where it will appear on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol building for the holiday season. Join the Truckload Carriers Association, Trekker Logistics and the Predators for a whistle stop - a free, public event - from 5 to 6 p.m. CT on Thursday on the Bridgestone Arena plaza.
Festivities during the whistle stop will include remarks by public officials, live music from Nashville recording artists, a local children's choir, hot cocoa and cookies, a gift drive for Toys for Tots and commemorative ornaments for purchase.
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