The Nashville Predators conclude their season-opening, four-game homestand tonight against the Washington Capitals at Bridgestone Arena. It's the first of two meetings between the Preds and Caps; Nashville will visit Washington D.C. in late January.
Tonight provides an opportunity for the Preds to finish off the beginning stretch with three wins and six out of a possible eight points. Nashville dropped a 5-3 decision to Detroit on Saturday after an Opening Night win over Minnesota, but they bounced back on Tuesday with a 5-2 triumph over San Jose.
Center Matt Duchene has six assists through his first three contests with the Predators, and Filip Forsberg has tallied in each game this season playing alongside his new linemate. The chemistry between Duchene, Forsberg and Mikael Granlund has come almost instantly, and the trio has played an important role in leading the Predators to score 13 goals through their first three games of the season, their highest total in franchise history.
[Read More: Preds Projected Lineup vs. Capitals]
[Read More: Smashville Scope - Week of Oct. 7]
"We have four lines and six defensemen every night that can score a goal for us, and that's a strength," Forsberg said following Tuesday's win. "The defense was a lot better [against San Jose] than the last game we played [against Detroit], and it's still a priority, but we're dangerous up front."
Sixteen of Nashville's 19 skaters to appear in a game have registered a point, and eight players have at least two points. Nine different players have found the back of the net, led by Forsberg's three.
The Predators held an optional practice on Wednesday and are expected to hold a full morning skate ahead of tonight's meeting with Washington.
Video: Josi scores twice as Predators beat Sharks, 5-2
Last Time Out:
Preds Captain Roman Josi scored the game's first two goals to lead his team to a 5-2 win over the Sharks. Forsberg, Kyle Turris and Dante Fabbro also tallied in the win, while goaltender Pekka Rinne made 33 saves on the night for his second victory in as many tries this season.
As of Oct. 8, Duchene's six assists were tied for the League lead in the category. He paces the Preds in points, followed by Forsberg with four points, and then Josi, Ryan Ellis, Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Johansen with three points each.
Video: Carr, Granlund preview Preds vs. Caps
Washington (2-0-2) has yet to lose in regulation through four games this season, but they dropped an overtime decision on Tuesday night to Dallas by a 4-3 final. John Carlson leads the Capitals with five points, followed by T.J. Oshie, Jakub Vrana, Nicklas Backstrom and Lars Eller with three points each. Both Oshie and Vrana have tallied twice through four games; Braden Holtby is 1-0-2 on the season with a .882 save percentage.
The Predators are 15-9-(1)-4 all-time against the Capitals, including a 9-3-(1)-2 record at Bridgestone Arena. Nashville is on a six-game win streak against Washington that dates back to Feb. 25, 2017. In their past 11 meetings, the Preds are 9-2-0 vs. the 2018 Stanley Cup champs.
The Preds have won three straight over the Capitals on home ice and have scored 13 goals in their last two victories over Washington in Nashville.
Video: Coach Laviolette previews Preds vs. Caps
Notables Versus Washington:
Viktor Arvidsson notched his second career hat trick on Jan. 15, 2019, against Washington. He has nine points (6g-3a) in his last five games versus the Caps, including a current three-game point streak (4g-2a).
Filip Forsberg has 11 points (6g-5a) in nine career games against the team that drafted him 11th overall in the 2012 NHL Draft.
Ryan Johansen has tallied more than a point per game against the Capitals in his career, registering 21 points (6g-15a) in 20 career contests. He's on a three-game point streak versus Washington in which he's posted seven points (2g-5a).
When You Go:
Bridgestone Arena doors open at 5:30 p.m. CT ahead of tonight's 7 p.m. puck drop.
Join the Nashville Predators Foundation and purchase your 'I FIGHT FOR' lavender foam puck in honor or in memory of someone fighting cancer. For just $10, you will receive a puck to take home and one to add to the Foundation's Hockey Fights Cancer bin - which represents all those we're fighting for in Smashville. Proceeds benefit the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund presented by Twice Daily. Stop by the Foundation area (outside Section 106/107) to pick yours up tonight.
Please note the updated Bridgestone Arena bag policy for the Predators' 2019-20 season:
The fastest way to enter Bridgestone Arena is to not bring a bag at all. However, clear, clutch or no bags grant guests access to our Express Lanes. Bags that are made of solid material that fit within the 12-inch-by-12-inch-by-6-inch size requirement will be placed through an X-ray scanner upon entry. Backpacks and large bags are prohibited from Bridgestone Arena. All clear bags must be completely clear and may not have any color tinting, printed designs or panels of fabric. All items brought are subject to a security search. Diaper bags that fit within the guidelines of the approved bags will be permitted.
To enhance the Nashville Predators game day experience, Bridgestone Arena has implemented Ticketmaster SafeTix, a new technology designed to provide the best possible entry experience and cut down on the number of fraudulent tickets in the marketplace. Using encrypted, rotating barcodes, SafeTix prevents fraud and ticket scalping through screenshotting and/or photocopying barcodes. Screenshots will no longer be valid for entry to Predators home games.
Watch and Listen:
Coverage for tonight's contest begins with Smashville Live on Fox Sports Tennessee at 6:30 p.m. (CT) 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. 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