The Predators have completed a three-game road trip, and now they're back in Nashville for a two-game set, starting tonight with the Anaheim Ducks in town. It's the third and final meeting between the rivals this season; the Preds defeated the Ducks handedly back in October, before falling in a shootout in Anaheim earlier this month.
Nashville won their first two games of their recent trip, collecting victories in Chicago and Winnipeg, before falling in Edmonton on Tuesday night. Head Coach John Hynes has now been behind the Predators bench for a week, and he's seen his team make improvements, as he and his staff continue to implement fresh concepts on the ice.
Still, there is work to be done. Tuesday's loss in Edmonton provided an example of how the Preds have plenty of room to grow.
"We knew coming into the game that special teams were going to be really important, so that's something we have to continue to work at here," Hynes said. "We didn't get a power-play goal; they got one and then they got the one with the empty net. That was a key to the game that we have to do a little bit better job of. I thought we showed some good signs, and there were some good things we did, but there's some inconsistency in our play, and that's something that we've got to be mentally engaged in and play the right way - play to the identity that we need to play with to be able to have success on a more consistent basis."
Preds defenseman Dante Fabbro returned to the Nashville lineup on Tuesday night after missing five games with an upper-body injury. The team did not practice on Wednesday, as they returned to Tennessee from Alberta.
Video: NSH Recap: Forsberg nets lacrosse-style goal in loss
Last Time Out:
Filip Forsberg scored a lacrosse-style goal, and Colin Blackwell added his second-career tally, as the Preds fell 4-2 to the Oilers. Pekka Rinne took the loss in net, allowing three goals on the night before Edmonton added an empty-netter late in the evening.
Preds Captain Roman Josi leads the team with 46 points, followed by Forsberg with 32 points and Matt Duchene with 31. Forsberg's 16 goals pace the club; Josi and Bonino have 14 goals each, and Calle Jarnkrok has 12. Nashville is one of four teams (Colorado, Minnesota and Toronto) to have 15 players with at least 13 points in 2019-20.
Video: Grimaldi, Hamhuis preview the Ducks
After topping the Predators in a shootout back on Jan. 5, the Ducks have dropped four-straight games, including a 4-1 result in St. Louis on Monday night. Ryan Getzlaf leads the team with 30 points, followed by Jakob Silfverberg with 28 points and Rickard Rakell with 26. Silfverberg has 15 goals on the season; Adam Henrique has 14 tallies. John Gibson is 13-19-3 in net for the Ducks; Ryan Miller is 4-5-2.
The Predators are 32-30-(2)-11 all-time against the Ducks, including a 22-10-(2)-3 record at Bridgestone Arena. Nashville has earned at least a point in nine of its last 10 games against Anaheim (6-1-3).
The Preds have won seven-straight home games versus the Ducks, a run that dates back to Oct. 22, 2015.
Video: Coach Hynes previews the Ducks
Notables Versus Anaheim:
Roman Josi scored his first career NHL goal on Dec. 10, 2011, versus Anaheim. He has 16 points (4g-12a) in 22 career regular-season games and is currently on a four-game point streak (1g-5a) against the Ducks.
Filip Forsberg has nine points (4g-5a) in his last nine regular-season meetings with the Ducks, and Matt Duchene has five points (2g-3a) in his last four games against the Ducks.
Orange County native Rocco Grimaldi has four points (3g-1a) in three career games against his hometown team, including two points (1g-1a) on Jan. 5.
When You Go:
Bridgestone Arena doors open at 5:30 p.m. CT ahead of tonight's 7 p.m. puck drop. It's the fourth Fan Foodie Night of the season, and all fans in attendance will receive 50 percent off all food and soft drink purchases.
If you can't make it to Bridgestone Arena for Thursday's game, you can still catch all the action at The Tin Roof 2 in Franklin. Join the Preds Energy Team at this official Preds Approved location to watch as the Nashville Predators take on the Anaheim Ducks and enjoy the camaraderie of Smashville, while receiving Preds giveaways.
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