The Predators look to extend their winning streak to five games tonight as they host the Calgary Flames on Halloween at Bridgestone Arena. It's the first of three meetings between the two clubs this season; both teams will host the other in the month of February.
The Preds are already in the midst of their third homestand this season, and they've been victorious in six of their eight outings in Nashville thus far. The latest triumph came Tuesday night when Pekka Rinne and the Predators blanked the Chicago Blackhawks, 3-0. Nick Bonino recorded his third-career hat trick in the contest as Rinne posted back-to-back shutouts for the first time since winter of 2018.
Nashville has only allowed three goals in their last four games, and as their offense continues to produce, their defensive efforts have been on the upswing too.
"When you hunt like you did in the offensive zone tonight, at some point it turns over and you have to make sure you're moving in the right direction and have the proper layers," Preds Head Coach Peter Laviolette explained following Tuesday's win. "That was a big part of the problem, I think, in the first six to eight games where we just continued to press offensively. That left us short defensively. It really wasn't a major fix. It was more of a quick fix and the realization that we have to do the right things defensively. When we do, we support our goaltenders the right way and we can play a good defensive game."
Matt Duchene was back in the Nashville lineup on Tuesday after missing Saturday's game with a lower-body injury. Filip Forsberg remained out with his lower-body injury, but he has resumed skating with the team, a good sign in his recovery.
The Predators did not practice on Wednesday, but they did reassign forward Colin Blackwell to the Milwaukee Admirals.
Video: Bonino, Rinne power Predators to 3-0 victory
Last Time Out:
Bonino scored in each period of Tuesday's game to complete his hat trick, and forward Rocco Grimaldi recorded the primary assist on each of Bonino's goals. It was the first three-point game of Grimaldi's career. Rinne's shutout was the 57th of his career, good enough to move him into a tie for 20th all-time in shutouts in NHL history. The Predators also recorded 51 shots on goal on Tuesday against the Hawks, a number that's tied for their third-most in a game in franchise history.
Defensemen Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis co-lead the Predators with 13 points apiece, followed by Duchene with 11 points, and then Bonino and Ryan Johansen with 10 each. Bonino's six goals lead the club, followed by Josi, Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson with five apiece.
Video: Filip Forsberg discusses possible return tonight
The Flames (6-6-2) have lost three of their last four, including a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night. Johnny Gaudreau leads the Flames with 11 points, followed by Elias Lindholm and Matthew Tkachuk with 10 points each. Lindholm has eight goals on the season, and Tkachuk has four. Goaltender David Rittich has seen a majority of the starts this season for Calgary going 5-4-2 with a .910 save percentage. Cam Talbot is 1-2-0 in his three starts.
The Predators are 34-25-(4)-11 all-time against the Flames, including a 19-12-(1)-6 record at Bridgestone Arena. In the previous 10 meetings between the two clubs, Nashville is 4-3-3.
Nashville is seeking its first home win against Calgary since March 23, 2017. The Preds have only lost three times to the Flames in regulation since March 29, 2015, and have picked up at least one point in 19 of their last 26 games.
Video: Peter Laviolette previews tonight's matchup with CGY
Notables Versus Calgary:
Roman Josi has two goals and 15 assists in 23 career games versus Calgary. Ryan Ellis has seven points (3g-4a) in his last seven games against Calgary, five of which (3g-2a) came during a four-game point streak from Jan. 19, 2017 to Feb. 15, 2018.
Ryan Johansen has five points (3g-2a) in his last six meetings with the Flames, and 11 (5g-6a) in 21 career games against Calgary, and Kyle Turris has six points (6a) in his last four games against Calgary, including a three-assist effort on Oct. 13, 2017.
When You Go:
It's Halloween Night at Bridgestone Arena, and there are plenty of treats to enjoy.
The first of six bobblehead giveaways will take place tonight as 8,000 Filip Forsberg bobbleheads are distributed to fans. To gain early access, fans with a Predators debit card can take advantage of the Fifth Third Bank early entry at 4:30 p.m. CT. Bridgestone Arena doors open at 5:30 p.m. to all fans.
Fans who arrive in costume will be considered for the Best Adult Costume Contest. The winner will be selected as the Hunt Brothers Fan of the Game!
All attendees at Thursday's game are encouraged to bring a bag of candy to donate to Treats for Troops. The Predators Foundation will also be collecting full size and travel size toiletries, new socks, jerky, lip balm, trail mix and hand warmers on Thursday and Saturday to support Room in the Inn in Nashville as part of the Collect for Vets program.
Celebrate Halloween with the Preds Energy Team and GNASH as they host a Hockey Halloween Trick or Treat event before the game. Trick or Treating will start at 5:30 p.m. around the Lower Bowl concourse. Costumes are encouraged, but please review the Bridgestone Arena guidelines before entering the arena. This event is free, but you must have a game ticket to enter.
A prize will be awarded for the Most Creative Costume. The contest is open to children ages 12 and under, who can be entered at the Kids Club table. The winner will receive four VIP tickets to attend the Jurassic World Live Tour at Bridgestone Arena in December.
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