The Nashville Predators return from their five-day break tonight to host the best in the West as the Vegas Golden Knights come to town for the second time. It's the third and final meeting between the two this season; Nashville is winless (0-1-1) against Vegas thus far after suffering a 3-0 loss in Nevada on Jan. 2.
After that matchup, however, the Predators rattled off points in three straight, including two wins before heading into their break, and they'll welcome the challenge of seeking their first-ever win against the Golden Knights this evening.
"They're a quick team and they've obviously come together… and we haven't beaten them yet," Preds forward Scott Hartnell said. "We just need to get after them. We're a top team in this Western Conference, we need to catch them and we need to smoke them [tonight]."
[Update: Arvidsson has been placed on Injured Reserve, Frederick Gaudreau has been recalled]
[Read More: Preds Projected Lineup vs. Golden Knights]
[Read More: Preds Eager to 'Make Some Noise']
Forward Viktor Arvidsson left Monday's practice and did not return; there was no immediate update on his status.
Video: Smith, Arvidsson score as Predators edge Oilers, 2-1
Last Time Out:
The Preds extended their winning streak to 11 consecutive games over the Edmonton Oilers with a 2-1 win one week ago. Craig Smith and Viktor Arvidsson tallied in the win, while goaltender Pekka Rinne collected his 21st victory of the season.
Nashville's leading scorer, Filip Forsberg, remains out with an upper-body injury, but defenseman P.K. Subban is now only two points behind Forsberg with 32 on the season. Arvidsson has 27, while Ryan Johansen and Kevin Fiala have 26 points apiece; Craig Smith and Roman Josi have 25 points each.
Video: Ekholm, Turris and Josi talk Preds vs. Vegas
Vegas continues their tear through the League in their inaugural season, but have stumbled on a couple of occasions in the New Year, including a 3-2 overtime loss to Edmonton on Saturday. Overall, however, the Golden Knights remain first in the West with 61 points.
Jonathan Marchessault leads Vegas with 41 points, followed by William Karlsson with 37 and Reilly Smith with 36 points. Karlsson has potted 23 goals on the season, while former Preds winger James Neal has 18 to his name. Marc-Andre Fleury owns a 9-2-2 record in net; Malcom Subban is 11-2-0.
The Predators are 0-1-1 all-time against the Golden Knights, including a 0-0-1 record at Bridgestone Arena. In Nashville's first-ever NHL game against Vegas, the Preds got goals from Calle Jarnkrok, Arvidsson and Nick Bonino but fell 4-3 in a shootout. Jarnkrok scored Nashville's first-ever goal vs. Vegas.
Video: The Preds are back from the break to host Vegas
Notables Versus Vegas:
James Neal was claimed by Vegas from Nashville in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft. Neal spent three seasons in Nashville, scoring 77 goals and adding 59 assists for 136 points in 219 games. Brad Hunt played three games with Nashville in the 2016-17 season, tallying one assist. Brendan Leipsic was a third-round (89th overall) pick by the Predators in the 2012 NHL Draft.
When You Go:
Arena doors open at 5:30 p.m. CT ahead of tonight's 7 p.m. puck drop.
Tonight, the Predators will honor a fan who lost his life in the Las Vegas tragedy in October of 2017. The Sonny Melton Scholarship Fund has been established to honor the life and legacy of Sonny Melton, a Big Sandy, Tennessee native who was the first identified victim of the tragedy.
A graduate of Union University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, he was a registered nurse at Henry County Medical Center in Paris, Tennessee. To celebrate Sonny's life, the Sonny Melton Scholarship Fund has been created to assist graduating Big Sandy High School seniors who desire to pursue a career in nursing. To assist in endowing the fund, Apex Bank has committed to match the first $50,000 in private contributions to the fund. Sonny's uncle and aunt, Rich and Donna Plumley, have matched Apex Bank's $50,000 initial contribution and are actively advocating for more donors. For more information and to donate, visit sonnymeltonfund.com/donate.
Video: Laviolette and the Preds return from the break
Watch & Listen:
Tonight's game from Nashville comes with a 7 p.m. CT start time with Predators Live Pregame beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Fox Sports Tennessee, now on channel 1250 for Xfinity subscribers. The game can also be heard on 102.5 The Game and the Predators Radio Network. Plus, follow @PredsNHL on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat for updates from Bridgestone Arena.
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