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Nashville Returns Home from Back-to-Back Sweep to Finish Season Series with Vegas

by Max Schneider @Max_Schneider15 / NashvillePredators.com

After a four-point, back-to-back set that saw two comeback victories, the Nashville Predators will aim for their third consecutive win, this time at Bridgestone Arena against the Vegas Golden Knights. This will be the teams' third and final meeting of the season; the Predators won the first in Vegas in October and lost in a shootout at home back in November. Tonight, Nashville will look to stay hot and take the rubber match.

On the heels of a tough loss to Toronto on Monday, the Preds embarked on a two-game road trip, needing points to keep pace in their chase for a playoff spot.

They got the maximum.

Nashville followed up a gutsy win over the Capitals with an equally clutch performance against the Devils, tying the score twice in the final period with goals off the sticks of Matt Duchene and Filip Forsberg. Forsberg's second goal of the contest, a wrister on the power play 10 minutes into the third period, tied the game at 5-5. Duchene and Forsberg played hero again in the shootout, scoring on Mackenzie Blackwood to earn the team's second victory in as many nights.

"You've got to feel good about these [wins], and that's something we haven't done this year," Duchene said following the victory. "When we've won games, that's kind of been like we're a team that's expected to win. But you've got to ride the momentum and feel good about ourselves."

"I just like our effort," Forsberg said. "There's been times where we've been down a couple goals going into the third, and we just quit playing. That's the biggest thing, just a mentality… and just that belief is back a little bit."

Forsberg's two goals on Thursday night gave him 163 in a Predators uniform, tied with Martin Erat for third on the franchise's all-time goals list.

The Predators had the day off Friday and will take the ice once again Saturday morning in preparation for their meeting with Vegas.

Video: Predators top Devils in shootout

Last Time Out:

In addition to Forsberg, who tallied twice, Duchene, Mattias Ekholm and Nick Bonino scored in Thursday's win, with Pekka Rinne earning the victory in net. Ekholm's goal came 42 seconds into the contest, deflecting off the stick of Blake Coleman and past Blackwood.

Preds Captain Roman Josi leads the club with 51 points, followed by Filip Forsberg with 37 and Matt Duchene with 34. Forsberg has 18 goals on the season, Bonino has 15, and Josi has 14.

Video: Forsberg, Sissons & Josi preview the Golden Knights

The Opposition:

The Golden Knights currently sit in fifth place in the Pacific Division with 57 points, just one point out of third place and five points out of first. They failed to capitalize on their last two chances to move up in the standings, dropping Tuesday's matchup in Boston and falling in a shootout in Montreal prior to the All-Star break and their bye week. They'll come into Nashville on the heels of a back-to-back set, as Vegas topped Carolina, 4-3, on Friday night. 

Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone lead the team with 47 points each, followed by Reilly Smith with 41. Pacioretty (21), Smith (20), and Stone (18) also lead the Golden Knights in goals. Marc-Andre Fleury is 19-12-4 in net for Vegas; Malcolm Subban is 7-7-3.

All-Time Meetings:

The Predators are 4-2-2 all-time against the Golden Knights, including a 2-0-2 record at Bridgestone Arena. Nashville has won four of its last six games against Vegas, allowing one goal or fewer in three of those victories.

The Preds have earned at least a point in all four of their home games against Vegas. Outside of a 1-0 shutout over Vegas on Jan. 16, 2018 (Juuse Saros, 43 saves), Nashville has scored at least three goals in three of their four games versus the Golden Knights at Bridgestone Arena. In the first meeting between the two teams this season, the Preds received goals from five different players - including Calle Jarnkrok, who scored the game winner - en route to a 5-2 victory at T-Mobile Arena on Oct. 15.

Video: Coach Hynes looks to make it three straight wins

Notables Versus Vegas:

Calle Jarnkrok scored Nashville's first-ever goal versus Vegas on Dec. 8, 2017. He has three goals in eight career games against the Golden Knights. Kyle Turris (1g-4a), Matt Duchene (4g-1a) and Roman Josi (5a) are Nashville's career points leaders against the Golden Knights. Nick Bonino has four points (3g-1a) in eight games versus Vegas, including a two-point effort (1g-1a) on Oct. 15.

Juuse Saros is 3-1-1 with a 2.19 goals-against average, .944 save percentage and one shutout versus Vegas in his career. Saros made a career-high 47 saves in Nashville's 2-1 victory at Vegas on Jan. 23, 2019. He also recorded a 43-save shutout against Vegas on Jan. 16, 2018, becoming the first Preds goaltender to record multiple 40-plus save shutouts in the same season.

When You Go:

Bridgestone Arena doors open at 5:30 p.m. CT ahead of tonight's 7 p.m. puck drop. 

The grand opening of The Rink on Broadway will take place today before the Predators face the Golden Knights. The outdoor rink sits on the Bridgestone Arena plaza and will open today at 12 p.m. CT.

For $10 - which includes skate rental - fans may take part in one of the 75-minute public skate sessions. The rink will remain open until Feb. 23, and complete hours of operation can be found here.

Fox Sports Tennessee's Saturday Night in Smashville pregame show will bring the excitement of live television to the heart of downtown Nashville and kickstart the Saturday party on Broadway. Join Preds broadcasters Terry Crisp and Lyndsay Rowley as they go live with a special guest from the Bridgestone Arena plaza tonight at 6:30 p.m. CT.

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.

Streaming Info:

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

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