The month of December has arrived, and the Nashville Predators get it started with a three-game homestand that begins tonight with the Tampa Bay Lightning in town. It's the second and final meeting between the two clubs this season; the Preds defeated the Bolts by a 3-2 score in overtime back in October.
Nashville will be looking to start another point streak tonight after suffering a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the Florida Panthers on Saturday night. The Preds had points in four-straight outings previously, including a 3-0 shutout over Carolina on Friday, which saw Pekka Rinne record his 350th career win.
However, the Predators were disappointed with the effort on Saturday in South Florida, and they'll be looking to quickly reverse that trend with tonight's contest.
"We played eight games in a row with pop, and tonight, for me, we were flat," Preds Head Coach Peter Laviolette said following the loss. "We started out just OK, and it slid from there in the third period, so it's not enough. You have to play at a higher tempo and a higher level in order to be successful, and if you don't, you roll the dice and it didn't go our way."
Laviolette switched up his forward line combinations during the third period on Saturday, and the Preds had another different look during Monday's practice back in Nashville. Forward Kyle Turris, who has been scratched for the past seven games, centered Calle Jarnkrok and Mikael Granlund on Monday, while Matt Duchene was on the wing with Filip Forsberg and Ryan Johansen.
Video: NSH Recap: Predators shut out by Driedger, Panthers
Last Time Out:
The Predators were shut out for the first time this season as they fell 3-0 in Florida. Juuse Saros took the loss as he made his fourth start in Nashville's past five games.
Captain Roman Josi continues to lead the Preds in points with 24, followed by Matt Duchene with 20 and Ryan Ellis with 19. Filip Forsberg and Nick Bonino have 10 goals apiece, and Calle Jarnkrok has nine.
The Lightning begin the month of December looking to snap a three-game losing skid, including a 3-2 loss to Carolina on Saturday. Nikita Kucherov leads Tampa Bay with 28 points, followed by Victor Hedman with 22, and then Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point with 20 each. Point has 10 goals, Kucherov has nine and Ondrej Palat has eight tallies. Andrei Vasilevskiy is 9-7-1 in net for the Bolts with a .906 save percentage.
The Predators are 16-8-(2)-3 all-time against the Lightning, including a 9-4-(0)-2 record at Bridgestone Arena. Overall, the Preds have earned a point in 12 straight (10-0-2) and 15 of their last 16 games (13-1-2) against the Lightning. Nashville's lone regulation loss to Tampa Bay this decade came on Dec. 19, 2013.
The Preds have picked up a point in nine-straight games versus the Lightning at Bridgestone Arena (7-0-2), a streak that dates back to Dec. 15, 2009.
Notables Versus Tampa Bay:
Ryan Johansen has averaged nearly a point per game against Tampa Bay in his career, recording 18 points (6g-12a) in 18 games. He's on a six-game point streak versus the Lightning (2g-8a). Roman Josi has nine points (2g-7a) in his last eight meetings with the Lightning. Josi has recorded at least a point in 10 of his 13 career games against Tampa Bay.
Kyle Turris has the most career points among Nashville skaters against the Lightning, tallying 28 points (12g-16a) in 30 games. He's recorded three points (2g-1a) in his last three games versus Tampa Bay. Pekka Rinne is 9-0-1 in his career against Tampa Bay with a .923 save percentage and 2.36 goals-against average.
When You Go:
Bridgestone Arena doors open at 5:30 p.m. CT ahead of tonight's 7 p.m. puck drop. All fans in attendance will receive an LED rally towel.
Stop by the Preds Foundation area outside of Section 106 to bid on unique items, including a Pekka Rinne game-worn goalie mask. Fans may also pre-order their 2020 Preds Foundation team calendar.
Watch & Listen:
Tonight's game is being broadcast nationally on NBCSN. Fans may also tune in on ESPN 102.5 The Game and the Predators Radio Network with Pete Weber and Hal Gill on the call. Pregame coverage on the radio side begins with Darren McFarland at 6 p.m. CT. 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 (on active during the game broadcast window).
Watch a Live Stream of the game with NBCSports.com or through NHL.TV.