A matinee in Dallas today will pit the Predators against the Stars, as the division rivals complete a home-and-home set, as well as their season series. The Preds shut out the Stars, 2-0, on Thursday night to snap a three-game skid overall.
A pair of power-play goals and a perfect penalty kill led the Predators to their 33rd victory of the season and allowed them to keep pace in the race for a Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. Entering Friday's action, four teams - including the Preds - all have 74 points in the standings with Nashville just below the line.
Thursday's effort showed the Predators once more what they're capable of when they play to their potential, but the group has now turned their attention to this afternoon's meeting as they visit the American Airlines Center for the first time since their season ended in that building last April.
"We created some good chances, our power play was awesome, penalty kill was outstanding too, so this time of the year, special teams is going to be the thing that's going to have to put us over the top," Preds forward Rocco Grimaldi said of Thursday's win. "It's going to be a different game in their building. I know they're going to come on hungry, and they've lost four in a row, so you know they're going to be upset. It's going to be a different game, so we've got to come ready to play from the drop of the puck."
The Predators practiced on Friday afternoon in Nashville before departing for Dallas and did not show any apparent changes in their lineup ahead of their second meeting with the Stars.
Video: Saros, Predators shut out Stars, 2-0
Last Time Out:
Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene tallied with the man advantage, and Juuse Saros made 33 saves for his third shutout of the season in Nashville's 2-0 victory. Forsberg's goal was the 164th of his career - all with the Predators - and allowed him to take sole possession of third place in franchise history.
Preds Captain Roman Josi leads his team with 63 points, followed by Forsberg with 45 and Duchene with 41 points. Forsberg paces the Preds with 19 goals; Nick Bonino and Craig Smith have 18 goals apiece, and Mikael Granlund has 17.
The Stars have lost four-straight contests, including Thursday's result in Nashville. Tyler Seguin leads the Stars with 50 points, followed by Jamie Benn with 39 points and Alexander Radulov with 34. Denis Gurianov paces the team with 20 goals; Benn has 19 tallies and Roope Hintz has 18 goals on the season. Ben Bishop is 21-14-4 in net for the Stars; Anton Khudobin - who faced the Preds on Thursday - is 16-8-4.
The Predators are 39-42-(1)-5 all-time against the Stars, including a 13-26-(0)-3 record on the road. The Preds have earned at least a point in 10 of their last 14 games vs. Dallas (9-4-1),a nd Nashville has scored at least four goals in eight of its last 11 victories over Dallas.
Notables Versus Dallas
Roman Josi has recorded 28 points (10g-18a) in 35 career contests vs. Dallas, including a two-assist performance at the Winter Classic and a four-point game (2g-2a) on Feb. 25, 2013.
Matt Duchene has averaged more than a point per game vs. the Stars in his career, recording 42 points (16g-26a) in 41 games. Calle Jarnkrok has six points (3g-3a) in his last 10 games against Dallas and 13 points (7g-6a) in 28 career meetings with the Stars. Viktor Arvidsson has tallied 13 points (5g-8a) in his last 16 contests vs. Dallas.
Watch and Listen:
Coverage for today's contest begins with Smashville Live on Fox Sports Tennessee at 12:30 p.m. Willy Daunic, Chris Mason and Lyndsay Rowley will 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 12 p.m. CT with Darren McFarland. For broadcast information and channel locations throughout the country, click here.
Today's Preds Official Watch Party takes place at Draft Picks at Ford Ice Center Bellevue. Donations for the Nashville and Middle Tennessee tornado relief efforts will be collected during the watch party. Requested items include cleaning products such as laundry detergent, trash bags, work gloves and paper towels, or hygiene products like toothpaste, over-the-counter medications, baby wipes, soap and toilet paper.
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