With their longest homestand of the season complete, the Nashville Predators have trekked to Western Canada for a pair of contests, beginning tonight in Vancouver against the Canucks. It's the first of three meetings between the two clubs this season.
After dropping two straight in regulation, the Predators rebounded to win their last two outings, including a 2-1 victory over Buffalo on Monday night. Nashville remains without forwards Viktor Arvidsson, Filip Forsberg and Kyle Turris, as well as defenseman P.K. Subban, all of whom are on Injured Reserve.
The Preds just completed a stretch of 13 games in 24 days, and even with the injuries, the club managed to post a 7-5-1 record during that period. Now, it's a matter of continuing to find success, even without some of their star players.
"It's huge motivation," Preds center Ryan Johansen said. "We have to step up. Guys need to step up, including myself, including Pekka Rinne and Roman Josi. We need everyone stepping up right now throughout our whole lineup. That'll be motivation every game."
Video: Ellis, Fiala, Rinne lift Predators past Sabres, 2-1
Last Time Out:
Ryan Ellis and Kevin Fiala scored and Pekka Rinne made 21 saves on the night to lead the Preds to a 2-1 win and their 19th triumph of the season.
Ryan Johansen continues to lead the team in points with 24, followed by Roman Josi with 19 points and Mattias Ekholm with 17. With Forsberg and Arvidsson out of the lineup, Craig Smith and Ryan Hartman are tied for the team lead in goals with seven apiece, followed by Calle Jarnkrok with six.
Video: Coach Laviolette talks tonight's matchup
Vancouver has lost four straight on their current homestand, including a 3-2 result against Minnesota on Tuesday, and have been on the wrong end of things in 12 of their last 13 contests. Bo Horvat leads the club in scoring with 25 points, followed by star rookie Elias Pettersson with 13 goals and 23 points. Horvat has 12 goals and Jake Virtanen has tallied eight. Jacob Markstrom is 8-9-3 in net for the Canucks; Anders Nilsson is 3-6-0.
Video: Sissons talks playing in Vancouver
The Predators are 29-34-(2)-6 all-time against the Canucks, including a 14-20-(1)-0 record on the road. The Preds are 7-3-1 in their last 11 games against the Canucks, including wins in five of their last seven meetings. Nashville has won four of the last six meetings with Vancouver on the road.
Video: The Preds are back on the road in Vancouver
Notables Versus Vancouver:
Roman Josi has seven points (7a) in his last six games against the Canucks, including a current four-game point streak (5a). Calle Jarnkrok is on a four-game point streak versus Vancouver (3g-3a) that includes a game-winning goal (3/2/18) and two multi-point efforts.
Nick Bonino has 10 points (7g-3a) in 19 career matchups with the Canucks; Bonino spent the 2014-15 season with Vancouver, tallying 15 goals and 24 assists for 39 points. Ryan Johansen (Port Moody), Colton Sissons (North Vancouver) and Kyle Turris (New Westminster) are all from the Vancouver area.
Video: Hamhuis talks playing with Ekholm
Watch & Listen:
Tonight's game from Rogers Arena comes with a 9 p.m. (CT) start. Coverage on Fox Sports Tennessee begins at 8:30 p.m. with Predators Live with Willy Daunic, Chris Mason and Lyndsay Rowley. Fans may listen to the contest on 102.5 The Game and the Predators Radio Network with Pete Weber and Hal Gill on the call.
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