The fourth and final outing of the Western Canada trip comes tonight for the Nashville Predators when they meet the Canucks at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. This is also the third and final meeting between the two clubs this season; the Preds have fallen to the Canucks on both of the previous occasions.
Nashville was victorious in their first two contests of the journey, collecting wins in Winnipeg and Calgary. They also held a 2-0 lead late in the second period on Saturday night in Edmonton before the Oilers came back to earn a 3-2 triumph.
Despite the loss, the Predators say there was still a lot to like in their game on Saturday. The result was disappointing, but heading into tonight's contest in Vancouver, the group is confident in their potential to end the trip with six out of a possible eight points.
"It's such a long season, and as a team, you have to look at building an identity as a team," Preds Captain Roman Josi said Sunday. "It's the process of playing well consistently as a team. There are so many good teams, and you're not going to win every game, but I think the main thing is to play consistently and try to get better each game. There's going to be games where the puck doesn't bounce your way, but I think the main thing for us is to look at our effort [against the Oilers] and be proud of our effort. That's really the biggest thing we can draw from for confidence."
Defenseman Ryan Ellis, who remains on Injured Reserve, joined the Preds on the ice for practice on Sunday afternoon in Vancouver. Ellis has skated with the team throughout the trip, but he is not expected to play tonight.
Forward Calle Jarnkrok, who had been dealing with an illness over the past week-and-a-half, skated on the fourth line during Sunday's session along with Colton Sissons and Austin Watson. Jarnkrok has not played in Nashville's last five games, and Watson has been scratched in the previous three.
Video: NSH Recap: Smith, Bonino score in 3-2 loss
Last Time Out:
Craig Smith and Nick Bonino scored for the Preds on Saturday night, while Juuse Saros took the loss in net after making his third consecutive start for the second time this season.
Captain Roman Josi leads the Preds with 54 points, followed by Filip Forsberg with 38 and Matt Duchene with 35. Forsberg is tops in goals with 18, Bonino has 17 and Josi has 14. There's a logjam for fourth place in tallies with Smith, Viktor Arvidsson, Mikael Granlund and Calle Jarnkrok all owning 12 goals on the season.
The Canucks have lost four-straight games, including a 6-2 defeat at the hands of the Flames on Saturday night. Vancouver forward Brock Boeser, who has 16 goals and 45 points on the season, was injured in the loss and is not expected to play tonight against the Preds.
Elias Pettersson leads the Canucks with 23 goals and 55 points, followed by J.T. Miller with 21 goals and 54 points, and then Bo Horvat who has 17 goals and 45 points. Tanner Pearson has 16 tallies to his name; Jake Virtanen has 15 goals this season. Jacob Markstrom is 20-16-3 in net for the Canucks; Thatcher Demko is 10-5-2.
The Predators are 31-37-(2)-6 all-time against the Canucks, including a 14-23-(1)-0 record on the road. The Preds are 9-6-1 in their last 15 games against the Canucks, including wins in seven of their last 12 meetings.
In the first meeting between the two teams this season on Nov. 12, Nashville got goals from Calle Jarnkrok, Mikael Granlund and Filip Forsberg but fell to Vancouver, 5-3. The Preds also fell to the Canucks in their lone meeting at Bridgestone Arena, 6-3, on Nov. 21.
Notables Versus Vancouver:
Roman Josi has 11 points (11a) in his last 11 games against the Canucks and posted a six-game point streak (7a) against the Pacific Division club from Jan. 10, 2017 to Dec. 13, 2018.
Calle Jarnkrok has 10 points (6g-4a) in his last nine games versus Vancouver, including a game-winning goal and three multi-point efforts.
Nick Bonino has recorded four points (2g-2a) in his last four games versus Vancouver and has 14 points (8g-4a) in 24 career matchups with the Canucks. Bonino spent the 2014-15 season with Vancouver, tallying 15 goals and 39 points.
Ryan Johansen (Port Moody), Colton Sissons (North Vancouver), Kyle Turris (New Westminster) and Dante Fabbro (Coquitlam) are all from the Vancouver area. Matt Irwin is a native of Victoria, B.C. The Preds defenseman played his junior hockey for the BCHL's Nanaimo Clippers and was inducted into the team's "Wall of Honour" on Nov. 13.
Watch & Listen:
Coverage for tonight's 9 p.m. (CT) puck drop from Rogers Arena begins with Predators Live on Fox Sports Tennessee at 8:30 p.m. Willy Daunic, Chris Mason and Lyndsay Rowley 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 8 p.m. 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.
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