A back-to-back set of games away from home for the Nashville Predators begins tonight in Washington D.C. against the NHL's top team, the Capitals. It's the second and final meeting of the season between the two clubs; the Preds won a 6-5 thriller over the Caps in October.
Nashville came out of the bye week with a 5-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night at Bridgestone Arena, a disappointing result that saw the Predators particularly frustrated with their effort in the second period.
The defeat was the opening act of the final 10 weeks of the regular season, and although they would have preferred a different outcome, the group has to look ahead to the challenge tonight in the Nation's Capital.
"We've got to get ourselves prepared, and we've got Washington coming up," Preds Head Coach John Hynes said following Monday's loss. "When you look at a season, or you look at life and you're looking long term so much, you stumble in the present… We can narrow down [why we lost to Toronto], discuss it, show it, talk about it, figure that out, and the next step is a good day of practice and let's get ready for Washington."
"We can't get too low now because we know each game is so important to us," Predators defenseman Yannick Weber said. "We can't hang our heads because we have two huge games coming up now. If we get those points, you can forget about some of the bad games, and I think that has to be our mindset. Clearly, we know we need to be better, and we know we're capable of doing that."
Colton Sissons (Injured Reserve) participated in practice again on Tuesday. He has not played since Dec. 27 with a lower-body injury. Nick Bonino and Calle Jarnkrok were absent from Tuesday's practice in Nashville.
Video: Hynes previews the Capitals
Last Time Out:
Mikael Granlund and Viktor Arvidsson tallied for the Preds on Monday night, while Pekka Rinne took the loss in net. Roman Josi paces the Preds with 48 points, followed by Filip Forsberg with 33 points and Matt Duchene with 32. Forsberg has 16 goals on the season, Josi and Nick Bonino have 14 each, and Calle Jarnkrok has 12.
The Capitals are winners of four-straight games, including a 4-2 decision over the Canadiens on Monday night. Like the Preds, Washington is also led by a defenseman, John Carlson, in scoring. The blueliner has 60 points on the season, followed by Alexander Ovechkin with 50 points, Evgeny Kuznetsov with 43 and Jakob Vrana with 42. Ovechkin has 34 goals on the campaign, Vrana has 23 and T.J. Oshie has 18 tallies. Braden Holtby is 19-9-4 on the season; Ilya Samsonov is 15-2-1.
Video: Viktor Arvidsson previews the Capitals
The Predators are 16-9-(1)-4 all-time against the Capitals, including a 6-6-(0)-2 record on the road.
Nashville is on a seven-game winning streak against Washington that dates back to Feb. 25, 2017. In their past 12 meetings, the Preds are 10-2-0 versus the Caps and have scored at least five goals in five of those games.
The Preds have won three straight over the Capitals in D.C., outscoring Washington by a combined 12-7 margin.
Notables Versus Washington:
Viktor Arvidsson has 11 points (6g-5a) in his last six games versus the Caps, including a current four-game point streak (4g-4a). Filip Forsberg has 13 points (7g-6a) in 10 career games against the team that drafted him 11th overall in the 2012 NHL Draft.
Ryan Johansen has tallied more than a point per game against the Capitals in his career, registering 23 points (8g-15a) in 21 career contests. He's on a four-game point streak versus Washington in which he's posted nine points (4g-5a).
Watch & Listen:
Tonight's contest will be televised 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 5:30 p.m. CT. For broadcast information and channel locations throughout the country, click here.
Tonight's Preds Official Watch Party takes place at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Smyrna.
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.