After starting their four-game trip with a win in New York City on Monday night, the Nashville Predators have travelled to Long Island for a date with the Islanders tonight. It's the first of two meetings between the teams this season; the Preds will host the Isles in February.
Tonight's game is the second half of a back-to-back for the Predators, after they defeated the Rangers by a 5-2 final less than 24 hours earlier. The win snapped a two-game skid for the Preds, and while Monday's effort wasn't perfect, it was still a satisfying start to the week-long journey away from home.
Next, the Predators will face an Islanders team that has been near the top of the standings throughout the season, a formidable test considering the circumstances.
"If we can play like we did the first 10 minutes tonight, I think we're going to do well [against the Islanders]," Preds forward Rocco Grimaldi said following Monday's game. "They're a fast team, and they've got a lot of grind to their game. They're pretty hot right now, so it's going to be a tough game. We've got to get our rest in, get back to the plan and have a good game."
Preds defenseman Mattias Ekholm returned to the Nashville lineup on Monday after dealing with an illness and scored the game-winning goal. Mikael Granlund (lower-body, day-to-day) did not play against the Rangers.
Additionally, forward Viktor Arvidsson (lower-body, Injured Reserve) is on the trip with the Preds. He did not play on Monday, but Arvidsson skated with the team during Monday's morning skate for the first time since he was injured on Nov. 23, a positive sign in his recovery.
Video: Josi, Saros power Predators past Rangers
Last Time Out:
Roman Josi scored twice, and Grimaldi, Ekholm and Ryan Ellis also tallied for the Preds in the win. Goaltender Juuse Saros made a season-high 39 saves on the night as he held the Rangers to just two goals.
Josi continues to lead the club with 29 points, followed by Ellis with 23, and then Calle Jarnkrok and Filip Forsberg with 22 points each. Nick Bonino has 12 goals on the season, Forsberg and Jarnkrok have 11 apiece, and Josi has nine.
The Islanders have won three-straight games, including a 3-2 victory over the Sabres in overtime on Saturday night. Mathew Barzal leads New York with 13 goals and 27 points, followed by Brock Nelson with 11 goals and 25 points. Anthony Beauvillier has 10 goals, Anders Lee has nine and Josh Bailey has eight markers. Thomas Greiss is 11-4-0 in net for the Islanders; Semyon Varlamov is 11-3-2.
The Predators are 16-8-(0)-3 all-time against the Islanders, including a 7-4-(0)-2 record on the road. Tuesday's game will be Nashville's first visit to Nassau Coliseum since Feb. 19, 2015, and 10th in team history. The Preds are 4-3-(0)-2 all-time at the Coliseum.
The Preds have earned at least a point in six of their last seven meetings with the Islanders (5-1-1), including wins in three straight. On the road, Nashville has won three in a row over the Islanders, scoring nine combined goals in their previous two victories.
Nashville's only 3-on-5 goal in franchise history came against the Islanders on Oct. 15, 2002 (Karlis Skrastins).
Notables Versus New York:
Filip Forsberg has nine points (5g-4a) in 10 career games against the Islanders, including points in three straight games (3g-1a). Kyle Turris is on a five-game point streak versus the Islanders (1g-4a). He has 15 points (4g-11a) in 21 career games against New York.
Watch & Listen:
Coverage for tonight's 6 p.m. (CT) puck drop at the Nassau Coliseum begins with Predators Live on Fox Sports Tennessee at 5:30 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 5 p.m. with Darren McFarland. For broadcast information and channel locations throughout the country, click here.
Tonight's Preds Official Watch Party takes place at AJ's Good Time Bar on Broadway Come see all the action with GNASH and the Energy Team, with chances to win prizes like a Winter Classic jersey, Orca Winter Classic chaser or tickets to the Dec. 23 Predators game. Free admission for all ages begins 30 minutes before puck drop.
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