After completing a three-game homestand, the Nashville Predators have jetted off to Tampa Bay for a date with the Lightning tonight at Amalie Arena (6 p.m. CT). It's the first of two meetings between the two clubs this season; the Bolts visit the Preds on Dec. 3.
Nashville picked up five out of a possible six points in the standings over the past week, including two-straight wins. The Predators kept their top offense rolling with a 6-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday before shutting out the Minnesota Wild, 4-0, on Thursday.
The Preds have now scored 42 goals, their highest total through the first 10 games of a season in franchise history. Entering Friday night's action, the Preds were tops in the NHL in goals per game (4.20) and second in goals. The Preds have scored at least four goals in seven of their 10 contests; they've scored at least five goals in five games.
Tonight, they'll face a Tampa Bay team that is also among the best at putting the puck in the net, not to mention a perennial Stanley Cup contender.
The Predators did not practice on Friday before heading to the Gulf Coast. Forward Filip Forsberg has resumed skating on his own, but he missed his fourth-straight game on Thursday with a lower-body injury. Forward Matt Duchene left Thursday's game due to a lower-body injury and did not return. Predators Head Coach Peter Laviolette had no further update on Duchene's status following that contest.
Update: The Preds recalled forward Anthony Richard from Milwaukee on Saturday morning. Duchene participated in the morning skate in Tampa Bay, but forward Austin Watson was absent.
[Read More: Projected Lineup: Preds at Lightning]
[Read More: Preds Recall Anthony Richard]
Video: MIN Recap: Wild's offense falters in 4-0 loss
Last Time Out:
The Predators shut out an opponent for the first time this season when they blanked Minnesota on Thursday. Goaltender Pekka Rinne stopped all 26 shots he faced to record his 56th career shutout and extend his record to 6-0-1 to start the season.
Miikka Salomaki, Calle Jarnkrok, Craig Smith and Colton Sissons all scored on the night; Salomaki and Smith's tallies were their first goals of the season.
Defenseman Ryan Ellis leads the Preds with 11 assists and 12 points through 10 games. Duchene has 11 points, Captain Roman Josi has 10 and Viktor Arvidsson has nine. Arvidsson and Forsberg have five goals apiece, Josi and Sissons have four each.
The Lightning (5-3-1) have won three of their last four, including a 3-2 victory over Pittsburgh on Wednesday. Steven Stamkos leads the team with four goals and 10 points, followed by Nikita Kucherov with nine points and Victor Hedman with eight. Andrei Vasilevskiy is 5-2-0 in net with a .907 save percentage. Tampa Bay is one of two teams yet to surrender an opponent power-play goal at home.
The Predators are 15-8-(2)-3 all-time against the Lightning, including a 6-4-(2)-1 record on the road.
Overall, the Preds have earned a point in 11 straight (9-0-2) and 14 of their last 15 games (12-1-2) against the Lightning. Nashville's lone regulation loss to Tampa Bay this decade came on Dec. 19, 2013.
Nashville has won three in a row over Tampa Bay at AMALIE Arena and has scored at least four goals in each of those games. The Preds have earned at least a point in six of their last seven (5-1-1) road contests against the Lightning.
Notables Versus Tampa Bay:
Colton Sissons notched his first career regular-season hat trick on Jan. 5, 2017 vs. Tampa Bay and became the first player in NHL history to score at least three goals in a game with his second being an empty-netter and his third being scored on a goalie.
Roman Josi has six points (1g-5a) in his last seven meetings with the Lightning. Pekka Rinne is 9-0-1 in his career against Tampa Bay with a .923 save percentage and 2.36 goals-against average. He's allowed one goal in three of his last four starts vs. the Lightning.
Kyle Turris is Nashville's career points leader against the Lightning, tallying 28 points (12g-16a) in 29 games against Tampa. He's recorded three points (2g-1a) in his last two games vs. Tampa Bay. Ryan Johansen has averaged nearly a point per game against Tampa Bay in his career, recording 16 points (6g-10a) in 17 games. He's on a five-game point streak vs. the Lightning (2g-6a).
Watch & Listen:
Coverage for tonight's 6 p.m. (CT) puck drop at Amalie Arena 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 6 p.m. CT 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