The Nashville Predators have embarked on a four-game road trip, and it begins tonight in New York City against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. The contest will be the second and final meeting between the Preds and Blueshirts this season; Nashville fell to New York, 2-1, at Bridgestone Arena back in November.
The Predators are looking to rebound after a 4-1 loss to Dallas on Saturday - an effort that left those in the Nashville locker room very disappointed.
"It's always frustrating [to lose], it doesn't really matter what our previous record is," Preds forward Filip Forsberg said following the loss. "It's been happening. It's not good enough, and we need to change it quick."
Predators forward Mikael Granlund (lower-body, day-to-day) and defenseman Mattias Ekholm (illness) both missed Saturday's game. Nashville recalled forward Colin Blackwell prior to Saturday's game, and the gritty forward co-led the team with four hits on the night.
Update: Granlund and Ekholm were both absent from Monday's morning skate in New York. However, forward Viktor Arvidsson (lower-body, Injured Reserve) joined the Preds on the ice Monday morning, the first time he's skated with the team since he was injured on Nov. 23. Predators Head Coach Peter Laviolette said Arvidsson will not play tonight, but added it is a positive sign to see Arvidsson back skating with the club.
Arvidsson remains on a 4-6 week timetable with his injury. Saturday's game at Boston will mark exactly four weeks since he was first injured.
Last Time Out:
Austin Watson scored the lone goal for the Preds and Pekka Rinne took the loss in net in a game that saw Nashville allow four goals in the second period. It was the second-straight regulation loss for the Predators after previously recording points in seven of eight outings.
Roman Josi leads the team with 26 points, followed by Filip Forsberg and Calle Jarnkrok with 22 points - and 11 goals - each. Nick Bonino paces the Preds with 12 tallies on the season; Matt Duchene has eight goals and 21 points.
The Rangers have alternated wins and losses through the first seven games of the month of December, including a 4-3 defeat in a shootout at the hands of the Ducks in Anaheim on Saturday.
Summertime free-agent acquisition Artemi Panarin leads New York with 19 goals and 42 points, followed by Ryan Strome with 28 points and Tony DeAngelo with 23 points. Mika Zibanejad has 11 goals on the season; DeAngelo and Chris Kreider have seven each. Henrik Lundqvist is 7-7-3 in net for the Rangers this season, while Alexandar Georigev is 9-5-1 with a .923 save percentage.
The Predators are 12-14-(1)-2 all-time against the Rangers, including a 7-7-(1)-0 record at Madison Square Garden. Nashville has picked up a win in two of its last four games versus New York.
Notables Versus New York:
Roman Josi has nine points (2g-7a) in 14 career games versus the Rangers, including two multi-point efforts. Ryan Johansen (3a) and Mattias Ekholm (1g-2a) have each posted three points in their last six games against the Rangers. Colton Sissons has four points (2g-2a) in his last three games versus the Rangers.
Watch & Listen:
Coverage for tonight's 6 p.m. (CT) puck drop at Madison Square Garden 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.
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