The final game before the bye week has arrived, and the Nashville Predators will host the Buffalo Sabres tonight. The Saturday night contest is the second and final meeting between the two clubs this season; the Preds fell by a 4-3 final in upstate New York back in December.
After debuting at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, the Preds will sport their NHL Winter Classic uniforms at home for the first time this evening, with a special Winter Classic White Out night at Bridgestone Arena. The group is looking to snap a two-game skid that includes a disappointing loss to Anaheim on Thursday night, and the chance to enter the bye week and All-Star Break with a win is certainly appetizing to the Predators.
"We had a goal of six or more points out of 10 in the [five] games here before the break, so we have an opportunity to do that tomorrow," Preds Head Coach John Hynes said. "I thought against Chicago we played pretty well, and we found a way to win the game in Winnipeg, which was more of how we want to play. I think 90 percent of the game was what we wanted. We took a little bit of a step back against Edmonton, and then [Thursday against Anaheim], I think there's some certain areas that just weren't good enough to the identity we want to play with. So, we're looking for an opportunity to do that [tonight]. [We want to play a] strong game, an identity game and find a way to win, and then we've got a chance to regroup over the break and come back strong after the break."
Video: Coach Hynes previews the Sabres
Prior to Friday's practice, the Preds reassigned forward Yakov Trenin and defensemen Alexandre Carrier and Jarred Tinordi to the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL. Hynes said following the session that a couple of players, who have been scratched recently will come back into the lineup against Buffalo, likely Austin Watson and Matt Irwin.
Forward Colton Sissons and defenseman Ryan Ellis both remain on Injured Reserve.
Last Time Out:
Viktor Arvidsson and Mikael Granlund scored for the Preds on Thursday night, and Juuse Saros took the loss in net. Roman Josi leads the Preds with 47 points, followed by Filip Forsberg with 32 points and Matt Duchene with 31. Forsberg's 16 goals pace the Preds; Josi and Nick Bonino have 14 tallies apiece.
The Sabres are winners of three-straight games, including a 4-1 victory in Dallas on Thursday night. Buffalo Captain Jack Eichel leads his team with 28 goals and 62 points, followed by Sam Reinhart with 16 goals and 40 points, and then Victor Olofsson with 16 goals and 35 points. Linus Ullmark is 16-12-3 in net for the Sabres; former Preds netminder Carter Hutton is 6-7-4 on the season.
When You Go:
Bridgestone Arena doors open at 5:30 p.m. CT ahead of tonight's 7 p.m. puck drop.
With the first-ever Winter Classic White Out set for tonight, fans are encouraged to show up in white as the Predators sport their Winter Classic jerseys. All fans will receive a white Winter Classic T-shirt thanks to SmileDirectClub, and Predators Season-Ticket Citizens, with their STC ID, will be offered free small sodas.
The Nashville Predators Foundation empowered by SmileDirectClub are partnering with Mental Health America of the MidSouth for a supply drive before the game tonight. Needed items include backpacks, school supplies, books and children's clothing such as underwear, socks and T-shirts.
Watch and Listen:
Coverage for tonight's contest begins with Smashville Live on Fox Sports Tennessee at 6:30 p.m. with Lyndsay Rowley and Terry Crisp. Willy Daunic, Chris Mason and Kara Hammer 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