A four-game homestand continues tonight for the Nashville Predators as they host the San Jose Sharks at Bridgestone Arena.
It's the first of three meetings between the two Western Conference foes this season; the Preds will visit the Shark Tank in November before San Jose returns to Nashville in December.
The Preds came up short against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday in their first loss of the season, but there were a number of positive takeaways for the Preds, each of which they hope to build upon in tonight's contest.
[Read More: Preds Projected Lineup vs. Sharks]
[Read More: Smashville Scope - Week of Oct. 7]
"Even being 1-1-0 [through two games this season], we carried most of that play last game," Preds center Matt Duchene said. "We made a couple [mistakes]... and their guys, give them credit, were there to converge, but I feel like there are a lot of positives to take away, even in that loss… It's business as usual, 80 games left, lots of time, so I think we all know what we're capable of in here and it's about not letting it be pressure, but letting it be exciting."
When asked about tallying five points in just two games with his new team, Duchene deflected the praise. Instead, he credited his linemates, Filip Forsberg and Mikael Granlund, who have made the transition much easier and shown plenty of promise for the future.
"I'm more happy about how our line has played together having never played together other than a couple of practices," Duchene said. "You see that kind of chemistry right off the bat... Just to know the success that we've had is sustainable, it's not something that should go away. It should get better if anything. So, I'm really encouraged by it.
Predators Head Coach Peter Laviolette echoed Duchene's thoughts, suggesting that his club simply let a few crucial mistakes decide the outcome of Saturday's contest. A test against a San Jose team that will be looking for its first win in their fourth game of the season will now provide an opportunity for the Preds to bounce back this evening.
"Even in a game that we lost, we did a lot of good things," Laviolette said. "Most of their chances and most of their goals came off us having the puck in the offensive zone and continuing to push and press, when maybe we should've realized that possessions down in the offensive zone has changed hands… [We] really need to think about playing defense and being on the right side of things. For me, I think they're easy things to fix."
Video: NSH Recap: Ekholm collects goal and assist in loss
Last Time Out:
Viktor Arvidsson scored Nashville's first power-play goal of the season in a 5-3 loss to the Red Wings on Saturday. Filip Forsberg and Mattias Ekholm also tallied in the contest, while Juuse Saros took the loss in net. Matt Duchene collected two more assists to put his total at five helpers through two games.
Duchene paces the club in the early going with five points, followed by Forsberg (2g-1a) and Ekholm (1g-2a) at three points apiece. Arvidsson, Ryan Ellis and Ryan Johansen have two points each.
Video: Watson, Josi expect tough test from Sharks
San Jose has lost all three of their games on the young season, including a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Ducks on Saturday. The Vegas Golden Knights swept a home-and-home set with the Sharks by a combined score of 9-2 to start the campaign.
Logan Couture is the only member of the Sharks to have two points to his name; Couture, Marcus Sorensen and Barclay Goodrow have one goal apiece. Martin Jones is 0-2-0 in net with a 4.80 goals-against average.
The Predators are 35-29-(2)-7 all-time against the Sharks, including a 21-12-(1)-2 record at Bridgestone Arena. Overall, Nashville has won five of its last eight games (5-3-0) against San Jose.
The Preds have won three of their last four and nine of their last 11 games (9-1-1) versus the Sharks on home ice.
Video: Laviolette wants Preds to correct defensive errors
Notables Versus San Jose:
Ryan Johansen has produced a point per game against the Sharks in his career, tallying 23 points (9g-14a) in 23 games. He is on a five-game point streak against San Jose (1g-6a) and has 10 points (2g-8a) in his last eight meetings with the Sharks.
Roman Josi has 14 points (4g-10a) in 22 career games against the Sharks. He recorded a six-game point streak (1g-7a) vs. San Jose from April 2, 2016 to Feb. 22, 2018.
Nick Bonino has five points (3g-2a) in his last six games vs. the Sharks and has 16 points (5g-11a) in 25 career games against them. He was drafted 173rd overall by the Sharks in the 2007 NHL Draft.
When You Go:
Bridgestone Arena doors open at 5:30 p.m. CT ahead of tonight's 7 p.m. puck drop. All fans in attendance will receive an LED rally towel. Fans can also purchase an Oktoberfest Package that includes a Preds beer mug with purchase.
Starting tonight, purchase your 'I FIGHT FOR' lavender foam puck in honor, or in memory, of someone fighting cancer. For just $10, you will receive a puck to take home and one to add to our Hockey Fights Cancer bin - which represents all those we're fighting for in Smashville. Proceeds benefit the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund presented by Twice Daily. Stop by the Foundation area (outside 106/107) to pick yours up today!
Please note the updated Bridgestone Arena bag policy for the Predators' 2019-20 season:
The fastest way to enter Bridgestone Arena is to not bring a bag at all. However, clear, clutch or no bags grant guests access to our Express Lanes. Bags that are made of solid material that fit within the 12-inch-by-12-inch-by-6-inch size requirement will be placed through an X-ray scanner upon entry. Backpacks and large bags are prohibited from Bridgestone Arena. All clear bags must be completely clear and may not have any color tinting, printed designs or panels of fabric. All items brought are subject to a security search. Diaper bags that fit within the guidelines of the approved bags will be permitted.
To enhance the Nashville Predators game day experience, Bridgestone Arena has implemented Ticketmaster SafeTix, a new technology designed to provide the best possible entry experience and cut down on the number of fraudulent tickets in the marketplace. Using encrypted, rotating barcodes, SafeTix prevents fraud and ticket scalping through screenshotting and/or photocopying barcodes. Screenshots will no longer be valid for entry to Predators home games. The Predators also encourage all fans to be aware of the new "Clutch, Clear or No Bag" policy and to utilize Express Entry Lanes for expedited entry.
Watch & Listen:
Tonight's game is being broadcast 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 6 p.m. CT. 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 (on active during the game broadcast window).
Watch a Live Stream of the game with NBCSports.com or through NHL.TV.