After sweeping a four-game road trip last week, the Nashville Predators return home and look to do the same as they host a four-game homestand of their own, beginning tonight against the Dallas Stars.
In addition to being a key Central Division showdown, tonight's contest marks the debut - and re-debut - of a pair of Preds forwards not to be missed. First, Ryan Hartman will skate on Bridgestone Arena ice for the first time as a member of the Predators after being acquired at last week's trade deadline.
And, of course, tonight marks the return of Mike Fisher to Smashville, his first outing at home since Game 6 of last year's Stanley Cup Final. After announcing his plan to end retirement, Fisher completed his comeback on Friday night in Vancouver, scoring in his first NHL game in nine months.
[Read More: Preds Projected Lineup vs. Stars]
[Read More: Get to Know Ryan Hartman]
Hartman, Fisher and the rest of their Preds teammates will try to accomplish something tonight that has never been done in franchise history - win their ninth consecutive game.
Video: Forsberg scores in OT as Preds match club record
Last Time Out:
Just as they had done in their previous three games of the road trip, the Predators came back to collect a win on Sunday afternoon in Colorado. Ryan Ellis tied the game at 3-3 with just 1:06 to play in regulation, and then Filip Forsberg potted the winner in overtime for Nashville's eighth consecutive victory. Austin Watson and Kyle Turris also scored on the afternoon, while Pekka Rinne made 22 saves for his 35th win of the season.
Defenseman P.K. Subban became the first skater on the Nashville roster to hit 50 points this season to lead the team in scoring. He's followed by Viktor Arvidsson with 49 points, Forsberg with 46 and defenseman Roman Josi - who has missed the last two games and is day-to-day with an upper-body injury - with 44. Arvidsson leads the club in goals with 24, followed by Kevin Fiala with 21 and Craig Smith with 20.
Dallas completed a five-game home stand last night, falling to the Ottawa Senators by a 3-2 final in overtime. The Stars have seen their past three games go to OT and have points in four straight outings. Tyler Seguin is tops among the Stars with 36 goals and 62 points, followed by Alexander Radulov with 59 points and Jamie Benn with 58 points. Radulov has tallied on 24 occasions, while Benn has 22 goals on the season. Goaltender Ben Bishop was injured last night in Dallas, so the Preds could see Kari Lehtonen this evening in net.
Video: Fisher, Hartman prepare for home debuts in Smashville
The Predators are 34-38-(1)-5 all-time against the Stars, including a 23-13-(1)-2 record at Bridgestone Arena. Nashville has earned at least a point in five-straight games versus the Stars (4-0-1). At home, the Preds have won three in a row against the Stars and have points in 10 of their last 11 (8-1-2).
Notables Versus Dallas:
Viktor Arvidsson has 11 points (5g-6a) in 14 career games versus Dallas and set a career high in points in a game with four (2g-2a) against the Stars on April 6, 2017. Filip Forsberg has 13 points (7g-6a) in 18 career games against Dallas, while Ryan Hartman has five points (2g-3a) in nine career games against the Stars.
Video: Preds host Stars looking for nine wins in a row
When You Go:
Arena doors open at 5:30 p.m. CT ahead of tonight's 7 p.m. puck drop. All fans in attendance will receive a free hat courtesy of Farm Bureau Insurance.
Tonight's game marks Mike Fisher's official return to the ice in Smashville, and in honor of the occasion and as an extension of the Mike Fisher Legacy Project, Lee Company is proud to partner with the Nashville Predators Foundation to raise additional funds for the charities of Mike's choice. To celebrate the historic occasion, Lee Company is giving out "Welcome Back Fish!" t-shirts to the first 1,200 fans in attendance entering through main doors. The Nashville Predators Foundation will also be selling the t-shirts for $20 at the Foundation Area (Section 106/107), along with 300 Fisher-signed pucks which will be sold for $30; fans who receive the two blank pucks will have an opportunity to get them personally signed by Fisher postgame!
Watch & Listen:
Tonight's game from Nashville comes with a 7 p.m. CT start time with Predators Live Pregame beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Fox Sports Tennessee. The game can also be heard on 102.5 The Game and the Predators Radio Network. Plus, follow @PredsNHL on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat for updates from Bridgestone Arena.
Video: Laviolette is eager to see home debut of Fisher
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