The Nashville Predators continue their rivalry with the Dallas Stars tonight at Bridgestone Arena with a special 5:30 p.m. CT puck drop. It's the first of four meetings between the two divisional foes this season, including the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on New Year's Day.
Tonight is also the first time the Preds and Stars have faced off since Game 6 of a Round One meeting between the two in the Stanley Cup Playoffs last spring, a series that ultimately went in Dallas's favor. Couple that with the upcoming NHL Winter Classic and there are storylines aplenty heading into this evening in Music City.
But, most important of all for the Predators? The chance to get back in the win column after Thursday's loss in Buffalo.
"There's a little bit more, just with playoff series last year and kind of where everything sits in the standings," Preds forward Austin Watson said. "(Dallas is) a team that's ahead of us, and we've got an opportunity to take two points away from them in a head-to-head game. And then with the Winter Classic and it being our first meeting of the year, it's a big game for us [tonight]."
The Predators fell to the Sabres on Thursday by a 4-3 final, and even with that regulation defeat, Nashville still has points in seven of their last nine games.
Video: NSH Recap: Duchene, Sissons, Johansen score in loss
Last Time Out:
Matt Duchene, Colton Sissons and Ryan Johansen all tallied for the Preds on Thursday, and Juuse Saros took the loss as he made his second consecutive start. Johansen now has two goals in as many games, and Mattias Ekholm appeared in career game No. 500 in the loss.
Preds Captain Roman Josi leads the club with 26 points, followed by Filip Forsberg and Calle Jarnkrok with 22 points each. Nick Bonino paces the Preds with 12 goals; Jarnkrok and Forsberg have 11 each. Nashville is the only team to have 13 players with at least 12 points in 2019-20, and a total of 16 Preds players have recorded at least eight points this season.
Dallas fell in overtime last night, 3-2, to the Vegas Golden Knights. Tyler Seguin leads the Stars with 24 points, followed by Miro Heiskanen with 21 points and former Pred Alexander Radulov with 19. Roope Hintz has 11 goals on the season for the Stars; Radulov has nine and newcomer Joe Pavelski has seven. Ben Bishop played last night against Vegas, so the Preds could face Anton Khudobin tonight; Khudobin is 6-5-1 on the season.
Video: Watson, Josi preview Dallas
The Predators are 38-40-(1)-5 all-time against the Stars, including a 25-15-(1)-2 record at Bridgestone Arena. The two teams will meet in the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on New Year's Day at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
Nashville and Dallas met five times in the 2018-19 regular season, with the Preds going 3-2-0. All three of Nashville's wins came on the road in Dallas.
The Preds have earned at least a point in nine of their last 11 games versus Dallas (8-2-1), and Nashville has scored at least four goals in eight of its last 10 victories over Dallas.
Notables Versus Dallas:
Roman Josi has recorded 25 points (10g-15a) in 32 career contests against Dallas, and Ryan Johansen has three multi-point games in his last seven appearances versus Dallas. He's posted 20 points (7g-13a) in 28 career games against the Stars.
Calle Jarnkrok has five points (3g-2a) in his last seven games against Dallas and 12 points (7g-5a) in 25 career meetings with the Stars.
When You Go:
Bridgestone Arena doors open at 4 p.m. CT ahead of tonight's special 5:30 p.m. start time.
Join Preds broadcasters Terry Crisp and Lyndsay Rowley as they go live from the FOX Sports Tennessee Zone inside Bridgestone Arena for the Saturday Night in Smashville pregame show starting at 5 p.m.
The Predators and the U.S. Marine Corps' Toys for Tots Foundation will be collecting new, unwrapped toys before tonight's game at arena entrances. Thanks to the toy donations, children all across Middle Tennessee will experience the joy of the holidays first hand.
Stop by the Preds Foundations area outside of Section 106 to purchase a 2020 Predators Team Calendar for $15 or a holiday mystery puck autographed by a Preds player for $25. Signed holiday Predators jerseys will also be up for auction tonight: stop by or text "Preds" to 76278.
Watch and Listen:
Coverage for tonight's contest begins with Smashville Live on Fox Sports Tennessee at 5 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 4:30 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