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Perfect On the Road Thus Far, Preds Embark on Five-Game Excursion

Nashville Set to Face Colorado to Begin Second-Longest Trip of Season

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Senior Communications & Content Coordinator

The Predators claim there's no particular secret to their perfect road record. No magic potion or secluded spell either. There may not be any sorcery involved, but whatever the Preds are doing, it's been working.

Nashville is one of just two teams in the NHL to remain undefeated away from home this season, a feat that began on Opening Night in New York City and has carried through Alberta, back to the Northeast and down to the Gulf Coast too.

Six hostile environments, six hard-earned victories.

The road success has helped lead the Preds to their best start in franchise history, still atop the League standings a month into the 2018-19 journey. If they want to keep that status, they'll have to find some more of that wizardry over the next nine days with five games out west, their second-longest trip of the entire season.

But, don't expect the coaching staff to harp on the various locales or opponents. The Predators aren't oblivious - they know where they'll be skating night to night - it just may not play as prevalent of a role as one might think.

"We haven't talked about [our road record] too much," Preds Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. "We've talked about being successful, and I'll be honest, we don't get too hung up on where we are or the building or the city that we're playing in. I know it's hard to win on the road, but I think our group has done a pretty good job of focusing on the opponent and the game and not necessarily the location."

Visits to Dallas, Anaheim, San Jose and Arizona are all on the docket, but the opening stop comes in Colorado, Nashville's first trip to the Mile High City since they shut out the Avalanche in Game 6 of their Round One postseason meeting in the spring.

There's always a little something extra when a playoff rivalry is renewed for the first time the following season, and Colorado's top line of Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen - currently the League's leading scorer - is one of the more formidable trios to date.

"They've been flying and they've got a lot of skill, a lot of talent, but they're always strong on the puck," Nashville defenseman P.K. Subban said of the line. "They're fast, they're quick, they're physical… and they work really well together. They're a dangerous line and it shows."

The Predators may very well prosper in halting the Avalanche's attack, but it may not come without a few bumps and bruises, turnovers and penalties along the way. However, those things are going to happen at times, especially on the road.

All that really matters is the reading on the scoreboard at the end of the night.

"The best part about being on the road is it doesn't have to be pretty," Subban said. "You just have to go out and get two points. I think sometimes at home, you get a little comfortable and you want to put on a show in front of your fans. But on the road, it doesn't matter if it's ugly or pretty or cute, you've just got to get it done."

The Preds have done that so far, no matter the situation or incentive. And while Bushwacker won't be making another appearance on this trip regardless of the record, there's still more than enough motivation to come back to Nashville at least a few points richer when all is said and done.

"All the hard work that we've done early in the year, it's a big road trip for us," Subban said. "In the first half of the season, if you have a good road trip here, it can kind of make the first [15 or 20 games] of the season look a lot better when you can get through this road trip. Everybody's going to have them, but we want to keep moving in the right direction. This is an opportunity for us, a great challenge."

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