The opening homestand produced 19 goals in four games, and now, for the first time in 2019-20, it's time for the Nashville Predators to take their show on the road.
After posting a 3-1-0 record to begin the campaign, dates in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Arizona await the Preds over the course of the next week. It begins on Saturday against the Kings at Staples Center, and although it's certainly possible, it'll be hard for the Predators to top their most recent outing.
Nashville scored four goals in the third period on Thursday night to come back and beat Washington by a 6-5 final in one of the more thrilling contests in recent memory. Now, the Predators hope to continue their torrid offensive pace away from Bridgestone Arena.
"I liked being home this much [to begin the season], and I thought it was really good, but it's good for a group to get going, too," Preds Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. "It's a great opportunity for these guys to get together on the road and spend some time together. Even though this group has been around for a little bit, there's new additions, so they get a chance to get away from their homes and spend some time with each other and see if we can win some road games."
One of those fresh faces is Matt Duchene, who just so happens to lead the Predators in scoring through the team's first four games with eight points. Seven of those are assists, and his first goal as a member of his new club was Nashville's fourth on Thursday evening that helped to send the home crowd into a frenzy.
The Predators won't have that advantage through their next three outings, but it's players like Duchene who have been driving the offensive attack, something the group expects will continue away from Tennessee.
"He's been great," Preds Captain Roman Josi said of Duchene. "He changes a lot for our team. He's a great player, great guy in the room and he's had an unbelievable start, but it feels like we can roll every line. Every line is dangerous and can create something, and he's a huge part of that."
Video: Take an all-access look at a road trip with the Preds
If the Preds are to find success on the excursion, Duchene is likely to play an important part, but so will everyone else throughout the lineup. Yes, players like Duchene and Filip Forsberg - who has four goals in as many games - have been among the most noticeable, but all but four Predators skaters who have dressed this season have at least one point.
Contributions are already coming throughout the lineup, and it's exactly what the Preds were hoping would happen with the amount of skill across the roster.
"I don't know if there's a [single] key [to our success], but it's one of those things we have is our depth up front, and really all throughout our whole lineup," Preds center Ryan Johansen said. "We have a lot of good players we feel can go out there and create offense, capitalize on chances and make things happen for our group."
And while the primary goal will be to play - and win - hockey games out west, the Predators are also looking forward to what that first road trip of the season will bring. The locales certainly help the mood, but a trip like this will ultimately play a part in this group's story over the next eight-plus months, and they want to make the most of it.
"That first road trip is always important for the team with some new guys," Josi said. "You get together a lot more on the road, you go to dinners together, and we have a couple nights in Vegas and we'll do some team stuff, so it'll be a lot of fun."
As Laviolette said prior to the team departing for Los Angeles, there are worse places to visit. If the group returns back to Nashville with at least a few more points in the standings, the next week will prove to be that much more memorable.
"That we're a pretty dangerous hockey club," Preds forward Colton Sissons said. "We've shown some spurts where we're pretty dominant and creating a lot of chances and making some nice plays. Offensively, I think it's really exciting what we've seen thus far."