Eighty-one games have decided that if the Nashville Predators win on Saturday night (at 7 p.m. CT) over the Chicago Blackhawks, they'll be Central Division Champions.
Nashville (46-29-6) fought back from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Vancouver Canucks, 3-2, on Thursday. Coupled with a Winnipeg Jets' loss in overtime later that evening, the Preds' win puts them into first in the Central and ensures that if they claim two more points in their regular-season finale, they'll finish at No. 1.
The Preds held an optional practice on Thursday, with Calle Jarnkrok participating. Frederick Gaudreau, Cody McLeod, Matt Irwin, Rem Pitlick, Yannick Weber, Rocco Grimaldi and Juuse Saros also skated.
Chicago (36-33-12) was victorious last night at home over the Dallas Stars with a 6-1 win. Goaltender Corey Crawford left the game with an injury; Cam Ward replaced him.
The Predators held a full morning skate on Saturday. Below is a Preds projected lineup based on the session:
Filip Forsberg - Ryan Johansen - Viktor Arvidsson
Mikael Granlund - Kyle Turris - Craig Smith
Colton Sissons - Nick Bonino - Austin Watson
Brian Boyle - Calle Jarnkrok - Wayne Simmonds
Roman Josi - Ryan Ellis
Mattias Ekholm - P.K. Subban
Dan Hamhuis - Dante Fabbro
Note: The Predators have not announced a starting goaltender for tonight's game