The Predators will play the three California-based NHL teams in succession, beginning tonight in Anaheim versus the Ducks (at 9 p.m. CT).
Nashville (32-24-9) has lost two in a row after giving up the game-winning goal within the final 70 seconds of regulation in both contests. Absent for each of those plays was defenseman Ryan Ellis, who after leaving last Thursday's loss to Montreal in the second period, returned to the ice for Monday's practice with the team. Ellis participated in the club's morning skate on Tuesday alongside Roman Josi and may re-enter the lineup tonight against the Ducks.
The Preds' First Round Playoff foe in 2016, the Ducks (33-22-10) have alternated wins and losses for 11 consecutive games, including a 2-1 loss to the Canucks on Sunday. Anaheim beat Nashville 6-1 on Oct. 26 on home ice, before dropping the season series' lone game in Nashville, 5-0, on Nov. 12. The Ducks will likely be without their usual ace in net, John Gibson, tonight. The goalie has been dealing with a lower-body injury.
Update: Nashville Head Coach Peter Laviolette says Ryan Ellis will be back in the Preds lineup tonight.
The Preds projected lineup for Tuesday night is available below:
Filip Forsberg - Ryan Johansen - Viktor Arvidsson
Craig Smith - Mike Fisher - Austin Watson
Colin Wilson - Calle Jarnkrok - James Neal
Harry Zolnierczyk - Vernon Fiddler - Cody McLeod
Roman Josi - Ryan Ellis
Mattias Ekholm - P.K. Subban
Matt Irwin - Yannick Weber
Note: The Predators have not announced a starting goaltender for tonight's game