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Projected Lineup: Predators at Sabres

Dante Fabbro, Dan Hamhuis Could Form Predators Third Defensive Pairing Again

by Thomas Willis @TomAWillis / Digital Manager & Producer

Nashville's final road game of the regular season pits the Predators and Sabres against each other in Buffalo (at 6 p.m. CT). 

Nashville (44-29-6) may see their playoff seeding go a variety of ways during their remaining three games. The Preds fell to the Blue Jackets on Saturday and are two points back of first in the Central Division and are tied for second. Earlier in the day, the Predators assigned forward Zac Rinaldo to Milwaukee (AHL) on a long-term injury loan.

The Sabres (31-38-10) sit near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings and have lost five games in row (including two shutouts).

Nashville held an optional morning skate at KeyBank Center and were joined by Austin Watson, who returned to the club on Monday after completing a long-term injury loan with Milwaukee. Miikka Salomaki was present for the same reason.

Update: Preds Head Coach Peter Laviolette confirmed Watson will return to the Nashville lineup tonight in Buffalo. 

"We thought it was important just to go down and work on his game, because even if you're in shape, I still think the game takes place and you get your game timing and systems and that sort of thing," Laviolette said of Watson. "He played in all possible scenarios down there and helped their team to a couple of wins... All reports are that he played extremely well, so he'll come back and he'll jump in our lineup tonight."

"I just wanted to feel good, play with speed, play with pace, be physical and do all the things that make me a successful player," Watson said of his time in Milwaukee. "I wanted to go down there and just get going again. With the time off you don't do things for a while, you've got to start doing them at some point. You have to start hitting guys, get on the forecheck and playing within the systems, and it was a great opportunity for me to do that."

Below is a Preds projected lineup based on Monday's practice:

Forwards

Filip Forsberg - Ryan Johansen - Viktor Arvidsson

Mikael Granlund - Kyle Turris - Craig Smith

Colton Sissons - Nick Bonino - Austin Watson

Brian Boyle - Calle Jarnkrok - Wayne Simmonds

Defense

Roman Josi - Ryan Ellis

Mattias Ekholm - P.K. Subban

Dan Hamhuis - Dante Fabbro

Goaltenders

Pekka Rinne

Juuse Saros

Note: The Predators have not announced a starting goaltender for tonight's game

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