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Sissons Faces Hometown Team; Josi Says Preds are Feeling Confident

by Brooks Bratten / Nashville Predators

He’s getting used to it, but seeing the Vancouver Canucks logo on the other side of the ice still conjures some memories for Colton Sissons. The Nashville Predators center grew up in North Vancouver, British Columbia, and described himself as a “pretty diehard Canucks fan” while growing up.

“There’s a little bit of nostalgia involved with it,” Sissons said of facing off against his boyhood team. “Now it’s getting a bit more normal, but whenever we play in Vancouver against the Canucks, it definitely brings back some memories, because I spent a lot of time watching games in that building.”

Thursday’s contest against Vancouver is set to take place in Nashville, where Sissons and his teammates will try to hit the 89-point mark and ascend closer to securing a spot in the postseason. The Preds will face a Canucks team that has lost five games in a row and hasn’t scored in their last three-plus, but that won’t deter the Predators from preparing the same as any other opponent. After all, Vancouver’s last win was a 4-2 victory over the Preds.

“Sometimes teams are a bit snake bitten, and they tend to explode after a big slump, so we’ll just be looking to just keep things tight defensively as we always try to do,” Sissons said. “No matter if we’re playing Vancouver, L.A., Anaheim, it doesn’t matter, we have to be ready.”

“There are no easy games, and I’m sure they’re going to want to show a reaction after losing three games and not scoring in three games,” defenseman Roman Josi said. “We have to be ready for that and it doesn’t matter if you play the L.A. Kings or the Vancouver Canucks, it’s always a tough game.”

Recently, the Predators have been ready to play from the opening puck drop, including points in eight-straight games at home. Nashville hasn’t lost a home game in regulation since Feb. 9 and have played well in their own building when it matters most.

“We’re feeling good about the way we’re playing right now,” Josi said. “Come playoff time, you know every team that makes it in the playoffs can win and every team is dangerous. We’re feeling good about the way we’re playing and hopefully we can keep it going the last nine games.”

Notes:

Nashville’s line rushes remained the same as they were during Monday’s 5-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings.

Anthony Bitetto (lower-body) and Paul Gaustad (upper-body) were the only two Preds absent from Wednesday’s practice.

Gaustad celebrated the birth of the newest member of his family, Brooks Anthony Gaustad, with a post on Instagram on Tuesday morning.

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