Nashville, Tenn. (WKRN)- The Nashville Predators having been sitting towards the bottom of the Central Division standings for awhile. Right now they are two points out of the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference with 38 points.
Every point matters at this point of the season. The Preds were able to force overtime in Ottawa, but couldn’t capture a win, so Saturday’s game at Boston will be an important way to end their recent road trip.
This battle in Boston won’t be easy. The Bruins sit at the top of the Atlantic Conference and are 3rd overall in the league with 50 points. They’re 12-1-7 at home this season and have plenty of talent on their roster.
The Predators are 7-3-3 since losing eight of nine but there are plenty of things that need to be cleaned up, including the power play. While it seemed to be on the rise to start the season, it has taken a dip. Currently, the Preds’ power play is sixth-worst at 16.1% and the penalty kill is also struggling, sitting seventh-worst at 72.8%.
The Preds will need a full effort from all lines tonight, but getting productivity out of the top line would be helpful. It has been an experiment over the last four weeks, with Viktor Arvidsson being out with a lower-body injury. The good news, is he was activated off injured reserve late Saturday and will play against the Bruins.
Mikael Granlund, who was also dealing with a lower-body injury, will also return to the lineup.
Here is a look at the projected lineup, according to the morning skate session:
Calle Jarnkrok – Ryan Johansen – Viktor Arvidsson
Rocco Grimaldi – Matt Duchene – Mikael Granlund
Colin Blackwell – Kyle Turris – Craig Smith
Filip Forsberg – Nick Bonino – Colton Sissons
Roman Josi – Ryan Ellis
Mattias Ekholm – Dante Fabbro
Dan Hamhuis – Yannick Weber