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Game Day: Preds to Panthers Preview

One of the biggest weeks in Predators franchise history has arrived and the schedule begins tonight in Florida against the Panthers. Tonight’s contest between the Preds and Panthers is the first of two meetings between the clubs; Nashville will host Florida in April.

Winless in their last four outings, the Predators are eager for another shot at a two-pointer as they venture into the Sunshine State, and that contest alone will remain the team’s focus with more other upcoming festivities.

On Thursday, the Preds will retire former goaltender Pekka Rinne’s jersey before hosting the Dallas Stars, then Nashville will come out to meet the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2022 NHL Stadium Series on Saturday night. The anticipation is high for both events, but the Predators know they will be even more enjoyable with success on the ice.

“It’s a special week for the players and for the organization and in the city of Nashville, and it’s great to be a part of it, but you have to focus on the task at hand,” said the Preds head coach John Hynes. “Take every situation and every challenge one step at a time, and I think if we do that, we’ll give ourselves a good chance to not only enjoy the things that are happening that are a little bit different this week compared to a normal week. , but also put us in a position to win games.”

“It’s a big week”, Preds Captain Romain Josi noted. “Sometimes you’re going to go through lows during the season, and right now obviously [we’ve lost] four in a row. We have great games to come with very good teams. Florida, [they’re] probably the best team in the league right now. And Dallas, a central division [matchup] is always a big game. Then Tampa, one of the best teams in the League. It’s a great opportunity for us to play against some really good teams and come out on top.”

defender of predators Mark Borowiecki left Friday’s game at Carolina with an apparent injury and did not return. Pres forward Nick Cousins rest from week to week with a lower body injury.

On Monday, the Preds recalled the striker Matt Luff of Milwaukee and reassigned forward Cole Smith to the Admirals.

Tweet from @brooksbratten: #Preds head coach John Hynes says Philippe Tomasino will play online with Ryan Johansen and Luc Kounin tonight against Florida. These three also saw some time together on Friday in Carolina. Hynes says any injury updates will come closer to game time tonight. #NSHvsFLA

The good ones :

Luc Kounine, Philippe Forsberg and Tanner Jeannot all scored in Friday’s 5-3 loss to Carolina, and Juuse Saros took the loss at the net.

Josi (13g-38a) continues to lead the Preds in points with 51 points, followed by Matt Duchene (23g-21a) with 44 points then Forsberg (25g-16a) with 41 points. Mikael Granlund has 32 assists and 39 points this season, Ryan Johansen (13g-23a) has 36 points and rookie Tanner Jeannot has 15 goals and 29 points. Saros is 24-15-3 in goal.

Video: Granlund presents Preds vs Panthers

The opposition:

The Panthers have won their last three games, including a 5-2 win over Chicago on Sunday. Jonathan Huberdeau (17g-53a) leads Florida – and is just one point off the league lead in scoring – with 70 points. Sam Reinhart (17g-30y) and Aaron Ekblad (13g-34y) each have 47 points, while Aleksander Barkov (23g-22y) has 45 points. Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky 26-4-3 in goal with a .919 save percentage.

All-Time Meetings:

The Predators are 17-18-(3)-2 all-time against the Panthers, including an 8-10-(1)-1 record on the road. The Predators are 2-3-0 in their last five games against the Panthers; they are 3-6-1 in their last 10; and 2-3-0 in their last five trips.

Nashville went 3-5-0 against Florida in the 2020-21 regular season when both teams were first in the Central Division. In front of a packed house of 17,298, the Predators played their first-ever NHL game against the Panthers on October 10, 1998.

Video: Coach Hynes presents Preds vs Panthers

Notable against Florida:

Filip Forsberg has 17 points (4g-12a) in 16 career games against Florida, including 10 (3g-7a) in six games last season. He recorded his first career five-point game on Feb. 4, 2021 at Florida (2g-3a).

Ryan Johansen posted a three-game point streak against Florida from February 4 to March 6, 2021, registering one goal and two assists. He has 11 points (3g-8a) in 24 career games against the Panthers.

Roman Josi has 17 points (6g-11a) in 20 career games against Florida. Juuse Saros made a career-high 49 saves on April 27, 2021 against Florida.

Panthers forward Patric Hornqvist was selected by the Predators in the seventh round (230th overall) of the 2005 NHL Draft. He had 216 points (106g-110a) in 363 games with Nashville from 2008 to 2014.

Panthers head coach Andrew Brunette played one season for the Predators in the team’s inaugural season in 1998–99. Brunette scored the first goal in Predators history on October 13, 1998 against Carolina.

Watch and listen:

Coverage of Sunrise’s faceoff coverage at 6 p.m. CT tonight begins at 5:30 p.m. CT with the Predators Live! pre-match broadcast on Bally Sports South. Willy Daunic, Chris Mason and Lyndsay Rowley have the call on the television side, while Pete Weber and Hal Gill will broadcast on 102.5 The Game and the Predators Radio Network. Pre-game radio coverage begins at 5 p.m. with Darren McFarland. For nationwide broadcast information and channel locations, click here.