The Nashville Predators surrendered all of one goal while winning three straight for the second time this month before seeing the defensive floodgates open in their last contest. The Predators aim to nip their brief stretch of generosity in the bud on Thursday when they conclude an abbreviated two-game homestand against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Nashville saw its three-game win streak and seven-game point run come to an halt on Tuesday with a 6-4 setback to Winnipeg, marking just its third regulation loss at home this season. “We obviously have to look ourselves in the mirror,” said Predators forward Filip Forsberg, who has recorded a point in each of his team’s 16 home games this season. Carolina might not want to see its reflection after it permitted four goals in the first and third periods of an 8-1 drubbing by Toronto on Tuesday afternoon. “Guys will look in the mirror,” Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. “Hopefully guys have to shave, and if they have to shave, hopefully they use the mirror. When they look in the mirror, that should get them refocused.”
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Carolinas, FSN Tennessee (Nashville)
ABOUT THE HURRICANES (14-12-7): Jeff Skinner scored his team-leading 12th goal midway into the first period before it all went south for the Hurricanes, who own the league’s 27th-ranked offense (2.7 goals per game), 29th-ranked power play (14.2 percent) and 29th-ranked penalty kill (75.6 percent). Teuvo Teravainen ended four games of being held off the scoresheet by setting up Skinner’s goal for his club-best 17th assist and 25th point. Victor Rask is mired in a four-game point drought, but collected a goal and an assist in Carolina’s 4-3 shootout win over Nashville on Nov. 26.
ABOUT THE PREDATORS (21-8-4): Kevin Fiala scored in his fourth straight game overall and also set up a goal against the Jets to increase his point total to 11 (seven goals, four assists) during his eight-game point streak. The 21-year-old Swiss has benefited from the acquisition of Kyle Turris, who has 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) in 17 games since last month’s blockbuster trade. Fellow linemate Craig Smith has also seen his production skyrocket with the addition of Turris, recording eight goals and as many assists in 16 contests.
1. Carolina G Scott Darling, who was blitzed for all eight goals versus the Maple Leafs, made 32 saves in the last meeting with Nashville to improve his career mark to 3-1-0 against the club.
2. Predators D P.K. Subban has three goals and two assists during his four-game point streak.
3. The Hurricanes are 0-for-14 on the power play over the last five contests.
PREDICTION: Predators 4, Hurricanes 1