PREDATORS (30-18-4) at PANTHERS (20-20-8)
7 p.m. ET; FS-F, FS-TN, NHL.TV
The Florida Panthers will seek their fourth straight victory when they host the Nashville Predators at BB&T Center on Friday.
The Panthers, who have outscored opponents 13-5 in three consecutive wins following a seven-game losing streak (0-5-2) likely will be without centers Derick Brassard and Riley Sheahan, who they acquired along with three draft picks in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins for forwards Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann on Friday.
Florida will play their first game since Jan. 21; the Panthers took their League-mandated five-day break after the 2019 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend.
The Predators look for their third win in a row after going 1-3-1 in their previous five games and will play for the first time since Jan. 23. They also just completed their five-day break.
Players to watch
Predators center Ryan Johansen has seven points (one goal, six assists) in his past six games.
Panthers forward Frank Vatrano has six points (three goals, three assists) in a three-game goal and point streak.
They said it
“We’re in a good spot in the standings right now. We still feel there’s lots to improve on in our game. We need to keep building, get better and better here as we get closer to the playoffs.” — Predators defenseman Dan Hamhuis
“We have to be one of the best teams in the League in February to give ourselves a chance. We’re recharged. There’s a job at hand. We’re healthy, we’re fresh. Everything is positive right now.” — Panthers coach Bob Boughner
Predators projected lineup
Filip Forsberg — Ryan Johansen — Viktor Arvidsson
Kevin Fiala — Colton Sissons — Craig Smith
Calle Jarnkrok — Nick Bonino — Colin Blackwell
Ryan Hartman — Frederick Gaudreau — Rocco Grimaldi
Roman Josi — P.K. Subban
Mattias Ekholm — Ryan Ellis
Dan Hamhuis — Matt Irwin
Scratched: Yannick Weber
Injured: Zac Rinaldo (undisclosed), Miikka Salomaki (upper body), Kyle Turris (lower body)
Suspended: Austin Watson
Panthers projected lineup
Frank Vatrano — Aleksander Barkov — Evgenii Dadonov
Jonathan Huberdeau — Vincent Trocheck — Mike Hoffman
Denis Malgin — Henrik Borgstrom — Jayce Hawryluk
Micheal Haley — Colton Sceviour — Troy Brouwer
Keith Yandle — Aaron Ekblad
Mike Matheson — Mark Pysyk
Ian McCoshen — Josh Brown
Scratched: Derick Brassard, Riley Sheahan, MacKenzie Weegar
Injured: Derek MacKenzie (shoulder)
Saros, who made an NHL career-high 47 saves in a 2-1 victory against the Vegas Golden Knights on Jan. 23, likely will start. … With Brassard and Sheahan not likely to be available, Haley and Brouwer each will be back in the lineup for the first time in five games. … Weegar was activated from injured reserve after missing three games with a concussion, but will not play.
Nashville is 0-for-25 on the power play in its past seven games. … Luongo is three wins from tying Ed Belfour (481) for third place on the NHL’s all-time list. Luongo also is three games from tying Patrick Roy (1,029) for second place all-time.