Nashville Predators at Tampa Bay Lightning: GAME# 79
Time: 6:00 pm Eastern Time
Location: Amalie Arena
Broadcast/Streaming: SunS, MSG
Opponent SBNation Site: On the Forecheck
Do we care whether the Boston Bruins take first in Atlantic? If they do, they’ll likely draw the New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, or Florida Panthers in the last wild-card slot for the first round, and the Tampa Bay Lightning will play against the other boys in blue, the Toronto Maple Leafs.
In the regular season, Tampa Bay split the two-game series against Philadelphia, bested Toronto and Florida three victories to one, and lost all three matches against New Jersey, so perhaps we want to remain in second. The point is to win the Cup, not the regular season, no matter what the Bruins say about it.
Congrats on the Stanley Cup, guys! ... Oh wait it was just a regular season game. Never mind.
The Bruins won their match against the Florida Panthers yesterday, 5-1, to regain Atlantic lead at 109 points, and then got a point out of their game today to earn 110. We’re exactly two points behind at 108, and could hop even today with a victory before going head-to-head with them again on Tuesday.
But this preview is actually about the first-in-league Nashville Predators.
The Nashville Predators spent yesterday getting their butts handed to them by the Buffalo Sabres in Nashville, so sadly they’ll be coming into Amalie looking to regain their pride. It was not an off night for Pekka Rinne, although he gave up six goals to the Sabres before Juuse Saros gave up one more in the 7-4 defeat. It was more likely that the Buffalo Sabres responded with a huge offensive push after an extremely crappy hit that fourth line “grit” player Scott Hartnell laid on Victor Antipin.
After being crushed into the boards from behind, Antipin had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher to the hospital for emergency treatment. He was luckily released from the hospital, and Hartnell frankly confessed that he shouldn’t have made the hit:
“It was unfortunate and I feel really bad about it,” Hartnell said to the Tennessean. “I’m going to (the Sabres’ locker room). I know a couple of guys over there, just to pass on my thoughts and let them know I didn’t try to hurt the guy. It was just kind of a hockey play. Those plays happen 10 to 15 times a game and it was just an unfortunate accident.”
Luckily we have just the guy for the job if Hartnell pulls any **** again -- noted enforcer Steven Stamkos.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Victor Hedman - Anton Stralman
Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Braydon Coburn - Mikhail Sergachev
On the second night of a back-to-back (they played yesterday against the Buffalo Sabres in Nashville), there will likely not be a morning skate for the Predators.
“Forward Viktor Arvidsson left Saturday’s game after taking a hit and did not return. Laviolette did not have an update on Arvidsson’s status following the contest.” [Predators preview]
Austin Watson - Colton Sissons - Nick Bonino
Kevin Fiala - Kyle Turris - Craig Smith
? - Ryan Johansen - Eeli Tolvanen
Scott Hartnell - Mike Fisher - Ryan Hartman
Ryan Ellis - Mattias Ekholm
Roman Josi - Anthony Bitetto
PK Subban - Alexei Emelin
Juuse Saros - ? Probably?