Game Day: Preds at Avalanche Preview

The Nashville Predators (12-12-4), coming off Thursday’s OT loss to the Winnipeg Jets, will look to snap a five-game skid when they take on the Colorado Avalanche Saturday at Ball Arena.

The puck drops at 8 p.m. CT, and the game will be broadcast on Bally Sports South, 102.5 The Game and El Jefe Radio. Here’s everything you need to know:

Line ‘Em Up

Below are Nashville’s lines from Thursday’s game at Winnipeg:

Forsberg – Granlund – Duchene
Niederreiter – Glass – Sissons
Smith – Johansen – Jankowski
Trenin – Parssinen – Jeannot

Josi – Gross
Ekholm – Fabbro
Gravel – McKeown

Saros

The Good Guys

  • The Predators have allowed 2.64 goals-against per game since Nov. 12, the eighth-best mark in the League.
  • Roman Josi has 22 points (6g-16a) in his last 20 games after recording two assists on Tuesday vs. Edmonton. Josi is inching closer to passing David Legwand for the most points in franchise history. Josi (565) needs one more point to tie Legwand (566) and two to pass him. Since Oct. 27, Josi is tied for third among NHL defensemen in goals (6); fifth in points (22); and tied for seventh in assists (16).
  • Goaltender Juuse Saros is 6-2-3 with a 2.40 goals-against average and .925 save percentage in his last 11 games dating back to Nov. 12. He’s made at least 30 saves in six of his last 11 games, and he’s faced at least 30 shots in eight of those outings. Additionally, Saros owns a 7.03 goals saved above average (GSAA) since Nov. 12, the fourth-best mark in the League (per Natural Stat Trick). GSAA measures the goals a goalie prevented given his save percentage and shots faced vs. the NHL average save percentage on the same number of shots.
  • Filip Forsberg (483) passed Martin Erat (481) and moved into sole possession of third place on the Predators’ all-time points list on Nov. 8 at Seattle. After scoring on Thursday at Winnipeg, he leads Nashville in points with 25 (9g-16a) and has five multi-point outings in his last 20 games. Forsberg has 22 points (7g-15a) in his last 21 games dating back to Oct. 22 vs. Philadelphia.

The Other Guys

The injury-riddled Avalanche (15-11-2) are currently in fourth place in the Central Division. They enter Saturday’s game coming off a 4-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.

Mikko Rantanen leads the Avs with 37 points (20g-17a), and his 20 goals are also a team high. Colorado’s next leading scorer, Nathan MacKinnon (8g-26a), has been sidelined since Dec. 6 with an upper-body injury and will not be active for Saturday’s game.

All-Time Meetings

This is the second of four matchups between Nashville and Colorado in 2022-23 and the second and final at Ball Arena. Nashville vs. Colorado, originally scheduled for Nov. 25, will now be played on April 14 at 7 p.m. CT.

The Predators are 47-34-(5)-3 all-time against the Avalanche, including a 23-19-(2)-2 record on the road. Nashville is 0-1-0 against Colorado this season, dropping a 5-3 decision in Denver on Nov. 10.

Notables vs. Colorado

  • Matt Duchene was drafted third overall by the Avalanche in the 2009 NHL Draft. He recorded 428 points (178g-250a) in nine seasons with Colorado from 2009-17. Duchene has nine goals and 10 points in 10 career games against his former team.
  • Josi recorded a 12-game point streak vs. Colorado (5g-11a) from March 28, 2016-Jan. 21, 2019. He’s recorded a point in 28 of his 39 career games against the Avalanche, tallying 14 goals and 38 points.
  • Colton Sissons posted a career-high three assists on Dec. 16, 2021 vs. the Avs. He has 14 points (8g-6a) in 20 career regular-season games vs. Colorado.
  • Forsberg notched his fourth career hat trick on Feb. 23, 2017 vs. the Avalanche. He’s averaged more than a point per game in his career against Colorado, recording 33 points (16g-17a) in 30 games, including five game-winning goals.
  • Mikael Granlund skated in his first career NHL game and scored his first career NHL goal on Jan. 19, 2013 vs. Colorado.
  • Jordan Gross spent the 2021-22 season with the Colorado organization, appearing in one NHL game with the Avalanche.
  • Predators Assistant Coach Dan Hinote won the 2001 Stanley Cup as a player for the Avalanche.
  • Colorado defenseman Samuel Girard was selected by the Predators in the second round (47th overall) of the 2016 NHL Draft. He skated in five games for Nashville in 2017-18, tallying three points (1g-2a).

Last Time Out

Nashville moved to 5-7-2 on the road in 2022-23 with Thursday’s OT loss to Winnipeg. Six of Nashville’s last 11 games have required overtime, and the Predators are now 4-4 in overtime/shootouts this season (2-3 in OT; 2-1 in shootout). The result gave the Preds a 0-3-2 record in their last five games.

Forsberg opened the scoring on Nashville’s first shot of the game at 9:04 of the first period. Saros made 39 saves, tied for his second-most in a game this season. Josi led all skaters with 27:43 of ice time; he also added four shots on goal, six shot attempts and blocked three shots.

Watch & Listen

Coverage for Saturday’s game begins at 7:30 p.m. CT with the Predators LIVE! pregame show on Bally Sports South, hosted by Lyndsay Rowley. Play-by-play announcer Willy Daunic and analyst Chris Mason will have the call on the television side.

Max Herz and Hal Gill will call the game on 102.5 The Game and the Predators Radio Network with pregame, postgame and intermission coverage by Pete Weber. The game will also be broadcast in Spanish on El Jefe which airs on 96.7 FM, 105.3 FM and 810 AM.

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