Hockey is a lot to keep up with and if you’re a busy Middle Tennessean but are still a fan of the hometown Predators, we have your weekly Nashville Predators update with everything you need to know right here.
January 3rd, 6-3 win vs Montreal Canadiens
January 5th, 5-3 win @ Carolina Hurricanes
January 6th, 3-2 win @ Washington Capitals
What. A. Week.
The Preds had one game to start the week at home before a five-game road trip up the coast and into Canada, and they made the most of it with the Tuesday night home crowd getting to see a 6-3 win over Montreal. The win consisted of six different goal scorers for The Preds as well as a 2-of-4 night on the power play, while holding The Canadiens to 0-for-4. It proved to be just the boost Nashville needed to start the road trip
The first game of the back-to-back came against the number two team in the NHL, The Carolina Hurricanes. It was going to take a special night from The Preds to get this one in the win column, and not only was it a special night, but a legendary one for Juuse Saros. Saros made 64 saves. Yes, you read that right, 64. That number set the franchise record for saves in a game and tied third most in NHL history.
TIED FOR THE THIRD-MOST SAVES IN A GAME IN NHL HISTORY pic.twitter.com/Nt6kKY7pwW
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) January 6, 2023
While The Predators certainly owe this win to their netminder, they also matched The Canes goal-for-goal through two periods and then pulled away in the third. This was a huge win for this team and this season.
It was out of the frying pan and into the fire with no rest for Nashville as they had to turn around and play The Washington Capitals the next night. Coach Hynes chose to rest Saros after his record breaking, and almost certainly exhausting, 64 save performance. While probably necessary, it is not ideal to go up against Alex Ovechkin with your backup goalie, but Kevin Lankinen played a solid game, only giving up two goals. The Predators hung in the hard-fought game until the end and Ryan McDonagh scored his first goal as a Predator to give Nashville the lead in the third period. This proved to be the game winning goal, and was it ever a pretty one.
Nashville now sits at 18-14-6 with 42 points. They are sitting at 20th in the NHL, 10th in the Western Conference, and 5th in the Central Division.
January 9th, at 6:30, @ Ottawa Senators (NHLPP|ESPN+|Bally)
January 11th, at 6:30 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (NHLPP|ESPN+|Bally)
January 12th, at 6:00 @ Montreal Canadiens (NHLPP|ESPN+|Bally)
January 14th, at 7:00 vs Buffalo Sabres (NHLPP|ESPN+|Bally)
After an ideal start to the road trip, we get into the thick of it this week with the third back-to-back in 14 days on the 11th and 12th. The Preds will face off against the Canadiens for the second week in a row after dominating them in Bridgestone Arena, The Senators after losing a close game to them back on December 10th and will see The Leafs and Sabres for the first time this season. If you follow The Predators closely, you’ve had this road trip circled for a while as a big test for this team facing Carolina, Washington, and Toronto, but so far Nashville is 2-0 in those games and looking for more.
So the Nashville Predators have scored:
-5 goals tonight
-15 goals in their last 3 games
-27 goals in their last 7 games
… offensive issues resolved?
— Alex Daugherty (@AlexDaugherty1) January 4, 2023
The above tweet from Alex Daugherty was before The Preds scored five against Carolina and three against Washington. It seems (for now) Nashville has gotten its offensive woes figured out but aren’t getting consistent contributions from their biggest stars. It seems as though different Nashville plyers are going on streaks at different times. If a couple of players can click at the same time as this team is heating up, they could become dangerous in a hurry.