Predators look to extend point streak vs. Knights

League: NHL

Posted on: 26 Mar, 2024 at 06:52 AM

Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Nashville Predators will attempt to extend the longest point streak in the NHL this season when they host the defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night.

Nashville (42-25-4, 88 points) brings in a franchise-record, 17-game point streak (15-0-2) that dates back to a 9-2 road loss to the Dallas Stars on Feb. 15. The Predators hold a three-point lead over Vegas (39-25-7, 85 points) for the top Western Conference wild-card spot.

The Golden Knights will be playing the second game of a back-to-back that began with a 2-1 overtime victory at St. Louis on Monday, extending their lead for the final wild-card spot to five points over the Blues. Vegas also remained two points behind the Los Angeles Kings for third place in the Pacific Division with 11 games to go for both teams.

Nashville, fourth in the Central Division and five points behind the third-place Winnipeg Jets, brings a five-game winning streak into the contest, including back-to-back shutout victories over the Florida Panthers (3-0 on Thursday) and the Detroit Red Wings (1-0 on Saturday). The Predators will carry a 154:14 shutout streak into the game.

Juuse Saros stopped 22 shots in the win over the Red Wings, and Filip Forsberg extended his goal streak to five games by netting the game-winner with 5:14 left in the third period.

"It wasn't our best game, but we hung in there," said Forsberg, who has scored 39 goals this season. "Obviously, Juuse was great for us all night. The third period I thought was our best period, and it ended up being enough."

Saros is 11-0-2 with a 1.76 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage during the point streak. In the Detroit game, he recorded his third shutout of the season and the 23rd of his career.

"Obviously it's fun to be a part of this," Saros said. "It just starts every day with keeping that same focus and not taking nights off. It's been great. I feel like we're building something special here."

Vegas picked up an extra point on St. Louis in the wild-card race with the overtime win that saw Logan Thompson stop 31 of 32 shots, including a glove save on a penalty shot by Pavel Buchnevich 30 seconds into overtime.

"I think the word is 'clutch' that we're looking for," Golden Knights center William Karlsson said, referring to Thompson's game. "Very clutch and obviously a huge save there on their penalty shot in OT. That's what we need from goaltenders this time of year."

Nineteen seconds after Thompson's big save on Buchnevich, Jonathan Marchessault scored his team-leading 39th goal on a short wrist shot from the left side of the net to win it for Vegas.

"It's a big game obviously," Marchessault said. "I think (this) road trip is obviously the turning point of our season, and we've got to stay dialed in."

The four-game trip also includes games at Winnipeg on Thursday and Minnesota, which is eight points behind Vegas but still has two more head-to-head games with the Golden Knights, on Saturday afternoon.

This is the third and final regular-season meeting between Nashville and Vegas. They split the first two meetings, both in Las Vegas.

A Mark Stone hat trick led the Golden Knights to a 4-1 win on Jan. 15 before the Predators won the second matchup 5-3 on Feb. 20. Kevin Lankinen made 23 saves and Roman Josi and Ryan McDonagh each had two assists for Nashville in the latter contest.

--Field Level Media