The Predators open a home-and-home series against the Blue Jackets tonight at Columbus, Nashville’s first road game of the preseason. The Central Division rivals will also play six times during the regular season, including a home-and-home set the second week of the season. Game time is set for 6 pm CT and will be broadcast over the radio on 104.5 The Zone (click here to listen live).
The teams will rematch tomorrow night at Sommet Center (7 pm start). Tomorrow night's game will also feature a School Supply Drive to benefit Bridges Academy.
Thirteen of the 20 players in the projected Nashville lineup will be making their preseason debuts. The other seven players skated in last night’s preseason opener against Atlanta, including defensemen Kevin Klein, Teemu Laakso, and Alex Sulzer, and forwards Ryan Jones, Rich Peverley, Michael Ryan, and Joel Ward.
Blue Jackets Projected Lineup Goaltenders: Dan LaCosta, Pascal Leclaire Defensemen: Christian Backman, Mike Commodore, Jan Hejda, Rostislav Klesla, Kris Russell, Fedor Tyutin Forwards: Derick Brassard, Jason Chimera, Kristian Huselius, Derek MacKenzie, Manny Malhotra, Jon Mirasty, Fredrik Modin, Andrew Murray, Rick Nash, Tom Sestito, Jakub Voracek, RJ Umberger
What to Look For?
• A Good Measuring Stick ... Columbus appears to be icing a very strong lineup tonight with several players projected to make the club's Opening Night roster, especially on defense where all six defensemen are favored to earn NHL roster spots.
• The Learning Curve ... Coach Trotz said he thought rookie defensemen Laakso and Sulzer looked a little nervous in their preseason debut last night. They're back in the lineup again tonight. How quickly do they adjust?
• Keeping Momentum ... Three guys in tight battles had productive games last night. Klein with a goal and an assist, Jones with a goal, and Peverley with a game-high seven shots on goal and several quality scoring chances created. Can each continue his success in a back-to-back setting?
• A First Look ... Grant, Gratton, and Pihlstrom -- all in battles for the final forward slots -- will each get his first action of the preseason. Hornqvist, Jones, Peverley, Ryan, Ward, and Mike Santorelli all made positive impressions in their debuts last night. Grant, Gratton, and Pihlstrom need to follow suit tonight or risk losing ground.