Connect with us

Nashville Predators

What To Expect From Predators’ Regular-Season Finale



Photo by John Russell/Nashville Predators

With an opportunity to clinch the top wild-card spot in the Western Conference with one point in Pittsburgh on Monday, the Nashville Predators appear to be all-in on trying to win.

Based on the line combinations tweeted out Monday morning by team reporter Zach Gilchriest, the Predators appear to be rolling with their usual top and fourth lines, while the middle six stayed mostly intact with a few minor tweaks and the defensive pairings were shaken up a bit with Alex Carrier, who was injured in Saturday’s win over Columbus, coming out and Dante Fabbro slotting in in his place.

Forwards Cody Glass and Jaret Anderson-Dolan, who both played in the win over the Blue Jackets on Saturday, are likely to be healthy scratches.

No starting goaltender has been announced yet, but it’s expected that Juuse Saros will get the nod. Among NHL goalies, Saros is tied for the fourth-most wins (35), and he ranks 10th in shutouts (3), 13th in goals-against average (2.84) and 14th in save percentage (.906).

Based off the morning skate lines, the Predators appear to want to cinch up the first wild-card spot. Should that happen, they’ll play the Pacific Division winner in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which will likely be the Vancouver Canucks (98.2% chance of winning division), though the Edmonton Oilers have a 1.8% chance of winning the division.

The Predators (47-29-5, 99 points) hold a three-point lead over the Vegas Golden Knights (44-28-8, 96 points) in the wild-card standings. Nashville wraps up the regular season Monday while Vegas’ final regular-season game is Thursday against Anaheim.

If the Predators get zero points from their matchup with the Penguins on Monday, they can still earn the top wild-card spot if the Golden Knights get anything less than four points in their final two games.

Nashville won the only regular-season matchup between the two teams earlier this season — a 3-2 overtime win at Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 28. Here’s the plus/minus report from that game. Juuse Saros stopped 29 of 31 shots and Michael McCarron notched a two-goal performance.

Filip Forsberg scored the controversial game-winner 14 seconds into the OT period as Penguins defenseman pushed Predators forward Ryan O’Reilly into Sidney Crosby at the blue line, giving Forsberg a clear path to the goal.


Puck drop for Monday’s game at PPG Paints Arena is at 6 p.m. CT. It can be streamed on Bally Sports South and radio broadcasts can be heard on both 102.5 The Game and 96.7 El Jefe.

Follow Michael Gallagher on X/Twitter @MGsports_

Be sure to follow Nashville Hockey Now on X/Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

Get Nashville HN in Your Inbox!

Enter your email address and get our stories send straight to your inbox.