The NHL is set up with a total of six games on the board for Wednesday night. Wednesday night’s action in the NHL will be the last games before the NHL All Star break this weekend. One of the top games on the board will be between the Nashville Predators and the Vegas Golden Knights. Both teams have done really well to this point in the season and will look to improve going into the break. The game is set to start at 10:00 PM Eastern time on NBCSN.
Nashville has jumped out to a record of 29-18-4 this season, which has them in second place of the Central Division. The Predators are only two points behind Winnipeg for that top spot in the Central. Nashville won their last game 4-1 against the Colorado Avalanche on Monday night, but have lost four of their last six. The Predators will look to turn this into a winning streak going into the All-Star break.
The Golden Knights had a slower start to the season, but have picked it up as the season has gone along. Vegas has gone 29-18-4 this season as well, which has them in the third spot of the Pacific Division. The Golden Knights have lost three of their last five games after going on a seven-game winning streak. Vegas will look to bounce back with a win on Wednesday after losing to the Minnesota Wild on Monday night.
Wednesday night’s matchup between the Predators and the Golden Knights will be the second game of the season series. Nashville and Vegas will meet one more time after the All-Star break on February 16. These two teams have the exact same record and have been in a bit of a slump as of recently. I believe that both teams will come out hot on Wednesday night, which should lead to a good game.
The Predators and the Golden Knights met up three times last season. Nashville hosted the first matchup, but lost 4-3 in a shootout. Vegas hosted the second matchup of the season series and were able to shut out the Predators 3-0. Nashville was finally able to break through in the third matchup of the season series at home. The Predators snuck away with a 1-0 win in the final game of the season series.
Nashville hosted the first matchup of this season’s series on October 30. Reilly Smith opened up the scoring with a power-play goal in the first period, but Ryan Hartman bounced back with two goals in the second period. Kevin Fiala and Roman Josi each had two assists as the Predators were able to pull off the win at home. Juuse Saros had a big night, turning away 23 of 24 shots for Nashville.
These two teams have gone 2-2 against each other since the Golden Knights joined the NHL last season. Both teams made a strong playoff run last season, but Vegas was better as they made a run to the Stanley Cup Finals. These two teams are both on pace to make playoff runs again this season, which should lead to a tightly contested matchup on Wednesday night as both teams fight for position in the standings.
The Predators have been hit pretty hard with injuries during portions of this season. At one point, Nashville was missing both Filip Forsberg and P.K. Subban. Going into Wednesday night’s matchup, Kyle Turris, Miikka Salomaki and Zac Rinaldo will all be out for the Predators. Nashville will be able to insert Ryan Johansen back into the lineup though, as he returns from his two-game suspension.
Vegas has had some injuries hit them pretty hard as of right now. The Golden Knights are missing William Carrier, Erik Haula and Reilly Smith for their matchup with the Predators. Vegas is also missing their backup goalie Malcolm Subban. The Golden Knights have lost Carrier, Smith, and Subban in the month of January, which has been part of the reason for their struggles recently.
The biggest hit for the Golden Knights has been Reilly Smith, who has put up 27 points in 45 games, which is good for fourth on the team. William Carrier also plays a good grinder role for Vegas on those bottom two lines. Turris was having a good season for the Predators before he went down with an injury. He had 18 points in 30 games and had an important role as the second line Center.
I expect Pekka Rinne start in net for Nashville on Wednesday night. Rinne has been off to a strong start this season. He has put up a record of 18-12-3 in his starts. Rinne has a save percentage of .915 and a 2.47 GAA. He will need to put up a strong performance to pull off the road upset on Wednesday night.
Marc-Andre Fleury will likely get the nod in net for the Golden Knights on Wednesday night. Fleury has earned a .911 save percentage and a GAA of 2.50. In his starts, Fleury has a record of 27-13-4 this season. Vegas has been riding Fleury all season and they will need him to put up another good performance.
These two goalie’s match up really well with each other. Both goalies have very similar stats this season, with the slight edge going to Pekka Rinne. Rinne will need to play really well though if he wants to stop the Golden Knights in Vegas. I expect these two goalies to go toe to toe with each other.
Both teams have hit a slight slump recently, but one of them can finish with a tough win going into the All-Star break. I believe that with Ryan Johansen coming back from injury, the Predators will be able to get a second win against the Golden Knights this season. Nashville also has a slight edge in net, and I believe that Rinne will step up to get the road upset.
BetOnline has Vegas listed as a -123 against the money line for Wednesday night’s matchup. This implies that the Golden Knights will win this game around 55 percent of the time. I believe that the Predators and the Golden Knights should be listed close to even for this matchup. This gives a lot of value to Nashville as road underdogs. I believe that the Predators build off their last win against the Avalanche.