The Nashville Predators continue on their road trip in Boston on Saturday afternoon. It hasn’t been a pretty sight for the Preds, as they’ve dropped all three of their games on the road going into this one. They will be on Christmas break after this contest, with their next game not until December 27th against the Stars in Nashville.
Eight of their next eleven games are on the road, including a five-game road trip beginning on January 4th, so this isn’t the easiest part of their schedule. They spent a lot of time at home earlier in the season and they are paying for it now. So far not so good for the Preds, who will be looking to avoid getting swept on the road in Boston at TD Garden on Saturday.
Nashville are a better team than what they’ve been putting on display recently. However, it doesn’t matter who you are, it’s tough to escape going on dry spells every so often. Another loss wouldn’t be a nice way to go into a break, though. The Predators have slipped to 22-12-1, giving way to Winnipeg and Calgary as the leaders in the Western Conference.
I wouldn’t be too concerned with that if I were the Preds, though. When it’s all said and done, they may very well own the best record in the conference. However, like I said, they’re on the road a lot over the next few weeks. That may be the difference between home-ice advantage or not. Pekka Rinne may be the best goaltender in the conference, so that would give them a serious advantage if he’s still hot later in the season.
The Bruins welcome the Predators to Boston after a 3-1 win over the Ducks. They have won their last two games, which also included a 4-0 win over the Sabres in Buffalo. Nevertheless, that was only their fifth win in their previous ten games. They’ve been one of the more up and down teams of the 2018-19 season. We’ll see if they can hand the Predators a sweep in the finale of their road trip. Head below for our free Predators vs. Bruins pick.
Nashville Predators vs. Boston Bruins Pick
Rinne was left out to dry with no goal support in their most recent outing against the Flyers. The Preds managed just 1 goal against the rookie goaltender, Carter Hart, as they struggled to get their offence moving in the right direction. Nine times out of ten Nashville wins games like that. When Rinne shows up and plays a strong game, the Predators are usually coming out of it with a win at the end of the night.
The same thing happened against the lowly Blackhawks, a 2-1 loss with no goal support from the offence. Nashville hard scored just 2.5 goals per game in their last ten games, which is off from their average of 3 goals per game. They still lead the NHL with 2.47 goals allowed, though. Most teams will go through offensive funks, so it’s a good sign that the blue line and goaltending is holding up. I find that defensive woes are more difficult to fix than an offensive blip on the radar.
Nashville didn’t need much offence in their first meeting against the Bruins this season. They shut them out by a score of 1-0 and outshot them 40-26 in Nashville. Nashville have gone 5-2 over the Bruins in their last seven meetings. The Predators have scored an average of 2.94 goals per game, while allowing 2.88 on the road this season. Note that they have been awful lately on the road, though, with seven straight losses. With plenty of more road games in their near future, that better be addressed quick.
Boston have been great at home with a record of 12-4-0. However, I think they’re going to see a strong effort from the Predators this afternoon. They haven’t looked themselves the past two games and are heading on break after this contest. Expect them to show some motivation to avoid getting swept and losing their eighth straight on the road heading into Christmas.