Cincinnati.com
National Hockey League
Preview
Florida at Nashville
When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 19, 2019
Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee

The Nashville Predators received a disastrous result in their last outing, with another setback coming less than 24 hours later when the NHL announced that forward Ryan Johansen was suspended for two games for a high-sticking incident. The Predators look to overcome the absence of Johansen on Saturday when they conclude their three-game homestand against the Florida Panthers.

Johansen, who is Nashville's team leader in assists (34) and points (42), received his ban after his stick came down on Winnipeg center Mark Scheifele's head during the first period of Thursday's 5-1 setback. The loss of the 26-year-old Johansen comes on the heels of linemate Viktor Arvidsson's scoring binge in which he has tallied 10 times in the last 10 games to pull to pull even with Filip Forsberg with a club-best 18 goals. While the Predators have dropped three of their last four, Florida snapped a seven-game slide (0-5-2) by posting its first win in January with Friday's 3-1 victory versus Toronto. Mike Hoffman scored his team-leading 23rd goal in that contest to boost his point total to 11 (eight goals, three assists) in his last 13 games.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, FS Florida, FS Tennessee (Nashville)

ABOUT THE PANTHERS (18-20-8): Vincent Trocheck made a triumphant return from a 27-game absence due to a broken right ankle on Friday by picking up an assist on Michael Matheson's first-period goal. The 25-year-old, who collected 54 goals over the past two seasons, finished with a plus-2 rating and registered a team-high seven hits versus the Maple Leafs. "It was the one thing I told myself before I decided to come back, was that if I was going to come back that I couldn't come back and be tentative... the type of the game I play is the only way I can succeed and contribute to this offense and contribute to this team," Trocheck told NHL Network after the game.

ABOUT THE PREDATORS (28-17-4): Pekka Rinne has been rather pedestrian over the last month and a half, posting a 7-7-2 mark with a 3.05 goals-against average and .894 save percentage in 17 appearances. The reigning Vezina Trophy recipient was pierced for five goals in his second straight outing and could cede the net on Saturday to fellow Finn Juuse Saros, who has turned aside 98 of 101 shots spread over four appearances this month. Should either goaltender come up big on Saturday, that likely bodes well for Peter Laviolette as he vies for his 600th coaching victory.

OVERTIME

1. Nashville C Filip Forsberg set up Arvidsson's goal versus the Jets to boost his point total to six (four goals, two assists) in his last five outings.

2. Florida C Jonathan Huberdeau, who leads the team in assists (36) and points (48), set up a goal on Friday after being held off the scoresheet in four of his previous five games.

3. Predators D Ryan Ellis has scored one goal and set up five others in his last 10 games.

PREDICTION: Predators 4, Panthers 1
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Florida 18-20-4-4 W1 9-6-4-1 9-14-0-3 2-2-0-0 16-18-4-4 9-5-2-1
Nashville 28-17-3-1 L1 16-8-0-0 12-9-3-1 2-3-0-0 26-14-3-1 7-5-0-0
Last Meeting
Florida Nashville
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
4/3/18 NAS 1 FLA 2 33 45 0-1 46 31 0-0
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Florida E. Dadonov 1
Nashville R. Ellis 1
Goals Player  
Florida J. Huberdeau 1
Nashville R. Josi 1
Assists Player  
Florida E. Dadonov 1
Nashville R. Ellis 1
Saves Player  
Florida R. Luongo 45
Nashville P. Rinne 31
Season
Total Points Player  
Florida J. Huberdeau 49
Nashville R. Johansen 49
Goals Player  
Florida M. Hoffman 24
Nashville F. Forsberg 21
Assists Player  
Florida J. Huberdeau 36
Nashville R. Johansen 37
Saves Player  
Florida J. Reimer 627
Nashville P. Rinne 935
Quickchart Matchup
Florida Off vs  Nashville Def
3.04 GF
2.61 GA
34 Shots
28.9 Shots
41 PP
30 PK
Nashville Off vs  Florida Def
3.1 GF
3.52 GA
32.5 Shots
30.4 Shots
23 PP
27 PK