NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, December 20th (All times Eastern)
Nashville Predators (17-11-4) at Washington Capitals (16-14-1), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Nashville Predators will try to extend their longest winning streak of the season to six games when they visit the Washington Capitals for tonight's meeting at the Verizon Center.
The last four victories in Nashville's five-game winning streak came on home ice, but the Preds hope to stay hot tonight on the road. Barry Trotz's club is 9-6-1 as the visiting team this year and has won its last two games as the guest.
Nashville picked up its fifth straight victory in a shootout win over the St. Louis Blues. David Legwand scored the winner in the deciding phase, lifting the Predators to a 2-1 win over their Central Division rivals.
Patrik Berglund, the Blues' third shooter in the shootout, beat Pekka Rinne with a wrister, but the puck ricocheted sharply off the left post. Legwand followed with the winning tally. He skated into the high slot, faked a wrister, and then beat Jaroslav Halak with a backhand.
Martin Erat tallied in regulation and Rinne made 39 saves for the Predators, who have won five in a row for the first time since a six-game winning streak from March 17-26.
"To get the points against them is huge," Predators head coach Barry Trotz said about the Blues. "I probably would say we didn't have our 'A' game, but they forced us out of our 'A' game tonight a little bit."
The Capitals, meanwhile, have lost two of their last three games and are 4-5 in their first nine games under head coach Dale Hunter, who replaced the fired Bruce Boudreau late last month.
Washington was dealt a 2-1 loss Saturday in Colorado, marking the Caps' third straight game with just one goal. Alexander Semin scored the lone goal for the Capitals in Denver, giving the enigmatic Russian winger just his second point in the last nine games.
Michal Neuvirth turned aside 26-of-28 shots in defeat.
Caps centerman Mathieu Perreault left Saturday's game in the first period due to an illness and is questionable for tonight.
Washington is 10-5-1 as the host this year, but has lost four of its last six games in D.C.
The Predators notched a 3-1 home win over the Caps on Nov. 15, ending a five- game losing streak in this series. Nashville has lost its last two games in D.C. and hasn't won in Washington since a 5-2 triumph on Dec. 7, 2005.
12/20 10:53:58 ET