Florida at Nashville
When: 8:00 PM
ET, Saturday, November 22, 2014
Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
The Florida Panthers are feeling good with points in four of their last five contests and a four-game road trip that is guaranteed to result in at least a .500 record - but those good thoughts may not survive past Music City. Florida looks to end an eight-game winless streak in Nashville as it visits the Predators, who are a sterling 6-1-1 at Bridgestone Arena. Nashville is coming off a 1-1-0 road trip through Canada, trouncing Toronto 9-2 before falling 3-2 in Ottawa.
The Panthers have started to show signs of life offensively after scuffling through the first month of the season. Florida has scored three or more goals in four of its last five games, including a season-high six tallies in a one-sided win over the powerhouse Anaheim Ducks on Sunday. But the Panthers need every bit of firepower they can muster Saturday as they tangle with a Predators team that ranks second in the league with just 2.1 goals against per contest.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Florida
ABOUT THE PANTHERS (7-5-5): Florida has relied on a cast of characters to guide it through a 3-1-1 stretch - but forward Nick Bjugstad has been front and center. After being held without a goal over his first 10 games of the season, the 21-year-old second-year player has tallied six times in the last seven games - including a pair of two-goal efforts in victories over the Ducks and San Jose Sharks. "It helps scoring goals and kind of changes your mentality," he told the Sun-Sentinel. "It really shouldn't, but it does."
ABOUT THE PREDATORS (12-5-2): Nashville is blessed with a solid first line featuring James Neal, Mike Ribeiro and rookie sensation Filip Forsberg - but it gets a bit murky from there. Coach Peter Laviolette's latest line experiment has centers Olli Jokinen, Matt Cullen and Derek Roy skating together - and the results have been positive so far. Roy notched his first goal of the season in Nashville's one-sided win over the Maple Leafs while Jokinen ended his season-long drought with a goal in the loss to the Senators.
1. The home team has won nine of the last 11 meetings.
2. Panthers G Roberto Luongo is 4-1-0 with a 1.81 goals-against average in his last five games against Nashville.
3. Florida last won in Nashville on Dec. 11, 1999.
PREDICTION: Predators 2, Panthers 1
Stats and Records