Vegas Golden Knights vs. Nashville Predators Pick & Prediction FEBRUARY 20th 2024

After opening a five-game western road trip with an impressive 5-2 bounce-back win at St. Louis, the Nashville Predators take on the defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday in Las Vegas.

It will be the second game of a back-to-back set for the Golden Knights, who snapped a two-game losing streak on Monday afternoon with a 4-0 win at San Jose.

Nashville, meanwhile, has had two days off since the key game with the Blues, who still hold a two-point lead over the Predators and the Minnesota Wild in the race for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

According to Sportsnet on Monday, Predators players asked for permission to fly to Las Vegas on Saturday right after their game with the Blues so they could attend a U2 concert at The Sphere on Sunday.

However, Nashville general manager Barry Trotz, who Sportsnet “our standards had slipped below expectations,” canceled the concert plans following an ugly 9-2 home loss to the Dallas Stars on Thursday. It was the Predators’ fifth defeat in six games (1-4-1).

Nashville bounced back to start the road trip with the win over the Blues. Predators goalie Juuse Saros, the subject of some trade rumors, made 35 saves, and Filip Forsberg and Ryan O’Reilly each had a goal and an assist.

“This feels good,” Predators coach Andrew Brunette said afterward. “I thought we put in a complete 60-minute effort. We haven’t done that for a while, we’ve kind of lost our game a little since the break. And tonight was the first sign of looking like us, so we’re going to build on it.”

Nashville defenseman Luke Schenn said, “You play 82 games in this league and they’re not all going to be great. You’re going to go through tough stretches and some tough weeks, but we came out and competed tonight and played a pretty solid effort.”

Next up is a game with the Golden Knights, who are in second place in the Pacific Division but 10 points behind the Vancouver Canucks. The Predators then travel to Los Angeles to play the Kings (who are six points ahead of them in the top wild-card spot) in another game with potentially big playoff implications. The trip ends with a weekend back-to-back against two Western Conference bottom-feeders, the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks.

Vegas has lost back-to-back home games for the first time in 13 months, dropping a 5-3 decision to Minnesota on Feb. 12 and then losing to the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 on Saturday.

The Golden Knights continued their dominance of the Sharks on Monday afternoon. Vegas goalie Logan Thompson, making his first appearance since Jan. 27, turned away 29 shots for his first shutout of the season and 28-year-old forward Mason Morelli had a goal and an assist in his NHL debut.

It was Thompson’s fourth career shutout and first since blanking Anaheim 4-0 on Oct. 28, 2022.

“He played really well,” Vegas captain Mark Stone said of Thompson. “Made some huge saves, calm, composed in there. I thought he did a great job.”

Thompson got some help from the goalposts, which stopped three more San Jose shots, including two in the first 88 seconds by Luke Kunin and Calen Addison.

“We had a tough couple shifts (to start the game),” Golden Knights coach Bruce Cassidy said. “We got lucky. They hit a couple posts and Logan made some good saves. It could have given them a lot of life.”

–Field Level Media

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