Nashville Predators (16-14-7) at Florida Panthers (16-15-8)
|Date & Time||Friday January 6, 2017, 7:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Florida Panthers -123 / Nashville Predators +100 --- Over/Under:
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The Nashville Predators look to keep their offense clicking after waxing the Lightning last night as they continue their road trip against the Florida Panthers on Friday night.
The Preds put up a six spot against the Bolts last night and exploded offensively at a very critical juncture in their season as offense had been hard to come by for this group heading into the turn of the calendar. Nashville came into the season as a team many had pegged for a lengthy playoff run thanks to their bruising defense, world class goaltending, and some pretty solid pieces up top, but the forward unit has been a weakness and until last night they looked as though they were going to be held in check for most of the season. However, this could be a coming out of sorts for a Nashville side that had been slumping going into last night’s game and continues to be a team that is good but not great and isn’t quite ready to join the league’s elite. Pekka Rinne could get the call once again in the back to back spot as he will face off against Roberto Luongo.
The Cats meanwhile have been one of the league’s biggest disappointments this season as they are coming off a season in which they surprised many by qualifying for the playoffs, and now with expectations being a lot higher they have fallen well short. Florida has a nice balance of youth and veteran experience and some very nice building blocks in all facets of the game but right now they haven’t been able to generate any consistency and they are in the midst of a 1-5 stretch in their last six games which has them out of the playoff picture in the Atlantic division right now and they will have to make some adjustments in a hurry if they plan on catching up with some of the league’s best.
The Predators are 7-3 in their last 10 games against the Atlantic and 6-15 in their last 21 road games while the Panthers are 21-45 in their last 66 against the Central and 0-5 in their last five home games. Nashville looked very good last night but it came against an undermanned Lighting side and while I think they are capable of getting the win here as well I think the Panthers are a little more desperate and will give a nice showing on home ice.