The clear game of the night in the NHL on Tuesday is from the hockey hotbed of Nashville as the Predators have a shot to move into a tie for first in the Central Division with a victory. That won’t come easy against the team with the most points in the West in expansion Vegas. The Preds are NHL lines favorites.
Vegas at Nashville Tuesday Night NHL Lines & Expert AnalysisNHL.com/tvRadio: 98.9 FM (Vegas) / 102.5 FM (Nashville)Opening NHL Lines: Predators -137, Knights +124 (5.5)
Season SeriesOn Dec. 8, the Predators lost 4-3 in a shootout at home to Vegas. Malcolm Subban made a career-high 41 saves — including one against his older sibling — and then denied all six shootout attempts to beat star defenseman P.K. Subban and the Predators. It was the first time the Subbans faced each other in an NHL game. Reilly Smith scored the only goal of a six-round shootout for the Golden Knights. William Karlsson, James Neal and Erik Haula scored in regulation for Vegas. Nate Schmidt had two assists, and Haula forced overtime when he scored with 40 seconds left in the third period. Calle Jarnkrok, Viktor Arvidsson and Nick Bonino had the goals for Nashville.On Jan. 2 in Vegas, the Golden Knights won 3-0. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 29 shots. Reilly Smith, Shea Theodore and Jonathan Marchessault scored. Vegas converted its lone opportunity with the man advantage. Pekka Rinne made 28 saves for the Predators.
Why Bet on Vegas?The Golden Knights (29-10-3) had at two-game winning streak snapped in a 3-2 home shootout loss to Edmonton on Saturday. The Oilers are the only team to beat Vegas twice. Darnell Nurse scored 55 seconds into overtime to lift the Oilers. Edmonton also handed the Golden Knights their worst loss of the season, an 8-2 shellacking on Nov. 14.Karlsson and Smith scored for Vegas, while Fleury stopped 27 shots. Fleury’s record dropped to 9-2-2 with a 1.82 goals against average and .942 save percentage. Vegas, coming off its bye week, was playing for the first time since Jan. 6 when they beat the New York Rangers 2-1. The loss was just its second in 12 games, while it dropped to 18-3-1 at home.“(It) was all about having five days off,” Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. “We weren’t sharp. We didn’t play our typical game. Still, we played OK, but we weren’t as sharp as we could’ve been. Am I worried about it? No. I think some of the bad stuff we did, some of the habits, is from the five days off and having one day of practice.”The Knights have not allowed a power play goal in their last 23 attempts. They have jumped up to 13th overall in penalty killing efficiency with their recent outstanding play. “When your PK is good, it starts with goaltending,” Gallant said. “We talk about special teams a lot. They can win you a lot of hockey games.”The Knights are without defenseman Luca Sbisa due to a hand injury. Sbisa is expected to be sidelined for six-to-eight weeks after undergoing successful surgery to repair a ruptured a ligament in his left hand. Sbisa has a goal and 10 points in 24 games this season. Center Cody Eakin is listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury. Eakin missed practice for a second straight time on Monday. He will travel with the team to Nashville but it’s unclear if he will play. Winger James Neal skipped Monday’s practice because of a “sinus thing” but also will travel.
Why Bet on Nashville?The Predators (25-11-6) come off their bye week on a two-game winning streak. The team’s No. 1 netminder, Rinne, has been selected to the upcoming NHL All-Star Game. Rinne has been excellent this season, while sporting a 21-8-3 record with a 2.43 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage. He also has posted three shutouts. Rinne will join teammate P.K. Subban and coach Peter Laviolette on the Central Division team.Winger Viktor Arvidsson had to be helped off the ice at Monday’s practice after he sustained a lower-body injury. His availability for Tuesday’s game against Vegas is uncertain at this time. Arvidsson has notched 13 goals and 27 points over 42 games this season. Fellow winger Filip Forsberg (upper body) skated on Monday. Forsberg did some skating and stick-handling near the end of Nashville’s practice, but he did so separate from his teammates. He has been out since Dec. 29 with a fractured right hand.Prior to the injury, Forsberg notched 15 goals and 19 assists to lead Nashville in points with 34. Forsberg established himself as one of Nashville’s most consistent forwards, recording a point in 25 of his team’s first 37 games, and continues to lead the Preds in power-play goals with nine.Through 42 team games, 12 Preds players who were on the team last season have more points than they had at this point in 2016-17. Since acquiring Kyle Turris on Nov. 5, the line featuring him centering Kevin Fiala and Craig Smith has posted a combined 26 goals and 32 assists for 58 points. The line has the 15th-best shot attempts for percentage (greater than 100 minutes played together) in the NHL since being paired at 57.7 percent and Nashville went 13-4-3 in Turris’ first 20 games with the team.Rinne won his 20th game of the season in his 31st game, the second-quickest he’s reached the mark in his career (2014-15, 27 games). The Preds are one of four teams (TBL, VGK, BOS) in the top 11 in both goals for and goals against per game.
Latest NHL Lines Trends
- Las Vegas is 9-2 ATS in its last 11 games
- Las Vegas is 10-2 SU in its last 12 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Las Vegas’s last 5 games
- Nashville is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
- Nashville is 10-4 SU in its last 14 games at home
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Nashville’s last 5 games