Lightning, Predators look to get back on winning track

The Nashville Predators will look to bounce back when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night.

The Predators had been streaking, picking up points in four straight games (3-0-1) before being shut out by goalie Chris Driedger and the Florida Panthers 3-0 on Saturday.

Driedger made 27 saves against the Predators in his season debut. Nashville was playing the second of its first set of back-to-back games this season.

“It’s a statement for us that we’ve been playing good hockey, but we’re not there yet,” Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis said. “This is a good example of it. We can’t take a night off. We can’t take a step back. It’s a good wake-up call, I guess you could say, that we have to bring our ‘A’ game every night to be successful in this league.”

Juuse Saros made 25 saves for Nashville, but the Predators went 0-for-4 on the power play — extending Nashville to 0-for-16 with the man advantage over its past five games.

“Tonight, for me, we were flat,” Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. “You gotta play at a higher tempo and a higher level in order to be successful. If you don’t, you roll the dice and it didn’t go our way.”

Predators center Kyle Turris, whose salary is $6 million this season, was a healthy scratch for the sixth straight game.

Acquired as part of a three-team trade with the Avalanche and Senators in November of 2017, Turris has four goals and five assists in 19 games after totaling 23 points (seven goals, 16 assists) in 55 games last season.

“I am very confident that Kyle’s going to get a chance to play,” general manager David Poile told the Tennessean. “Hopefully, he’s in a position to take advantage of it, and we turn the page on that.”

The Lightning, meanwhile, are winless in their past three games (0-2-1) for the first time since March 24-29 of last season. They have lost each game by one goal while allowing 11 goals.

“You just can’t keep giving up that number of goals, and we are,” coach Jon Cooper said. “It’s costing us, even a team that can score goals, so we have to limit that extra goal.”

On Saturday, Tampa Bay fell behind the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0 in the first period. The Lightning scored twice in the first 8:25 of the third period but were unable to get the equalizer.

“There are a lot of details we can be better at and we need to be better at,” Lightning forward Yanni Gourde said. “It is frustrating? Yes, but these are things that we can fix. We have to keep battling hard.”

Brayden Point and Tyler Johnson scored for the Lightning, and Curtis McElhinney made 21 saves.

Lightning captain Steven Stamkos had eight shots on goal and several good scoring chances in his second game back after missing three games because of a lower-body injury.

“I should’ve had probably two or three (goals) tonight, so I’ve got to put on that myself,” he said. “I had too many Grade-A (chances) not to score. We had enough chances to win the game.”

Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov had an assist, giving him 10 points (three goals, seven assists) during a five-game point streak.

Forward Alex Killorn missed the game with a lower-body injury and is day-to-day. He had played in all 23 games leading up to Saturday’s loss and totaled 11 points in his past 10 games.

–Field Level Media

Source: Yahoo Sports

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