The visiting Nashville Predators will try to push their winning streak to five games, while also trying to earn a point in a seventh consecutive game, when they face the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night.
Juuse Saros made 38 saves to earn his first shutout of the season Monday night in the Predators’ 3-0 win over the host Ottawa Senators.
Saros has stopped a combined 102 shots over his past two starts after making 64 saves in a 5-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday to open a five-game road trip.
“I had a lot of help,” Saros said after the victory over the Senators. “We had a lot of blocks (22) and our penalty kill was really good. I’ve got to give some credit to the guys. I’m just trying to see the puck and read the plays. Obviously, I’ve had some puck luck in these games as well. I like to play. It’s been a lot of shots, but I don’t feel tired.”
Toronto is coming off back-to-back wins — 4-1 over the visiting Detroit Red Wings on Saturday and 6-2 against the host Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.
The Maple Leafs placed defenseman TJ Brodie (rib) on injured reserve Tuesday.
“(Brodie) has been playing through something and got a few extra tests done,” Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. “It’s something that is going to require a little bit of time to settle. … nothing too long.”
Auston Matthews, who scored his 20th goal Sunday, did not practice Tuesday and has been ruled out of Wednesday’s game due to an undisclosed injury.
“I would say he is just day-to-day,” Keefe said on Wednesday. “He’s out there putting in lots of work and all that so he’s clearly not too far away. So he’s improving daily, we’ll see where he’s at for (Thursday against the host Detroit Red Wings).”
Center Bobby McMann was promoted from the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League, where he had eight goals and seven assists in 17 games. He had three goals and three assists in three games last week and was named AHL Player of the Week.
The Maple Leafs have reached the halfway point and are 25-9-7 (57 points).
“No doubt in November and mid-December we were playing at an extremely high level,” said Toronto captain John Tavares, who has four goals in the past three games and 19 for the season. “We’ve had ups and downs in other parts of the year and want to be continuing to ramp up. We’ve put ourselves in a pretty good spot, now it’s up to us to continue that, take advantage and earn (success).”
The Predators are on a 5-0-1 run.
“I think we’ve really been building here — in the last three-and-a-half to four weeks — the game that gives us the best chance to win,” Predators coach John Hynes said. “I think we’ve been pretty consistent in that. With the games that we haven’t been, we’ve still found a way to win and now we’re on a road trip and we’ve won the first three games, so that’s good. There’s positive momentum, but we’ve got to regroup (Wednesday) and get ready for a good game against Toronto.”
Defensemen scored two Nashville goals Monday as Roman Josi delivered his 10th of the season and the 150th of his career. Jeremy Lauzon scored his second.
“Even before we started winning, we were playing better hockey,” said Nashville left winger Filip Forsberg, who added a goal and an assist Monday.
Forsberg leads Nashville in goals (16) and points (36).
–Field Level Media