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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, January 4th (All times Eastern)

Nashville Predators (18-18-5) at Florida Panthers (15-20-6), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Nashville Predators hope to continue their success against the Florida Panthers when the teams battle Saturday at the BB&T Center in South Florida.

The Predators have lost six of their last eight games, but they seem to have a favorable matchup on Saturday. Nashville has won two straight, five of six and seven of the last nine meetings against the Panthers overall and the Preds have claimed two of three on the road in this series.

Nashville has earned a point in three straight games, going 2-0 on a two-game homestand before losing in overtime Thursday at Boston to begin a three-game road trip. Brad Marchand netted the game-winner 54 seconds into overtime on Thursday to give the Bruins the extra point in a close battle at TD Garden.

Less than a minute into the extra session, Marchand picked up the puck at the left point and stepped around a defender before throwing a low shot on net that snuck through a screen and found the back of the cage to give Boston the 3-2 victory.

Shea Weber recorded a goal and an assist and the defenseman tied the game at 2-2 with 5:25 left in the third period. It was the 10th goal of the season for Weber, tying him with Ottawa's Erik Karlsson for the league lead among defensemen.

Viktor Stalberg scored once for the Predators, while Marek Mazanec allowed all three goals on 25 shots in defeat.

"I thought we played a solid road game and did some real good things," said Nashville's Mike Fisher, who finished with two assists. "You want the two (points) always, but we build on it."

Nashville is 8-10-2 as the guest this season and will complete its road trip Sunday at Carolina.

The Panthers last played on Tuesday when they dropped a 2-1 shootout decision against the visiting New York Rangers. It was the fourth setback in five games for Florida and the loss dropped the Panthers to 1-2-1 on a five-game homestand that wraps up tonight.

Dan Girardi scored the tying goal late in regulation for the Rangers on New Year's Eve and Brad Richards won it with the lone goal in the shootout.

Tim Thomas, who participated in his 400th career contest, stopped 29 shots for the Panthers, while Brad Boyes recorded the lone score for the hosts.

"I thought we were going to hang on until the end there, but that's hockey," said Thomas. "We're picking up some momentum and doing some good things. We're a much better hockey team than we were in October."

The Panthers, who are 8-9-4 as the host this season, will begin a three-game road trip when it visits Montreal on Monday.

Florida expects to have Ed Jovanovski in the lineup tonight for the first time since March, as the veteran defenseman is set to return from hip surgery. The 37- year-old Jovanovski, who had surgery in April, only played in six games last season and hasn't seen action since March 16.

Panthers forward Scottie Upshall also expects to be back tonight after sitting out the last three games with an upper-body injury.

01/04 10:36:22 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
STJ 68
DUKE 77
Final
NCSU 78
ND 81
7:00pm Tonight
NCCU
DELST
 
7:00pm Tonight
UNC
SYR
 
Final
CHI 84
MIA 96
Final
CLE 108
OKC 98
Final
NOP 109
DAL 106
Final
ORL 99
IND 106
Final
PHO 100
LAC 120
Final
ATL 112
MIN 100
Final
TOR 114
DET 110
Final
SAN 101
MIL 95
Final
GSW 114
BOS 111
Final
DEN 115
WAS 117
Final
LAL 87
HOU 99
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
POR
 
7:30pm Tonight
NYK
SAC
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
MIN
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
ORL
 
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NOP
PHI
 
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UTA
BOS
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
DEN
 
Final
UCONN 66
SFLA 53
Final
GT 62
BC 64
Final
VT 47
UVA 50
Final
OSU 82
IND 70
Final
UCF 46
CIN 56
Final
WICHS 74
DRAK 40
Final
STJ 68
DUKE 77
Final
MAR 73
FAIR 67
 
Final
HART 61
MAINE 70
 
Final
MAN 71
MON 64
 
Final
PRIN 96
ROWAN 48
 
Final
SIENA 55
PETE 69
 
Final
RIU 53
BONA 48
Final
BING 54
USB 61
 
Final
MLOWELL 50
VERM 61
 
Final
BUT 77
SHU 57
Final
SALA 55
YALE 72
 
Final
PITT 68
LOU 80
Final
ILLST 53
NIOWA 54
Final
GTDNS 69
UMBC 55
 
Final
IONA 87
NIAG 64
 
Final
TENST 55
BEL 63
 
Final
NCSU 78
ND 81
Final
VILL 71
CREI 50
Final
MD 68
NW 67
Final
UTAH 77
WASH 56
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AMER
ARMY
 
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OU
CLST
 
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NCCU
DELST
 
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PBY
HIGH
 
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UNC
SYR
 
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DET
WRST
 
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NCAT
COPST
 
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SCST
HAMP
 
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COOK
HOW
 
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NWST
NICST
 
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NO
CARK
 
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CAMP
GWEBB
 
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FAM
MDES
 
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INCWORD
MCNST
 
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SAV
NORST
 
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ABCHRIST
SHSU
 
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LAM
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UWMIL
 
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ALAAM
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ALAST
SOUTH
 
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ARKPB
PVU
 
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ISU
TEX
 
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MVSU
TXSOU
 
Final
TEAMFOLI 12
TEAMTOEWS 17
Final
CARTER 28
IRVIN 32