Flyers-Predators Thoughts: Looking for Something They Couldn't Do Last Season

Flyers (2-1-0) at Predators (0-2-0)
8 p.m. on NBCSP, and the NBC Sports App; Pregame Live at 7:30

Another day, another home opener.

Philadelphia Flyers

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To close out a season-opening four-game road trip, the Flyers will help the Nashville Predators open their home slate Tuesday night by taking on the defending Western Conference champions at Bridgestone Arena.

It marks the third time in seven days the Flyers have taken part in an opponent's commencement festivities.

Then, the Flyers finally come home for their own party. But before that, they've got this one, so let's get you set with some thoughts as the Flyers wrap up the road swing.

• Tonight should be a fun atmosphere, flooded with yellow rally towels. The Predators are raising their 2016-17 Western Conference champs banner. They'll be back on home ice for the first time since last season's spirited playoff run all the way to the Stanley Cup Final as the West's second wild-card berth. Nashville ultimately succumbed to Pittsburgh in six games.

The Predators feed off their rowdy home crowd, which was evident during the postseason when Nashville went 9-1-1 at Bridgestone Arena. They've also won eight of their last 10 home openers. Nashville is coming off two straight road losses in which it allowed four goals in each defeat, so juices should be flowing from the get-go tonight.

The Flyers, however, have won their last two visits to Nashville by a combined score of 10-5.

• With a third straight victory on the Predators' home ice, the Flyers would secure a winning four-game road trip. Last season, they failed to do so in three tries, finishing with these records:




• How great was it to see to Nolan Patrick working behind the net? In last Saturday's 3-2 OT win over the Ducks, the No. 2 overall pick tallied his first point off a nice pass from behind the red line to Ivan Provorov, who buried the shot.

The Flyers can certainly use more offense created from that area and it suits Patrick well given his vision and passing ability.

Sean Couturier is off to a really positive start, similar to last season when he opened with three goals in three games. Couturier is providing offense as the top-line center (one goal, two assists), but he's doing everything else, as well. He's eating up ice time with key penalty-kill minutes, while also sustaining possession and controlling play. He's a team-best plus-5 right now and the Flyers hope it continues.

• Key Predators defenseman Roman Josi (undisclosed injury) did not practice Monday or partake in Tuesday's morning skate. He is considered a game-time decision. Josi was second on Nashville with 37 assists last season despite missing 10 regular-season games. If the Flyers don't see Josi, that will be on top of not having to deal with blueliner Ryan Ellis, who opened the season on injured reserve following knee surgery.

• A look at the goalies: Brian Elliott goes for the Flyers. He's 2-0-0 with a 2.49 goals-against average and .914 save percentage in his first two outings. He's been good against the Predators in his career, posting an 8-4-0 record in 12 games with a 2.25 goals-against average, .921 save percentage and three shutouts.

Pekka Rinne is in net for Nashville. He was superb at home last season, going 21-6-5 with a 2.23 goals-against average and .920 save percentage compared to 10-13-4 on the road with a 2.66 GAA and .916 save percentage.

• Here is the Flyers' projected lineup:

Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek

Jordan Weal-Valtteri Filppula-Wayne Simmonds

Dale Weise-Nolan Patrick-Travis Konecny

Taylor Leier-Scott Laughton-Michael Raffl

Ivan Provorov-Andrew MacDonald

Shayne Gostisbehere-Robert Hagg

Travis Sanheim-Radko Gudas

Brian Elliott

Michal Neuvirth

Forward Jori Lehtera and defensemen Brandon Manning and Sam Morin.

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