The Nashville Predators and their fans are headed to a very busy season in 2016-17, as the team is looking to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins in the playoffs.
Here are some key storylines to watch for: Nashville Predators vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Playoff implications: Predators (19-10-3) will face off against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
This will be the team’s fourth straight appearance in the Stanley Cups, and it will be their first appearance in Pittsburgh since 2012-13.
The Predators are coming off of a 5-1 win over the New York Rangers on Saturday.
Nashville has now won four consecutive games, including a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.
Pittsburgh is coming off a 5 of 7 shootout loss to the Washington Capitals on Saturday, while the Predators are 2 of 4 on the power play.
Both teams are coming in with some new faces, and the Predators have the better offense.
However, the Penguins are expected to have a tough time against a Predators team that is still adjusting to a new coaching staff.
Preds goalie Pekka Rinne will be playing the first of two meetings with Pittsburgh, as he was expected to start in Pittsburgh on Saturday against the Rangers.
Pittsburgh will be without center Kris Letang, who is out with an upper body injury.
The Penguins also will have rookie defenseman Alex Petrovic, who played in his first NHL game with Nashville against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.
Pittsburgh’s first round matchup against the Washington Nationals was postponed due to snow in the area.
The Preds will take on a team from the Pacific Division, which is led by Anaheim and Anaheim is coming out of the playoffs for the second straight season.
Washington will play the Colorado Avalanche in the second round.
The Capitals were in the Western Conference final in 2016 and are coming out with a 7-5 record this season.
Pittsburgh has won the first two games of their season series against Washington, but will be missing forward Nicklas Backstrom.
The second game is set for Wednesday in St. Louis.
The Pens are also coming off back-to-back road victories against the Edmonton Oilers and the Arizona Coyotes, both in double overtime.
The two teams have met in the NHL Playoffs in each of the last two years, with the Pens winning the series in four games in 2014.
The season opener is scheduled for Thursday, November 1.
Pittsburgh, which won the Metropolitan Division this season, will also be playing at home against the Los Angels Kings in the opener.
The game is scheduled to be played at 7 p.m.
Preds vs. Capitals: The Predators have not played a game at Bridgestone Arena since a 3–2 win over Nashville on January 7, 2016.
This was the first game since the Stanley and NHL Championship Series ended due to a lockout.
The team was not expected to play again until the end of April.
The Caps have played at Bridger Arena four times since the beginning of the 2015-16 season.
They were not expected back until June.
Washington is coming into the series as a 10-point favorite.