|5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ETNaN:� BRT, February 2, 2019
Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee Attendance: 17,722
Either Predators or Stars will get back-to-back sweep
Stamina and resolve will be tested when the Nashville Predators host the Dallas Stars on Saturday at Bridgestone Arena.
Both teams will play the second game of a back-to-back, with Dallas outlasting Minnesota 3-1 at home on Friday and the Predators defeating Florida 4-1 in Miami. It's just part of the long road to the playoffs, and one that Dallas hopes leads back to the postseason for the first time in three seasons.
Nashville won for the third straight game on the road after going 1-3-1 in its previous five contests. The Predators played for the first time since Jan. 23, having just completed their league-mandated five-day respite, paired with the All-Star break.
"We're in a good spot right now, but we still feel there's lots to improve on in our game," Predators defenseman Dan Hamhuis told NHL.com prior to Friday's game. "We need to keep building, get better and better here as we get closer to the playoffs."
The Predators scored four unanswered goals in the third period, including two by Viktor Arvidsson in their win over Florida. Roman Josi and Kevin Fiala also lit the lamp, Filip Forsberg had three assists and Juuse Saros turned away 27 of 28 shots in the victory.
With the final 29 games of the regular season still on tap, Nashville forward Colton Sissons understands there's still a lot of hockey yet to play.
"We're not trying to look to April 5 or 6 or whatever already, but we understand the importance of all these games down the stretch," Sissons said.
"We've got a set plan as to where we want to finish at the end of the season, and as cheesy as it is, you just have to win that first game out of the break and then hopefully get the ball rolling in the right direction."
The Stars head to Nashville on a three-game winning streak, two of which have come after returning from the All-Star break. The victory on Friday allowed Dallas to go 3-3 on a season-long six-game homestand and carry some momentum into the second "half" of the year.
Tyler Seguin scored two goals in the third period for Dallas, including the game-winner with 7:42 to play, and goaltender Ben Bishop turned away 21 of the 22 shots he faced in the victory over Minnesota.
"These are the kinds of games that get us ready for the playoffs," Seguin said after Friday's win. "We just stuck with the process all game, and the buy-in is a key right now. We're starting to see the benefit of all our hard work right now."
Dallas' immediate schedule includes two games each against Nashville and Arizona, teams that will have a say in the race to the playoffs.
"I think all the games coming up here are going to be like a playoff game," Stars defenseman John Klingberg said.
Nashville and Dallas have split two games against each other this season, with the Predators winning in overtime in Dallas 5-4 on Nov. 10 and the Stars answering with a 2-0 shutout in Music City on Dec. 27.
--Field Level Media
Updated February 2, 2019