As we approach the midseason point of the 2018-19 NHL season, the Nashville Predators are 25-15-3 with 53 points and find themselves fourth in the Western Conference. The Toronto Maple Leafs are 27-12-2 with 56 points and are second in the Eastern Conference. Both teams face off tonight at 7 p.m. ET at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada.
Nashville went 3-5-2 in their last 10 games which included a six-game losing streak. In their last contest, they won 4-1 against the Montreal Canadiens. Craig Smith tallied his 13th and 14th goals of the season meanwhile goaltender Juuse Saros recorded 27 saves.
The Predators have had their window of opportunity open for quite a while now, they have been seriously competing for their first ever Stanley Cup for the past four years. They even made it to the Stanley Cup Finals back in 2016-17. Prior to that season, the Predators made a major deal in acquiring star defensemen P.K. Subban from the Canadiens to help strengthen their defense. Unfortunately for the Predators, they lost the 2016-17 Stanley Cup Final to the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games.
Conversely, Toronto has gone 6-3-1 in their last 10 games, including a five-game winning streak. The Maple Leafs are coming off a 5-0 win against the Vancouver Canucks. Toronto had five different goal scorers in the contest and goalie Michael Hutchinson turned away all 28 saves for his first shutout of the season.
The Maple Leafs are in the midst of year three in the Auston Matthews era. Since being drafted first overall in the 2016 NHL draft, Matthews has carried Toronto to the playoffs in each of his first two seasons. This past July, the Maple Leafs were able to sign the top free agent, John Tavares away from the New York Islanders on a 7-year deal worth $77 million to pair with Matthews.
Toronto hopes that the new pairing of Matthews and Tavares can help deliver Stanley Cup No. 14 and end their championship drought spanning back to 1967.
Tonight’s potential Stanley Cup Finals preview between P.K. Subban and the Predators and John Tavares and the Maple Leafs will be featured on ESPN+.
Scroll down for a free trial on us and how you can catch the action:
Predators vs. Maple Leafs 1/7/19 free live stream, ESPN+ viewing information
Date: Monday, Jan. 7
Time: 7 p.m. ET
TV: FOX Sports Tennessee (Nashville broadcast), SportsNet Ontario (Toronto broadcast)
Live Stream: ESPN+ free trial