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Panthers-Predators Preview

AP - Sports

Opening the season with four straight road games was pretty rough on the Florida Panthers. It's been equally frustrating nearly every time they've played in Nashville.

The Panthers visit the Predators on Tuesday night seeking their first win in Music City in nearly 14 years.

Florida (2-4-0) opened with a 4-2 win at Dallas before dropping three straight road games by a combined 16-3 margin. The Panthers, who return home for a six-game homestand starting Thursday, are 0-4-2-1 in Nashville since winning their first two games there - the last on Dec. 11, 1999.

The Panthers followed a 6-3 win over Pittsburgh on Friday with a 3-0 setback against Los Angeles two days later, joining New Jersey as the only teams to be shut out twice already.

While the six-goal performance came against Penguins rookie backup Jeff Zatkoff, Florida couldn't duplicate that success against the Kings' No. 2 Ben Scrivens, who stopped all 20 shots he faced.

Florida's average of 27.2 shots per game ranks near the bottom of the league.

"They're a very big, strong-bodied team," coach Kevin Dineen said of the Kings. "As the game wore on, we got wore down. The problem that we have is I think our hockey IQ dropped as well."

The Predators (2-3-0) come in having won two of their last three, including a 3-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Saturday.

Ryan Ellis broke a 2-all tie at the 3:23 mark of the third period on a long slap shot for Nashville, which is scoring on just 6.0 percent of its shots.

"Just put the puck on net. I think that is what we have been doing lately, but we weren't getting bounces," Ellis said.

Seth Jones, the No. 4 pick in this year's draft, scored his first career goal on a power play in the second. Shea Weber, slotted alongside Jones as the team's top defensive pairing with Roman Josi sidelined by a concussion, was credited with the secondary assist for his first point of the season. David Legwand had the primary assist on the play.

"The seam was there for a couple of seconds, and I was hoping that (Legwand) saw me," said Jones, whose average ice time of 23:30 leads all NHL rookies. "He's got good vision, so he did."

Jones' goal improved Nashville to 3 for 9 with the man advantage over the last three games.

Florida's Aleksander Barkov - selected in the draft two spots before Jones - didn't have a point against Los Angeles after recording three versus Pittsburgh.

Nashville's Pekka Rinne is 2-2-0 in four career starts against the Panthers, stopping 94.4 percent of their shots. Florida's Jacob Markstrom has never faced the Predators.

David Legwand has scored a goal in each of his last four games against the Panthers, while Mike Fisher has four goals in his last three.

The Predators have won six of the last eight meetings overall.

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