NASHVILLE — Dave Hakstol already has changes to make from Game One to Game Two.
Without Marcus Johansson, placed on injured reserve on Wednesday due to a lower body injury, Hakstol decided to insert newcomer Alex Barre-Boulet into the lineup to make his Kraken debut in Nashville.
“Hopefully things have slowed down a little bit for him from what it might have been the other day,” said Hakstol. “He’ll go into (Johansson)’s spot, and our lineup could be fluid as we go through the game, but we’re excited to have him and I know he’s looking forward to the opportunity tonight.”
Kole Lind was also available, and was on the ice for the optional morning skate ahead of the game with the Predators. Hakstol had said on Wednesday he would have to choose between those two to fill in for Johansson, who is out indefinitely.
The optional skate on Thursday didn’t give any indication of what the lines could look like in Nashville, but based on Wednesday’s practice in Vegas, the Kraken could line up like this:
Jaden Schwartz — Jared McCann — Jordan Eberle
Alex Barre-Boulet — Alexander Wennberg — Joonas Donskoi
Brandon Tanev — Morgan Geekie — Ryan Donato
Nathan Bastian — Riley Sheahan — Mason Appleton
Mark Giordano — Carson Soucy
Jamie Oleksiak — Adam Larsson
Vince Dunn — Will Borgen/Jeremy Lauzon — Haydn Fleury
- Philipp Grubauer was the first goalie off the ice in Thursday’s optional morning skate, indicating he is the likely starter in Nashville.
- Donskoi said on Thursday morning three Kraken players had false positive tests, which led to their last-minute scramble to get to Las Vegas for Tuesday night’s opener, which he, McCann, and Oleksiak played in.
- Calle Jarnkrok, who was selected from the Predators in the expansion draft, is still in COVID-19 protocol and will miss his return to his old team. “Obviously it’s disappointing,” Adam Larsson said before the game. “He can’t play his first here but I mean it’s, I think it’s more disappointing to not go on the road with the team and kind of get to know each other more.”
About the Predators
Last season: 31-23-2 (64 points), Finished 4th in NHL Central Division; lost to Carolina in 6 games in the first round of the playoffs
Players to watch: Roman Josi (D), Juuse Saros (G)
Notes: The Predators just signed defender Mattias Ekholm to a four-year, $25 million. … Nashville’s 154 goals against ranked ninth in the NHL last season. … former Vezina-winning goalie Pekka Rinne retired before this season. … Tonight is Nashville’s first game of the season and its home opener.