— The Carolina Hurricanes are opening their regular season opener against the Nashville Predators on Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena.
Carolina is in its second season in Nashville, which finished 11-24-4 last season after going 17-30-5 in the previous two seasons.
The Panthers were the first team in NHL history to reach 20 straight victories with a record of 21-2-0 when winning the first game in Nashville.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to start our home opener against a team that has been a major part of our success,” head coach John Tortorella said.
“They have been one of the top teams in the league in scoring, especially in the past couple of seasons.
They are the defending Stanley Cup champions.
They have had an outstanding record, they have a lot of young talent, and we are looking forward to playing them.”
The Predators are coming off a 5-2 win over the Boston Bruins on Sunday night.
The team will play the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night at Honda Center in Anaheim.
“They’ve played a lot better lately,” Tortorello said.
“I think they’ve played better defensively, better in the neutral zone, and that’s really been the difference.”
The Panthers are coming out of a rough stretch, having lost five of their last six games, including three straight to open the season.
The Predators won the second game in a row against Carolina on Feb. 17, 2013, and lost the season series two nights later, 1-0.
The last time the Predators were defeated in Nashville was Feb. 19, 2017.