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Behind The Boards: Panthers Prep For Predators

NASHVILLE (CBS4) – It's game day here in Nashville as the Panthers play the Predators at 8 p.m. on Fox Sports Florida.

Jacob Markstrom starts in goal again, as Tim Thomas appears ready to play Thursday at home against his former team, the Boston Bruins.

Big center Nick Bjugstad makes his season debut tonight. He suffered a concussion during training camp. Now healthy, he brings size and a right handed presence to the lineup. Bjugstad played in 11 games last season after spending 3 years at the University of Minnesota. He will play with Krys Barch and Tomas Kopecky tonight.

The Panthers would love to grab a win here as they head home for a six game home stand against some of the NHL's top teams including Boston and the defending Stanley Cup Champs Chicago.

Nashville plays a 'defensive' style of hockey so this may be a low-scoring-grind-it-out type of game. It also features and intriguing teenage matchup between Florida's Aleksander Barkov and the Predators' Seth jones. They were both drafted in June and Nashville thought they'd end up with Barkov at number four. But the Panthers surprised many and selected the big center 2nd.

Jones, the top rated defenseman in the draft went 4th. Tonight, it's the first ever match-up between these two talents who are years ahead of their age as players.

I have a one on oneinterview with Nashville's General Manager David Poile about these two players and also discuss the Olympics with him. Poile is GM of Team USA and is in charge of selecting the team that will play in the winter games in Sochi, Russia in February.

I have a vested interest in the team as I will be going to the Games to do radio play by play for Westwood One radio network. My on air partner will be former Panthers defenseman Bret Hedican.

That's the latest today from Music City.


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