For the second straight season , the Nashville Predators will unveil banners commemorating their accomplishments from the previous campaign before their home opener.Before it plays the Calgary Flames at Bridgestone Arena, Nashville is scheduled to honor their 117-point 2017-18 by flying banners that honor their first Central Division title, first Western Conference regular season championship and first Presidents Trophy.The banner the Predators would like to unfurl before next seasons home opener is one signifying a Stanley Cup title. To that end, they started this season by sweeping a two-game trip through New York, beating the Rangers 3-2 on Thursday night and edging the Islanders 4-3 Saturday night.Article continues below ...Defenseman Mattias Ekholm, mindful that Nashville has gotten off to slow starts the past two seasons, felt good about taking care of business against two teams its supposed to beat.Weve still got some defensive stuff that we can work on, he said, but its nice to see that the offense is there and were coming out on the right side of these tight games. It feels really good for your confidence to be 2-0.Ekholm had something to do with that, potting a goal Saturday. The Predators also got outstanding play from their top line of Ryan Johansen, Viktor Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg. Arvidsson scored twice on the Islanders, his first goal being a did-you-see-that tally which saw him slide the puck between his legs as he sped around a defenseman before beating goaltender Thomas Griess.Thats his patented move Arizona Coyotes T-Shirts Womens , I guess, Ekholm said of Arvidsson. Its a really great move and youve got to be on your toes if you want to be able to defend it.Juuse Saros got a start in place of workhorse Pekka Rinne and turned away 26 shots for the win. Rinne, who bagged 34 saves in the opening night win over the Rangers, is expected to get the call on Tuesday night.Calgary (1-1-0) split a home-and-home series with Vancouver. After dropping the first game 5-2 on Wednesday night in British Columbia, the Flames cranked up their explosive offense Saturday for a 7-4 decision.Elias Lindholm collected two goals and an assist, while Johnny Gaudreau and Mark Giordano each chipped in a goal and two helpers. Matthew Tkachuk pitched in four assists, three coming during a four-goal third period that gave Bill Peters his first win in his new NHL digs. Peters spent the last four years coaching the Carolina Hurricanes.We were moving the puck around pretty well tonight, Gaudreau said. Theres still some room for improvement, but it was a step in the right direction for us.One thing Peters will have to correct is this teams tendency to get loose on the defensive end. Goalie Mike Smith isnt off to a good start, saving just 34 of 42 shots in two games, and backup David Rittich will get a game either Tuesday night or Thursday night when Calgary visits St. Louis.The absence of rugged defenseman Travis Hamonic, whos week-to-week with a facial fracture Arizona Coyotes Hoodies Womens , wont help the Flames in that regard. VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) Sitting high above the ice of Rogers Arena, Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning is recalling fond memories of his time playing junior hockey for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League and their trips up Interstate 5 to play at the old Mercer Arena against the Seattle Thunderbirds.Well, how fond he is depends on the perspective.They had chicken wire, and the fans were rowdy, Benning recalled recently. The thing with the chicken wire is like youd line up for a faceoff and they could spit right through the chicken wire.While Bennings memories of playing against Seattle remain and who could forget chain-link fence in place of glass boards at one end of the rink hes also thinking ahead. Looking out at an empty arena a couple of hours before a Canucks faceoff, he can envision fans of Seattles new NHL franchise making the trek north on I-5, through the border crossing and into downtown Vancouver to watch their team play the Canucks.He has no doubt it will be a healthy rivalry and great for the sport in this corner of North America. But the Canucks see the addition of Seattle as more than adding a rival 2 ½ hours away by car. Seattle will be a critical partner for the future success of both franchises.The approval of Seattle as the 32nd NHL franchise earlier this week has thrilled hockey fans who for years made their way north to Vancouver to see the game played at its highest level. But theres an almost equally excited group just north of the 49th parallel who cant wait for 2021 when the Seattle franchise begins play.Vancouver is already a partner. They were the most enthusiastic team in the league about this. They love the idea of this rivalry, Seattle team President Tod Leiweke said. I think for the two cities to connect like this, the two cities are 130 miles away but now theyre going to connect in a whole different way and I think thats one of the great things that is going to come out of all this is a deep, deep visceral connection between Vancouver and Seattle and were going to play some great games.Adding Seattle to the league helps the Canucks in various ways, from marketing to travel and interest in the game. The team is already planning ways it can sell Seattles addition Arizona Coyotes Hats Womens , even if its three years away.Canucks COO Jeff Stipec noted that even as Vancouvers on-ice product is improving around a core of young stars and rejuvenating interest in the city after a few down seasons, the fans flocking back to the games are seeking different opportunities. They want special events, like being able to hop on a bus for a road trip to Seattle.Our season ticket members, what theyre looking for now are experiences, said Stipec, who according to Canadian media reports is stepping down from his position but is currently still in his role with the team. The team has not made any announcement about Stipecs future.While it would seem the proximity of the two cities might create issues in competing for dollars on the business side, it doesnt appear that will be the case largely because of the border. The border creates a natural break between the two teams, both in their attempts to gain market share, but also in seeking corporate dollars and the acquisition of talent.Its not that we just have somebody thats two and a half hours away, we have that international border between us, Stipec said. So that protects us a lot from corporate partnerships, broadcast rights Custom Arizona Coyotes Jerseys , a whole bunch of things. Its not like a Pittsburgh-Philadelphia situation. So its great that way, that we have our own protected markets in a sense in some of those key areas.The Canucks have not actively sought to promote themselves in the Seattle area, though playoff games have been broadcast on Seattle sports radio at times through the years. Still, hockey fans in the area have made the Canucks their team.Alym Rayani lives just outside Seattle and has gone in with friends on season tickets for the Canucks for about a decade. After spending part of his childhood in Vancouver, Rayani drove back for games after settling in Seattle during the Canucks run as one of the Western Conferences elite teams earlier this decade.But like others from the Seattle area who regularly attend Canucks games, theyre hockey fans more than Vancouver fans. For Rayani, his loyalty and his dollars will belong to Seattle when it comes on board. Hes No. 16 on the season-ticket deposit list.I definitely feel loyalty to the Canucks being born there and having lived there, but I think it will be interesting how Im going to feel 10 years from now, Rayani said. My kids, they watch the Canucks now, theyre going to be huge Seattle fans Im sure. I think over time I will morph to Seattle. I like the idea of being a fan or part of something from day one.