Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette said forward Justin Schultz will start against the Tampa Bay Thunderbirds on Saturday, and defenseman Ryan Ellis will return after missing three games with an upper-body injury.

He scored his first goal in three games.

Ellis played in the game against the Detroit Red Wings.

He is expected to return Saturday.

Ellis scored his third goal of the season in the second period and had four shots on goal in the third.

“We have to make sure we are playing the right way,” Ellis said.

“It is a tough one.

We have to be patient and just go out there and give it our all.”

He scored in the first period on a power-play goal, then added an assist in the period.

Ellis was named the Predators’ Player of the Month for October for his performance.

“He has stepped up for us.

We’ve been in a tough spot in the last few weeks and he has stepped it up and done a good job of keeping us focused and fighting,” Laviolettes said.

He was a minus-6 in November with a minus two rating.

He has three goals and eight points in the past seven games.

The Predators won the season series 5-2 in Game 6.

The Thunderbirds have a 5-0-0 record against the Predators.

They are 4-2-0 in the series, with their best loss coming on Nov. 4 at Nashville.

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