8:00 PM CT – Nashville Predators (1-1-3) @ Phoenix Coyotes (1-4-0)
TV: FS Tennessee
Radio: 102.5 The Game
Last time out:
NSH- For the third time this season, the Predators blew two separate one-goal leads en route to a shootout loss. This time it happened Saturday in Anaheim, as Corey Perry and the Ducks pulled out a 3-2 victory. The Preds lost Patric Hornqvist to injury in the loss.
PHX- Phoenix dropped a 4-2 decision Saturday to Los Angeles, the team that knocked them out last May in the conference finals. It was their fourth regulation loss in the first five games, their worst start to a season with Dave Tippett as head coach.
Players to watch:
NSH- Sergei Kostitsyn
Kostitsyn has more blocked shots (4) thus far than shots on goal (3). He’s one of a handful of forwards that need to step up their game, especially with Hornqvist out indefinitely.
PHX- Steve Sullivan
Sullivan, signed as Ray Whitney’s replacement, leads the Coyotes in goals (4) and co-leads in points (5). The former Predator has been in the right spot at the right time this season.
Projected starting goaltenders:
NSH- Pekka Rinne (2012-13 stats: 0-1-3, 2.36 GAA)
PHX- Chad Johnson (2012-13 AHL stats: 14-8-0, 2.80 GAA)
Projected depth charts:
|Colin Wilson||Mike Fisher||Martin Erat|
|Gabriel Bourque||David Legwand||Craig Smith|
|Sergei Kostitsyn||Nick Spaling||Brandon Yip|
|Richard Clune||Paul Gaustad||Matt Halischuk|
|Brian McGrattan||Patric Hornqvist*|
|Roman Josi||Shea Weber||Pekka Rinne|
|Scott Hannan||Kevin Klein||Chris Mason|
|Hal Gill||Ryan Ellis|
|Steve Sullivan||Antoine Vermette||Shane Doan|
|Mikkel Boedker||Martin Hanzal||Radim Vrbata|
|Lauri Korpikoski||Boyd Gordon||David Moss|
|Kyle Chipchura||Alexandre Bolduc||Nick Johnson|
|Oliver Ekman-Larsson||Zbynek Michalek||Jason LaBarbera|
|Keith Yandle||Derek Morris||Chad Johnson|
|Michael Stone||David Schlemko||Mike Smith*|
NSH- Patric Hornqvist (lower body, out)
PHX- Mike Smith and Rostislav Klesla (lower body, questionable), Matthew Lombardi (upper body, out)
Keys to the game:
NSH- Develop killer instinct… In each of the Coyotes’ four losses, they have surrendered the game’s first goal. If the Preds strike first, they must keep their foot on the pedal and capitalize on chances to increase the lead, something they have yet to do this season.
PHX- Win the first 40 minutes… It’s pretty simple: when the Coyotes lead after two periods, they usually win. Since Tippett took over as bench boss prior to 2009-10, the Coyotes are 99-4-4 when leading after two periods.
Numbers to know:
- 2011-12 season series vs. Phoenix: 2-1-1 Coyotes
- 2012 Western Conference Semifinals: 4-1 Coyotes
- The Preds are 1-1-1 on the road this season … Phoenix is 1-2-0 at home.
- The road team won each game of the 2011-12 regular season series.
- Since the start of 2003-04, the Preds are 8-7-2 at Jobing.com Arena. However, the Preds lost all three playoff games in Phoenix last spring.
- Pekka Rinne is 8-5-1 with a 2.05 GAA and .931 save percentage in 14 career games vs. Phoenix. His counterpart, Jason LaBarbera, is 5-4-0 with a 2.77 GAA and .906 save percentage in 10 career games vs. Nashville.
- Martin Erat has 26 points in 35 career games vs. Phoenix.
- Mike Fisher has 13 points in 12 career games vs. Phoenix.
- Power play: Nashville (23.5%, 13th) … Phoenix (24.0%, 11th)
- Penalty kill: Nashville (80.0%, 14th) … Phoenix (78.3%, 19th)
On January 18, 2011, J.P. Dumont scored a hat trick in a 5-2 Predators win in Phoenix. After this game, Dumont only scored one more goal for the Preds.