7:00 PM CT – Phoenix Coyotes (6-5-2) @ Nashville Predators (6-3-4)
TV: FS Tennessee
Radio: 102.5 The Game
Last time out:
PHX- Monday night the Avalanche controlled the game through 40 minutes, only to see the Coyotes snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Oliver Ekman-Larsson tied the game at 2-2 in the third and Shane Doan notched an overtime winner to catapult the Coyotes to a 3-2 comeback victory in Denver.
NSH- Sixty minutes wasn’t enough – again – to decide a winner between the Sharks and Predators. And again, the Preds found a way to beat their old playoff foe. Colin Wilson tipped in Ryan Ellis’ shot midway through overtime to give the Preds a 1-0 win. Pekka Rinne came up big all night long, making 25 saves in his second shutout of the season.
Players to watch:
PHX- Oliver Ekman-Larsson
The third-year defenseman is really starting to come on offensively for the Coyotes. He has eight points in 13 games, tied for second on the team, and is so smart with the puck on his stick.
NSH- Kevin Klein
Klein has really built off last spring’s successful postseason for him. He’s more-than-reliable in his own zone and is starting to create chances in the offensive zone. Klein’s plus-5 rating leads the team.
Projected starting goaltenders:
PHX- Mike Smith (2012-13 stats: 4-3-1, 2.76 GAA)
NSH- Pekka Rinne (2012-13 stats: 5-3-3, 1.75 GAA)
Projected lineups from last game/practice:
|Mikkel Boedker||Martin Hanzal||Radim Vrbata|
|Lauri Korpikoski||Antoine Vermette||Shane Doan|
|Steve Sullivan||Boyd Gordon||David Moss|
|Raffi Torres||Kyle Chipchura||Paul Bissonnette|
|Keith Yandle||Derek Morris||Mike Smith|
|Oliver Ekman-Larsson||Zbynek Michalek||Jason LaBarbera|
|Rostislav Klesla||David Rundblad|
|Sergei Kostitsyn||Mike Fisher||Martin Erat|
|Gabriel Bourque||David Legwand||Colin Wilson|
|Craig Smith||Nick Spaling||Brandon Yip|
|Richard Clune||Paul Gaustad||Matt Halischuk|
|Scott Hannan||Shea Weber||Pekka Rinne|
|Roman Josi||Kevin Klein||Chris Mason|
|Jonathon Blum||Ryan Ellis|
*Lineups are subject to change
PHX- David Schlemko (upper body, questionable), Matthew Lombardi (shoulder, out)
NSH- Patric Hornqvist (knee, out)
Keys to the game:
PHX- Keep Preds to outside… When the Predators have been successful in scoring goals this season, they’ve been driving the net with regularity. If the Coyotes want to win tonight they need to play their game, which includes keeping the opposition’s chances to a minimum while forcing them to the outside of the offensive zone.
NSH- Limit turnovers… The Predators have not had much success against the Coyotes of late. In most of the meetings where the Preds have come out on the short end, they have not taken care of the puck. Like Nashville, the Coyotes are an opportunistic team that thrives off causing turnovers. The Preds’ defensemen must play a smart transition game tonight.
Numbers to know:
- Season series vs. Phoenix: 1-0 Coyotes
- 2011-12 season series: 2-1-1 Coyotes
- 2012 Western Conference Semifinals: 4-1 Coyotes
- The Preds are 2-1-2 at home this season … Phoenix is 2-2-1 on the road.
- Since the start of the 2003-04 season, the Preds hold a 10-4-(1)-1 record against the Coyotes at home (not including playoffs).
- Pekka Rinne is 8-6-1 with a 2.18 GAA and .926 save percentage in 15 career games vs. Phoenix. His counterpart, Mike Smith, is 3-2-1 with a 2.71 GAA and .899 save percentage in 6 career games vs. Nashville.
- Mike Fisher has 13 points in 13 career games vs. Phoenix.
- Martin Erat has 26 points in 36 career games vs. Phoenix.
- Power play: Nashville (14.6%, 23rd) … Phoenix (19.2%, 14th)
- Penalty kill: Nashville (84.0%, 10th) … Phoenix (84.3%, 8th)
On Feb. 2, 2010, in the first season the Coyotes re-emerged as a playoff team, these two teams engaged in a scoreless battle through 65 minutes. Phoenix’s Adrian Aucoin finally ended the game in the 10th round of the shootout…