Preview: Arizona at Nashville
When: 8:00 PM ET, Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
The Arizona Coyotes were one of the biggest surprises in the first quarter of the season, and they look to continue the trend when they start a five-game road trip against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. The Coyotes are coming off three straight wins at home, including Saturday’s 4-3 victory in which Mikkel Boedker recorded his second hat trick against Ottawa this season.
“If we can keep the try in our group and keep hanging around games, we found a way to get some wins,” Arizona coach Dave Tippett told reporters. “We go on the road with a good feeling.” While the Coyotes are on the rise, the Predators are searching for answers after losing five of their last six (1-4-1). Nashville has struggled offensively, recording only six goals in its last six games while going 2-for-24 on the power play in the last seven. Pekka Rinne is expected back in net after having off for Saturday’s 4-1 loss to Buffalo.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Plus Arizona, FSN Tennessee (Nashville)
ABOUT THE COYOTES (13-9-1): Rookie Max Domi has recorded four points in his last three games and leads Arizona with 20 to go along with a team-best plus-8 rating. Mike Smith has raised his level of play as well, giving up a total of five goals during his personal three-game winning streak. The Coyotes could get back defenseman Zbynek Michalek (illness) and captain Shane Doan (lower body) in the next game or two, while Steve Downie (upper body) may return during the road trip.
ABOUT THE PREDATORS (12-7-4): Nashville took a lead while registering 13 shots in the first period Saturday at home before coughing up the game to a struggling Buffalo team. The Predators will need Rinne to shut the door as the perennial Vezina Trophy candidate has surrendered 13 goals during his current 0-3-1 stretch. James Neal leads the team with nine goals and 17 points while the defense corps has registered 17 of the club’s 57 tallies, led by captain Shea Weber (six), Roman Josi (four) and Mattias Ekholm (three).
1. The Predators have won five straight in the series, allowing a total of seven goals.
2. Boedker’s hat trick Saturday gave him a team-leading nine tallies.
3. Nashville placed C Paul Gaustad and RW Gabriel Bourque on injured reserve with upper-body injuries.
PREDICTION: Predators 3, Coyotes 1