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Phoenix Coyotes vs. Nashville Predators - Game #80 Preview - Playoff Preview?

We could see a preview of our first round playoff matchup tonight at Jobing.com Arena against the Nashville Predators. The Predators are currently in 5th place, but have a slim lead over the Red Wings and need some help to stay in 5th. Detroit gets an extra game to make up the two points Nashville leads by and are on a roll. One reader suggested that it might be better for us to lose one tonight, perhaps in overtime just to ensure we don't have the wings messing with our Whiteout. A little hard to orchestrate, and highly doubtful anyhow. 

In any event there's still a game to play and the Coyotes should probably try to win it. They could use the W too as while they took out the Oilers the other night, they've been a little out of sorts to say the least. We could use a solid win over a solid opponent. We could also use a captain that scores. Shane Doan is ice cold lately with tons of fans suggesting that he's hurt. Whatever is going on it needs solved and soon. The Czech line getting back on the board would be nice too. 

The Predators haven't played a whole lot lately as due to the NHL schedule makers they've been ahead in games played for quite a while and it's catching up with them. They haven't played since Saturday when they played the Red Wings, winning 4-3 in overtime. Pekka Rinne was solid again and Ryan Sutter got the game winner in the extra frame. 

Starting Goalies


GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2009 - Ilya Bryzgalov 67 3960 41 20 152 2.30 1906 1754 .920 8

Bryz was leading the league in Shutouts until Martin Brodeur tied him with a shutout win last night. I guess Bryz will need to take that record back. He should have this start and at least one more against the Sharks. Tippett may put LaBarbera in tomorrow to keep Bryzgalov fresh. 


GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2009 - Pekka Rinne 56 3122 31 15 132 2.54 1478 1346 .911 7

Has been a big reason that Nashville has been a surprise right along side the Coyotes this year. He's had good numbers especially after the Olympic break. 

Key Players


Lee "Desert Ninja" Stempniak

#22 / Right Wing / Phoenix Coyotes

6-0

195

Feb 04, 1983


He's back! Because good things happen when he's the player. 


Jason Arnott

#19 / Center / Nashville Predators

6-5

220

Oct 11, 1974


Returning from injury the Captain of the Predators is rejoining them just in time for the playoff run. Will he be rusty? Will he be ready? We'll find out. 

The Infirmary


Phoenix Coyotes Injuries

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Kurt Sauer head 10/07/2009
Scottie Upshall knee 01/29/2010


Nashville Predators Injuries

Questionable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Jason Arnott head 04/05/2010

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Denis Grebeshkov other-excused 03/08/2010