This will be the second game of a back-to-back, and after falling 2-1 to the Chicago Blackhawks in regulation, the Coyotes will be looking for their second win of the season.
A significant issue for the Coyotes in last night’s game was their discipline. Chicago’s first goal came on a delayed call, and former-Coyote Dylan Strome scored the eventual game-winner on the power play.
Even when the Blackhawks didn’t score, the Coyotes frequently being down a man hurt any momentum they had. The clearest example came after they tied it up and took a penalty on the next faceoff. And if you are going to keep giving the other team chances, it will eventually backfire.
Most people predicted that the Nashville Predators would be one of the teams looking to secure the best lottery odds. They did okay last season, making it to the playoffs and losing in the first round, but the offseason saw them lose Ryan Ellis and Viktor Arvidsson.
The offseason saw the departure of long-time Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne, who retired after 683 games played. Juuse Saros has taken over as the starter, and in 11 games for the Predators this season, he has a 2.28 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage.
But the Predators have had a good start and come into tonight’s game with an 8-5-1 record.
Nashville comes into tonight’s game, having just wrapped up a six-game, two-week road trip. They finished 4-1-1, with wins over the Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks, Dallas Stars, and St. Louis Blues, a loss in regulation to the Edmonton Oilers, and an overtime loss against the Blackhawks.
Even though the Predators are winning games, they haven’t been decisive wins. The wins over the Flames and Blues came in overtime, and they beat the Canucks by a single goal.
Unfortunately for the Coyotes, the Predators go into tonight’s game with a massive advantage, their stellar power play. They currently have the fifth-best power play in the league, converting 26.3 percent of the time. Unfortunately, Arizona’s penalty kill is far from elite, and the team will need to find a way to stay out of the box tonight.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Lawson Crouse - Crouse had an assist on Andrew Ladd’s goal, his third assist of the season. He has had a few good looks throughout the season and is a big part of the Coyotes’ limited offense.
Nashville: Mikael Granlund - Granlund assisted on all four Predators’ goals in their last game and currently leads the Predators with 15 points in 14 games.
Arizona: Nick Schmaltz (upper body), Carter Hutton (lower body), Conor Timmins (lower body), Ryan Dzingel (upper body)
Nashville: Alexandre Carrier (questionable, upper body), Michael McCarron (questionable, knee), Nick Cousins (upper body), Filip Forsberg (upper body)
Tonight’s game will be at 6:00 pm Arizona time and will air on Bally Sports Arizona and 620 AM.