After winning three straight, the Arizona Coyotes have dropped their last three, including a 4-1 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights last Thursday. So the losses are stacking up, but they will be getting some reinforcements tonight.
Jakob Chychrun is coming off wrist surgery in the offseason, while Nick Schmaltz sustained a rib injury in the Coyotes’ first game. Chychrun and Schmaltz generate a lot of offense, and the Coyotes desperately need more offense.
Hopefully, Nick Schmaltz and Jakob Chychrun will help make the Coyotes’ great power play even better. Schmaltz and Chychrun were vital parts of the Coyotes’ power play last season, and hopefully, they can make the man advantage deadlier.
While the power play has been good for almost a goal a game lately, the Coyotes have had issues scoring 5-on-5. They came close against the New York Rangers and Golden Knights a few times in the first half, but they need to find a way to finish their chances.
One way would be for the Coyotes to avoid taking penalties to start their game. The Coyotes took multiple penalties in the first ten minutes of regulation in the past two games. Although they have predominantly found a way to avoid giving up short-handed goals, it seems to be holding them back from winning games.
The Nashville Predators have been okay this season. They aren’t elite, but they seem like a team that could make the playoffs again.
Nashville brought in Nino Niederreiter this past offseason on a two-year, $8 million deal. He has shown that he is worth the deal, with nine goals in 18 games with the Preds.
But the Predators would be happier if they got goals from more people because their offense has been lacking. The Predators have scored the fifth-fewest goals in the league, just two spots ahead of the Arizona Coyotes.
Despite not scoring a lot, goaltending has kept them in the hunt for a playoff spot. Juuse Saros and Kevin Lankinen have both been good, and if the Predators make the playoffs, it will be because of them.
The Predators come into tonight’s game after losing 3-2 to the Tampa Bay Lightning in overtime. However, they went into that game riding a three-game win streak, having beaten the New York Rangers, Minnesota Wild, and New York Islanders.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Clayton Keller - Keller had the Coyotes’ lone goal in their last game and comes into tonight’s game riding a six-game point streak. Hopefully, getting Schmaltz back will take Keller to a higher level because as good as he is, he can be better.
Nashville: Filip Forsberg - Forsberg is a point-per-game player with seven goals and 11 assists in 18 games. He had a goal against the Lightning and a goal and an assist against the Islanders.
Arizona: Zack Kassian (lower body), Bryan Little (ear), Andrew Ladd (knee)
Nashville: Mark Borowiecki (upper body)
The Coyotes’ road trip continues with tonight’s game being in Nashville with a 6:00 pm Arizona time start. It will air on Bally Sports Arizona and ESPN 620AM.