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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, December 27th (All times eastern)

Nashville Predators (15-12-4-2) at Phoenix Coyotes (11-11-11-1), 9 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Phoenix Coyotes will christen Glendale Arena tonight when they welcome the Nashville Predators to their new home.

After years of planning, the Coyotes will finally move into their state-of- the-art facility, which was contructed solely with hockey in mind. America West Arena, where they had played since moving from Winnipeg in 1996, was built primarily for the NBA's Phoenix Suns and did not lend well to the NHL game in several aspects.

"It's our own rink. It was built specifically for us," Coyotes winger Landon Wilson told the Arizona Republic. "Our team and our fans can take a lot of pride in that."

The Coyotes are fresh off a 1-0-3 road trip, as they ended a five-game winless slide (0-1-4) with Tuesday's 2-1 win over Columbus. David Tanabe scored the lone goal of the third period to lift Phoenix, while Sean Burke made 27 saves.

Jan Hrdina also lit the lamp for the Coyotes, who hadn't won since December 10 against Dallas.

Phoenix, which finished 6-5-2 at America West this season, begins a three-game set tonight. Bob Francis' club will host the NY Rangers on Monday.

Nashville is 0-1-2 in its last three games and 0-1-1 on its current four-game road trip. The Predators dropped a 2-1 decision to the Coyotes on Friday night. Nashville fell to 6-8-1-1 on the road.

Dan Hamhuis scored for the Predators, who have just one win in their last nine games (1-3-3-2). Tomas Vokoun made 15 saves in the loss.

Hamhuis beat Marty Turco with a backhand shot from the slot at 6:47 of the third to cap the scoring.

Rem Murray had a goal disallowed at 1:11 of the first period for hitting the puck into the net with a high stick.

Phoenix is 7-1-1 in the last nine meetings with Nashville, including a 3-3 tie on Monday. The Preds have lost five straight in the Valley of the Sun.

12/27 10:20:14 ET


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