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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, February 19th (All times eastern)

Phoenix Coyotes (25-31-3) at Nashville Predators (39-18-3), 6 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Nashville Predators will try to regain possession of first place in the Central Division as they continue a homestand this evening with a matchup against the slumping Phoenix Coyotes.

Nashville lost its grasp on the top spot in both the Central and the Western Conference following Saturday's loss to Minnesota at the Gaylord Entertainment Center. The Wild spoiled Peter Forsberg's debut as a Predator by scoring three times in the third period en route to a 4-1 victory.

Detroit passed Nashville in the standings with a 4-1 triumph over Phoenix on Saturday night. The Red Wings have 82 points on the season, one better than the Preds.

Forsberg, acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday in the year's biggest in-season deal thus far, was not a factor in his first game with his new club. The five-time All-Star and 2003 Hart Trophy winner was held without a point and managed just one shot on goal.

J.P. Dumont scored the lone goal for Nashville, which lost for the third time in four games, while goaltender Tomas Vokoun stopped only 18-of-21 shots that came his way.

The Predators played without standout defenseman Kimmo Timonen, who was scratched from the lineup with an upper-body injury. The All-Star blueliner is expected to be available for tonight's tilt, however.

Nashville has now lost two in a row at the Gaylord Entertainment Center after putting together a franchise-record eight-game home win streak from January 6- February 8. The Predators are still an outstanding 21-5-3 on home ice this season.

Phoenix is currently mired in a season-worst five-game losing streak, the club's longest since a six-game slide from March 22-31, 2003. The Coyotes surrendered three power-play goals to the Red Wings in Saturday's defeat.

Mike Zigomanis had the only Phoenix goal and Mikael Tellqvist turned away 23- of-26 shots in the loss.

Tonight's game marks the final meeting between these teams this season. The Coyotes have won two of the three previous encounters, but dropped a 4-1 decision to the Preds in the Music City back in October.

Phoenix has lost in each of its last four visits to Nashville and will be attempting to stop a six-game winless streak (5 losses, 1 tie) at the Gaylord Entertainment Center. The Coyotes' last road win in this series came on October 22, 2002.

02/19 10:22:35 ET


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