NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, February 26th
(All times eastern)
Phoenix Coyotes (27-29-5) at Nashville Predators (29-28-4), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Nashville Predators will try to continue their recent
home domination of the Phoenix Coyotes tonight, when the two clubs square off
at the Sommet Center.
The Predators and Coyotes have split their two meetings this year, but after a
2-1 loss in Phoenix on December 18, Nashville responded with a 2-1 home win of
its own on February 3. It marked the ninth time in 10 games that the Preds
have notched a point on home ice versus the Coyotes, and they are 8-1 with a
tie in that span.
In fact, the home team has won four of five and 11 of the past 13 meetings in
Nashville rookie netminder Pekka Rinne halted 29-of-30 shots faced in making
his first-ever start versus Phoenix in February. He halted 29 shots as well in
Tuesday's 5-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks to give his team its second
straight victory following a three-game slide.
The Preds trailed by two goals heading into the final period, but David
Legwand sparked a four-goal burst by the club during the frame. J.P. Dumont,
Joel Ward and Shea Weber all scored in the third period, while Jason Arnott
also lit the lamp for Nashville in the contest. Martin Erat notched three
assists, while Legwand, Arnott and Dumont also had a helper each.
Nashville's win came in the opener of a five-game homestand and improved the
team to 17-11-2 as the host this year. The Predators are three points out of a
playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Phoenix is also still in the postseason hunt, but hasn't helped itself much
with just three wins in its last 13 games. The Coyotes have the second-fewest
points in the West with 59, three fewer than Nashville.
The Coyotes had won two straight before a 2-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues on
Tuesday. Shane Doan had Phoenix's only goal, giving him a pair of scores and
two assists over his last five games.
Ilya Bryzgalov allowed two goals on 24 shots in the loss. He is 3-1-2 with a
2.97 goals against average lifetime versus Nashville.
Phoenix has split the first two contests of a three-game road trip and has
lost five of its last seven as the guest. The Coyotes, who are 10-17-3 overall
on the road this year, host the Blues on Saturday before embarking on a five-
02/26 11:00:07 ET