By Amanda DiPaolo
Nashville Predators 24-15-6
Phoenix Coyotes 23-14-9
The Nashville Predators try to put Sunday’s game in Chicago behind them when they face the Phoenix Coyotes Tuesday night in Arizona. The Coyotes had a four-game winning streak snapped Monday afternoon when San Jose doubled the Yotes 4-2.
Only one point separates the Predators and Coyotes in the Western Conference standings. Phoenix is in fourth place with the Predators behind in fifth place in the West. Chicago and Anaheim, like Nashville, have 54 points which makes this game another must win for both the Coyotes and Predators.
Tuesday night’s game is the third of four times the two teams will meet in the regular season. So far, the season series between Nashville and Phoenix is split 1-1. The first time the Predators played in Phoenix, the Coyotes won 4-3 on November 3rd, and Ed Jovanovski scored his first career hatrick. Nashville shutout Phoenix 3-0 when the Coyotes visited Bridgestone Arena on November 30th.
Nashville has a tough time on the road against the Coyotes with a 8-13-2 record at Jobing.com Arena.
Francis Bouillon won’t be playing Tuesday night. Bouillon was boarded by Troy Brouwer Sunday night and left the game with an upper-body injury. The good news for the Predators is that Shane O’Brien has served his two game suspension over the weekend.
Bouillon adds to a long list of injured players for Nashville. Matthew Lombardi, Cal O’Reilly, and Steve Sullivan remain out of the lineup. Marek Svatos did not play on the weekend. According to The Tennessean Coach Barry Trotz has said that whether or not Svatos plays Tuesday night depends on how he feels after the morning skate.
Nashville is lead by strong goaltending and leadership.
Anders Lindback was in net Sunday night but it is expected that Pekka Rinne will be back in goal Tuesday. Rinne is tied second in the League for both save percentage at .927 and goal against average with 2.13.
Predators captain Shea Weber picked up an assist on J-P Dumont’s first period goal on the power-play Sunday in Chicago. The assist extended Weber’s point streak to nine games. Weber’s streak is the longest in franchise history for a defenseman. Nashville’s record during his points streak is 7-2-0.
The game starts at 8pm CT and can be watched on Fox Sports Tennessee. Tonight’s game is the second of six being played on the current road trip which will take the Predators into the All-Star break. Nashville will leave Phoenix for Colorado to take on the Avalance on Thursday night.
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