Your Nashville Predators take on the Phoenix Coyotes tonight at 7:00 CST at Bridgestone Arena. Let’s see how these teams stack up.
- Predators 11-10-2 (24 pts) 6th in the Central
- Coyotes 14-5-4 (32 pts) 4th in the Pacific
- Predators 3-2-0
- Coyotes 2-1-2
- Goals per game – Preds 2.3 (24th) – Coyotes 3.2 (4th)
- Goals against – Preds 2.8 (19th) – Coyotes 3.1 (25th)
- Power Play % – Preds 21.1 (10th) – Coyotes 21.7 (7th)
- Penalty Kill % – Preds 83.3 (13th) – Coyotes 76.1 (28th)
Nashville has played much better of late after struggling while on the road earlier this month. They played two of their better games of the season before a rough effort against the New York Rangers on Saturday night. The Preds seemed to find their identity during the first two games of the week before losing to New York. While the offense has been better, it still relies heavily on the power play to jump start the offense. They had power plays goals in both of their wins last week and no goals in their loss to New York.
The Preds have begun to see some much awaited offensive contribution from their off-season additions. Matt Cullen has 6 of his 10 points in the last four games, Viktor Stalberg has points in 2 of the last 4 and Seth Jones also has 2 in the last 4, including a power play goal. Jones has also switched to playing on the second defensive pair with Kevin Klein. The change has allowed Shea Weber to link back up with Roman Josi and take some more chances offensively. Jones has played fewer minutes and should prove to be fresher down the stretch as a result.
The Phoenix Coyotes are a bit of a different team this year. In year’s past, the Coyotes played tough defense and scored enough to get wins. This year, the Coyotes are scoring at a high clip and have yet to receive the high caliber goaltending they usually get from Mike Smith. The Coyotes have six players with 17 or more points (for comparison, the Preds have one). Shane Doan continues to lead the Coyotes both as captain and their leading scorer. One reason for the high goals against this season has been the penalty killing of the Coyotes. Currently, the Coyotes are killing penalties at a terrible rate, they have already allowed 21 power play goals after allowing 34 all of last year (48 games). If the Coyotes cannot stay out of the box it should be a good matchup for the Preds.
Prediction – Predators 3-1. A couple of power play goals push the Preds by the Coyotes.