The Nashville Predators are in the third game of a five-game homestand, as they face the Arizona Coyotes tonight at Bridgestone Arena.
The Nashville Predators currently have a three-game win streak on their hands and have a key opportunity tonight to extend that streak as they face the Coyotes, the league’s worst team. The Predators come off a huge win against the Golden Knights, as Juuse Saros held them scoreless. It was a key victory but it also came with a price. Ryan Johansen suffered a hit up high, leaving him injured. Viktor Arvidsson also got hurt earlier this week during practice. Although you don’t like to see all of these injuries at one time, it’s good to see that the Predators are able to get wins against some of the best teams in hockey while they aren’t at full strength.
Right now, the Predators are 2nd in the Central Division with 58 points and a record of 26-11-6. The Predators are only one point behind the Jets but have also played three fewer games than the Jets.
The Arizona Coyotes have been struggling this season, to say the least. They have the NHL’s worst record, as they have a record of 10-28-8. They are 1-1-3 in their last five games, with the one win coming against the Predators. You don’t want to see the Predators play down to the Coyotes tonight, as you know the Predators should be able to handle them.
The Predators need to look out for Clayton Keller tonight as he leads the team in total points. Keller has 34 points on the year, with 14 goals and 20 assists. Keller is a young star as he is just 19 years old.
The Predators also need to watch out for Derek Stepan and Alex Goligoski. Stepan is 2nd on the team in total points, as he has 28 points with 19 assists. Goligoski has 22 points on the year as a defenseman.
With some of the JoFA line injured, it’ll be interesting to see how the rest of the team performs. It looks like Ryan Johansen will be back in the lineup tonight after leaving the game on Tuesday night. The lines will definitely be changed around.
The 2nd line will be changed up for the first time tonight, as Kevin Fiala joins the 1st line, with Joey and Calle Jarnkrok. Scott Hartnell will be in Fiala’s place tonight on the 2nd line. Miikka Salomaki goes down to the 3rd line tonight. Pontus Aberg or Cody McLeod will be on the 4th line tonight with Frederick Gaudreau and Austin Watson.
The Nashville Predators have not said who will be in-goal tonight, though signs point to Rinne.
What to Expect
I would expect to see the Predators handle their business tonight and come out with a win against a struggling Coyotes team. It’ll be an interesting game for the Predators with all of the lineup changes. The Predators would like to see a good performance from whoever is in goal tonight, as they are testing out the lines, and aren’t sure how the offense might perform tonight. A win tonight would push the Predators’ streak to four games. If the Predators come out of tonight’s game with a regulation win, they will be in sole possession of 1st place in the Central Division.
Follow the Game
The game tonight will be broadcasted on FoxSportsSouth, as the puck will drop around 7:00. You can also listen to the game on 102.5 The Game.