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Phoenix
Coyotes
38-37-7
Nashville
Predators
41-32-9
OT
37 SOG
37 SOG
1st2nd3rdOTT
PHX
NSH
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Coyotes-Predators Preview

Saturday, 02.02.2008 / 7:00 PM

Associated Press

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Coyotes-Predators Preview
Phoenix Coyotes vs. Nashville Predators

J.P. Dumont has been one of the NHL's top performers for more than a month.

A day after signing a four-year contract extension, he'll look to help the Nashville Predators avoid their third straight loss to the Phoenix Coyotes when the teams meet Saturday night at the Sommet Center.

J.P. Dumont (right) has been one of the top performers in the NHL of late. (John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

Dumont had two assists in Nashville's 4-2 home win over Columbus on Thursday to run his franchise-record points streak to 16 games - the longest current run in the NHL. The ninth-year winger has eight goals and 14 assists during the streak in which the Predators have gone 9-4-3.

On Friday, Dumont, who is second on the team with 18 goals and 27 assists and would have been an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, signed a four-year, $16 million contract with Nashville (26-21-5), which is second in the Central Division and in the mix for a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

"When I signed here two years ago I knew I was going to have an offensive role," said Dumont, whose 20 points in January were second only to the 23 posted by Washington's Alexander Ovechkin.

The deal came a day after Nashville signed forward Jordin Tootoo to a two-year, $1.95 million contract extension.

On Thursday, Dumont set up linemates Jason Arnott and Alexander Radulov as the Predators won for the fourth time in six contests.

Radulov, who has six goals in five contests, looks to extend his goal-scoring streak to six games. Arnott will try to extend his points streak to nine games Saturday.

"Every line is scoring some big goals. But the prime lines are going to be the first two lines," Dumont said. "They have to score goals. That's what we are doing now."

The Dumont-Arnott-Radulov line hopes to finally break out against Phoenix after being held to one goal and four assists in two losses to the Coyotes this season. Radulov had a goal, while Dumont and Arnott each added assists in Nashville's 4-3 overtime loss at Phoenix on Jan. 24.

Radim Vrbata beats Chris Mason for one of his three goals against the Preds last week. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Nashville's Chris Mason, who made 31 saves Thursday, could be back in net Saturday after allowing nine goals in 53 shots faced against the Coyotes this season.

The Coyotes (27-22-2) had their three-game winning streak snapped with a 3-2 loss at Detroit on Wednesday in the second on a five-game road trip.

Martin Hanzal and Ed Jovanovski each scored for Phoenix, which led 2-1 after two periods and was held in check after outscoring its opponents 14-7 during its previous three contests.

"It was disappointing not to get ahead 3-1, and it's frustrating that we had two giveaways in our end and they're up 3-2," Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said.

Hanzal had a goal and an assist in Phoenix's 6-3 win road win over the Predators on Oct. 11 to snap a five-game losing streak at Nashville.

Radim Vrbata, who had an assist against Detroit and has seven points in his last three games, had a three goals and an assist against Nashville last week.

Phoenix's Ilya Bryzgalov made 36 saves Wednesday, but suffered his first regulation loss in six games. He is 2-0-1 with a 3.20 goals-against average versus Nashville in his career.

2007-2008 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Feb 10 '08NSH 6 at PHX 3J. Dumont
Feb 02 '08PHX 2 at NSH 3 - OTA. Radulov
Jan 24 '08NSH 3 at PHX 4 - OTZ. Michalek
Oct 11 '07PHX 6 at NSH 3M. Hanzal
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%