COYOTES (6-5-2) at PREDATORS (6-3-4)
TV: FS-A, FSN-TN
Last 10: Phoenix 5-3-2; Nashville 5-3-2.
Season series: This is second of three meetings. The Coyotes earned a 4-0 win against the Predators on Jan. 28 at Jobing.com Arena.
Big story: It’s a matchup featuring goaltenders who have played huge roles for their respective clubs. Nashville’s Pekka Rinne is boasting a 1.75 goals-against average and .934 save percentage in 11 appearances, while Mike Smith has a 2.06 GAA over the past six games for the Coyotes.
Coyotes: Phoenix has responded with back-to-back victories since suffering a 6-2 loss against the Chicago Blackhawks last Thursday. Captain Shane Doan had a big night Monday, when he scored a pair of goals – including the game-winner in overtime – to lift the Coyotes to a 3-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center. The victory came just 48 hours after Smith outdueled Antti Niemi in a 1-0 shootout win at the San Jose Sharks.
Thursday’s match concludes the Coyotes’ three-game road trip.
“We were very fortunate to find a way to get the two points,” Doan said after Monday’s win.
Predators: Nashville also blanked the Sharks this week. Rinne made 25 saves for his second shutout in three starts in a 1-0 overtime win at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday night. Colin Wilson scored the only goal of the game with 2:08 remaining in the extra session.
"I thought the third period we were the better team and I think that momentum kind of carried us to the overtime," Rinne said. "Obviously, it was great to see that (goal) go in."
Who’s hot: Since allowing four goals in that aforementioned loss to the Coyotes, Rinne is 5-1-0 with a 0.97 GAA.
Injury report: Phoenix is missing forward Matthew Lombardi (upper body) and defenseman David Schlemko (shoulder). … Nashville will be without forward Patric Hornqvist (knee). Defenseman Hal Gill (undisclosed) is day-to-day.
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