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Nashville Predators vs. Phoenix Coyotes @NHLdotcom
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GAME: Nashville Predators (29-22-7-2) at Phoenix Coyotes (20-23-14-3).

TIME: Saturday, 9 p.m. EST.

Steve Sullivan hopes to continue paying dividends for the Nashville Predators as they meet the Phoenix Coyotes at Glendale Arena.

Acquired from Chicago on Monday, the 29-year-old right wing has made an immediate impact for his new team. On Wednesday, Sullivan needed just three shots to record his first hat trick as a Predator as Nashville coasted to a 7-3 victory over San Jose.

Sullivan didn't slow down in Anaheim on Friday, scoring his fourth goal for Nashville late in the first period and adding an assist on David Legwand's tally midway through the second. The Predators pulled out a 3-2 win when Scott Walker scored at 3:34 of overtime, giving Nashville its second straight win.

Dating to his time with the Blackhawks, Sullivan has nine goals and six assists in his last eight games.

"I think Sullivan just adds another dimension. He's a dynamic player with great skills," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said.

The struggling Coyotes had lost six of seven before pulling out a 3-2 victory over Columbus on Friday. Daymond Langkow scored the game-winner with just 19 seconds remaining as Phoenix opened a five-game homestand with a much-needed win.

"It was big," Coyotes left wing Shane Doan said. "Really big. We've got to find ways to win games down the stretch, no matter how they look."

Rookie goaltender Jean-Marc Pelletier earned his first career win by making 26 saves for Phoenix.

Pelletier, recalled Feb. 10, had a shutout loss with Philadelphia in 1998-99 in his only prior start. He was 0-2, including a 2-0 loss to Columbus, with the Coyotes last season after they acquired him and a draft pick from Carolina in December 2001.

"I'm really happy to get my first win for this organization, and I have only my teammates to thank," Pelletier said. "My goaltender coach Benoit Allaire, I work so hard for him. It's so nice to see the hard work pay off."

With the victory, Phoenix moved within nine points of St. Louis for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Predators are seventh in the West, just one point in front of the Blues.

STANDINGS: Predators - 67 points, 3rd place, 13 PB, Central Division. Coyotes - 55 points, 5th place, 17 PB, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Predators - Sullivan 19 goals, 30 assists and 49 points; Jordin Tootoo, 116 PIM. Coyotes - Ladislav Nagy, 24 goals; Doan, 39 assists and 60 points; Andrei Nazarov, 96 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Feb. 19): Predators - Power play: 16.4 percent (51 for 311), 12th in NHL. Penalty killing: 81.9 percent (226 for 276), 24th. Coyotes - Power play: 15.3 percent (39 for 255), 20th. Penalty killing: 81.6 percent (240 for 294), 25th.

GOALTENDERS: Predators - Tomas Vokoun (25-21-6, 2 SO, 2.64 GAA); Chris Mason (3-3-1, 1, 2.11). Coyotes - Brian Boucher (9-10-7, 5, 2.41); Pelletier (1-0-0, 2.00).

SEASON SERIES: Predators, 2-0-1.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 15; Predators, 4-3. At Nashville, Scott Hartnell scored the game-winner on the power play with 47 seconds to play.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Predators - 10-15-2-1 on the road; Coyotes - 10-12-4-2 at home.

Associated Press
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