GAME: Phoenix Coyotes (16-13-12-2) at Nashville Predators (20-16-6-2).
TIME: Thursday, 8 p.m. EST.
The Nashville Predators look to go unbeaten in regulation for a 10th
straight home game, and extend their overall undefeated streak to five when
they meet the Phoenix Coyotes.
Nashville played to a scoreless tie with the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday
night to improve to 5-0-3-1 in its last nine games at Gaylord Entertainment
Center. The Predators haven't lost in regulation at home since falling 4-1 to
the Kings on Dec. 11.
Against Los Angeles on Tuesday, backup goalie Chris Mason made 33 saves for
his first NHL shutout as Nashville improved to 2-0-2 in its last four games.
The Predators were playing their seventh game in 11 nights, and with
starting goaltender Tomas Vokoun playing in all or part of 39 of Nashville's 44
games this season, coach Barry Trotz went with Mason.
"It definitely feels great to have played well, especially when we are in a
playoff race," said Mason, who is 2-0-1 in his last three starts with
victories over Colorado and St. Louis.
"Every game is a big game for us. You get more confidence when you are
ready and prepared. I'm just doing my job. Tomas is No. 1 here. I'm just doing
my part to help out."
Phoenix has also had success with its backup goalie, Brian Boucher.
Boucher broke the modern-day records for consecutive shutouts and minutes
without allowing a goal when he beat the Minnesota Wild 2-0 on Friday night for
his fifth consecutive shutout.
On Sunday, however, the streak ended and his run without allowing a goal was
stopped at 332 minutes, 1 second.
Boucher got the start again on Tuesday, and he allowed two goals in the
first 10 minutes of the contest as the Coyotes had their six-game unbeaten
streak snapped with a 4-1 home loss to the Vancouver Canucks.
"I don't think we were as prepared as we should have been," said Boucher,
who was 6-0-4 in his previous 10 starts. "When you're playing a top team like
that, with a great line, they are going to expose you and that is what they
Phoenix may be without leading goal scorer Ladislav Nagy for this contest
after he left Tuesday's game with an eye injury following a high-stick in the