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Predators aim to bounce back against Coyotes

by Davis Harper

COYOTES (14-5-4) at PREDATORS (11-10-2)


Last 10: Phoenix 6-2-2; Nashville 5-5-0

Season series: The second of three meetings. In the first from Arena, the Phoenix Coyotes rallied from two goals down to beat the Nashville Predators, 5-4 in a shootout on Oct. 31.

Big story: Phoenix will look to avoid its first three-game losing skid of the season on Monday in Nashville. After playing well out of the gate, the Coyotes have lost two straight, including a defeat to the Anaheim Ducks that marked their first regulation loss at home in 12 games (9-1-2). The Coyotes' co-leading scorer, Martin Hanzal, sustained a lower-body injury against the Ducks but is expected back in the lineup.

The Predators had won three in a row before a 2-0 loss to the New York Rangers at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday.

Team scope:

Coyotes: Phoenix had a season-high 44 shots in a 4-3 overtime loss Thursday to the Colorado Avalanche; the Coyotes matched that total in the loss to the Ducks on Saturday. Over the two-game skid, Phoenix has outshot its opponents 88-66.

The Coyotes took the first eight shots of the game against Anaheim, and peppered Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller with 15 in the first period. Mike Ribeiro's rebound and Shane Doan's redirect found their way to the back of the net.

"We had chances we didn't bury and when we let that team hang around, they are going to find ways to score goals," Doan said. "Give them credit … they've got some guys that can make plays, and they did."

Predators: There may not be a more hot-cold attack in the NHL than Nashville. The Predators are coming off two distinct stretches: One in which they scored two goals in four games, from Nov. 8-15, and another in which they scored 13 in three, from Nov. 16-21.

Nashville will hope the shutout loss to the Rangers and backup Cam Talbot on Saturday isn't a return to struggles of yore. The Predators managed only 17 shots, went 0-for-2 on the power play and rarely threatened the rookie Talbot.

"They played a good defensive game," forward Eric Nystrom said. "We had a hard time getting on the inside. They have some good-skating defensemen, and their forwards picked a lot of pucks off on the backcheck. We didn't move our feet enough, and they were catching us from behind."

Who’s hot: Doan owns an eight-game point streak (seven goals, four assists). … Despite suffering his first loss in four starts, Nashville goalie Marek Mazanec is still hot. The Predators rookie made 32 saves on 34 shots and his .929 save percentage in seven appearances is 12th in the NHL.

Injury report: Defenseman David Schlemko (lower body) and wing Lauri Korpikoski (upper body) are questionable. Defenseman Zbynek Michalek (lower body) is doubtful. … Nashville wing Patric Hornqvist (lower body) and center Filip Forsberg (upper body) are out, while goaltender Pekka Rinne (hip) remains sidelined.

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