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Game Day: Coyotes vs. Preds

by Thomas Willis & Brooks Bratten / Nashville Predators

(13-9-1) Arizona Coyotes vs. Nashville Predators (12-7-4)
  7 P.M. | Bridgestone Arena | #ARIvsNSH
TV: FS-TN | Radio: 102.5 The Game | Pregame: 6:30 P.M.
Tickets | Nissan Tuesday


The Nashville Predators look to get back in the win column tonight as they host the Arizona Coyotes at Bridgestone Arena. It's the first of three meetings between the two clubs this season; the Preds swept the season series 3-0 in 2014-15.

Nashville fell 4-1 to Buffalo on Saturday night after returning home from a five-game road trip. The Preds are 1-4-1 in their last six outings, scoring only six goals combined in those games.

“As a group collectively, we need to do a better job,” Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “We need to get to the harder areas, and there has to be more determination to score goals. A lot of times, we’re creating zone time and chances, but the urgency to get to those hard areas and fight for goals and fight for offense, we have to get better at.”

Perhaps a meeting with the Coyotes will help turn things around; Nashville is currently on a five-game winning streak against Arizona and have points in six straight overall (5-0-1). James Neal and Ryan Ellis co-led the team in points against the Coyotes last season (each with four), while goaltender Pekka Rinne posted a 3-0-0 record with a 1.60 goals-against average and a .948 save percentage.

Rinne enters Tuesday's game against Arizona with 400 games behind him, 21 of which have been against the Coyotes. Rinne owns a 13-6-1 record with a .931 save percentage, a 2.00 goals-against average and six shutouts all-time versus Arizona, while his save percentage against the Coyotes is the third highest against any opponent (at least 10 games played) and his six shutouts are his most against any NHL team.

Forward Mike Fisher, who is currently on a three-game goal streak, has a point in three of his last four games against Arizona (2g-2a). Neal is on a five-game point streak versus the Coyotes (3g-2a) and has game-winning goals in two-straight against them, while former Coyote Mike Ribeiro has a point in four of his last five games against the Coyotes (1g-6a).

Neal leads Nashville with nine goals and 17 points, followed by defenseman Roman Josi (4g-10a) with 14 points. Captain Shea Weber has potted six goals on the season; Fisher and Smith have five apiece. Rinne is 10-5-4 this season with two shutouts to go along with a 2.34 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage.

The Coyotes have won four of their last five, including a 4-3 victory over Ottawa on Saturday. Rookie forward Max Domi paces Arizona with 20 points (8g-12a), while Mikkel Boedker leads the club with nine goals. Martin Hanzal has 19 points for the Coyotes (5g-14a) and rookie forward Anthony Duclair has found the back of the net eight times. Mike Smith sees a bulk of the action in net for Arizona, recording a 10-5-1 record this season.

All-time, Nashville has a 31-24-6 record in 61 meetings against Arizona.


Predators Game Day Video:

Preds Players: Cody Bass, Mike Ribeiro and Seth Jones


What to Watch for: Preds Web Team Breakdown


Coach Presser: Head Coach Peter Laviolette


Projected Lineups:

Nashville Predators:

The Predators held an optional morning skate on Tuesday, below is the team's projected lineup based on their practice lines yesterday afternoon.

Update: At 10:00 a.m. (CT), the Preds recalled forward Cody Bass from Milwaukee (AHL).

Forward Colin Wilson, who was given a maintenance day on Monday, was on the ice this morning for the session and could play tonight. Bass said after the morning skate, which he also participated in, that he believes he will be in the Preds lineup versus the Coyotes.


Forwards
Filip Forsberg Mike Ribeiro Calle Jarnkrok
Viktor Arvidsson Mike Fisher James Neal
Miikka Salomaki (IR) Colton Sissons Craig Smith
Eric Nystrom Cody Hodgson Austin Watson
Defense
Roman Josi Shea Weber
Barret Jackman Seth Jones
Mattias Ekholm Ryan Ellis

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Goaltenders: Pekka Rinne is expected to start in net tonight with Carter Hutton serving as the backup.

Extra:
(F) Miikka Salomaki (IR; upper-body), (F) Paul Gaustad (IR; upper-body), (F) Gabriel Bourque (IR; upper-body), (D) Anthony Bitetto


Arizona Coyotes:

Coyotes Captain Shane Doan (IR) participated in Arizona's morning skate on Tuesday but is not expected to play tonight. Sarah McLellan of AZCentral Sports reports that Zbynek Michalek is likely to return to Arizona's lineup this evening.

Forwards
Tobias Rieder Martin Hanzal Anthony Duclair
Max Domi Antoine Vermette Mikkel Boedker
Brad Richardson Dustin Jeffrey Craig Cunningham
Jordan Martinook Boyd Gordon K. Chipchura/Z. Michalek
Defense
Oliver Ekman-Larsson Michael Stone
Nicklas Grossmann Connor Murphy
Klas Dahlbeck Stefan Elliott

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Goaltenders: Mike Smith is expected to start in net tonight with Anders Lindback serving as the backup.

Extra:
(F) John Scott, (F) Joe Vitale (IR), Shane Doan (IR), Steve Downie (IR)

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