(SportsNetwork.com) – The Arizona Coyotes failed an early-season test against
one of the Western Conference’s best clubs the last time out, and they hope to
fare better on Tuesday when they play their first road game of the campaign in
The Coyotes had won two in a row following a season-opening loss against
Winnipeg, but had their brief winning streak snapped with a resounding 6-1
loss Saturday against St. Louis. The blowout defeat dropped Arizona’s record
on its season-opening four-game homestand to 2-2-0.
Nashville, meanwhile, has yet to lose in regulation this season (3-0-2) and
boasts a 2-0-1 mark on home ice. The Predators also have claimed two straight
and three of their last four home tests against the Coyotes.
The Coyotes trailed 1-0 after one period against the Blues and were down 4-0
in the first minute of the third after Jaden Schwartz’s second goal of the
contest. Schwartz eventually completed the hat trick, scoring a power-play
goal with just three seconds remaining.
Meanwhile, Lauri Korpikoski scored Arizona’s lone goal and Mike Smith allowed
all six goals on 36 shots.
After his team won its previous game 7-4 against Edmonton, Arizona head coach
Dave Tippett called out his team for its sloppy play. The message didn’t seem
to take as the Coyotes were burned time and again by the Blues.
“It was a test against a really good team and we didn’t fare very well,”
Tippett said after the lopsided loss.
Martin Hanzal suffered a lower-body injury against the Blues and is
questionable for tonight’s contest. Hanzal has a goal and two assists this
The Predators have lost two of their last three games, but have gained a point
in five straight to begin the season under new head coach Peter Laviolette.
Nashville recently went 1-0-1 on a two-game road trip, shutting out Winnipeg
2-0 on Friday before dropping a 2-1 overtime decision the next night against
Jonathan Toews’ short-handed tally with 1:34 remaining in overtime sent the
Blackhawks past Nashville by a 2-1 count at United Center.
The game appeared to be tipped in the visitors’ favor when Patrick Sharp was
whistled for a tripping infraction 1:50 into the extra session. However,
Chicago’s captain won the contest by deflecting the puck away from a Nashville
defenseman at the point, racing up the left wing and beating Carter Hutton
with a low shot through the pads.
Shea Weber provided the sole offense for the Predators, while Hutton took the
loss despite turning away 35 pucks.
“It wasn’t our best early on, but we stuck to it,” Laviolette said. “I thought
in the third period, our guys tried to get it done.”
Nashville kicks off a three-game homestand tonight. The residency will
continue Thursday with a rematch against Chicago before closing Saturday
Pekka Rinne expects to start in net tonight and Nashville’s No. 1 netminder is
10-6-1 with a 2.07 goals against average in 18 career games against the
Smith is 3-4-1 with a 2.79 GAA in eight career tilts versus the Predators.