|Phoenix Coyotes||Nashville Predators|
|5-on-5 Save %||.910||19th||.921||13th|
|# of PP's/Gm||3.58||15th||3.09||25th|
|# of PK's/Gm||3.67||21st||3.27||9th|
The Coyotes play a little more up-tempo type of game than the Predators in terms of shots flying back & forth, but goaltending has been a bit of a soft spot.
An 0-5-2 streak has Phoenix tumbling out of the playoff race in the West, and they come into tonight's game on the heels of a 4-3 overtime loss last night at Minnesota. Unlike the Preds, the Coyotes have a road-heavy schedule to finish the season, and their 3-8-4 road record doesn't speak well to their chances.
Of course, the star of the show tonight is Steve Sullivan, who is set to play his 1,000th NHL game, something which seemed unthinkable a few years ago. His two years out of the Nashville lineup, followed by his return in January 2009 and winning the Masterton Trophy that summer is one of the great feel-good stories in the history of the Predators franchise, and he deserves a full-throated welcome from the fans at Bridgestone Arena.
|2012 - Steve Sullivan||30||5||7||12||-7||20||2||0||0||46||10.8|
The Preds are trying to complete a successful four-game home stand and maintain their momentum ahead of a two-game roadie at Colorado and Chicago, running Saturday to Monday. With so many teams bunched tightly together in the middle of the Western Conference, each game is beginning to take on that playoff-like feel. Whether they succeed in their quest to make the post-season or not, keep an eye on the younger players to see how they handle the heightened pressure at this time of year.
The injury situation might take another turn in a positive direction as Paul Gaustad may be ready for tonight's game, after not having played since March 12 at Dallas. Goose's return would likely push Chris Mueller out of the lineup and restore the penalty killing unit to its full complement of players. We've already seen how bringing Hal Gill back has shored up the PK, so the addition of Gaustad may well turn that area of the team back into a competitive advantage.
|2012 - Paul Gaustad||19||1||3||4||0||16||0||0||0||25||4.0|
Can the Predators keep their winning streak alive? Come back for the Game Thread ahead of tonight's 7:00 p.m. faceoff and let's find out...