The Predators come home to face the Phoenix Coyotes tonight at the Sommet Center, and need to get back on track (not "untracked") after last night's 4-1 drubbing by the St. Louis Blues. Nashville is fortunate to also catch the Coyotes playing on back-to-back nights, as they come in from Columbus after having been beaten 3-0 by the Blue Jackets (recap to be found at Army of the Ohio).
The Phoenix Coyotes have scored just 4 goals in 3 games so far.
Some bite-size facts:
Phoenix captain Shane Doan turned 31 yesterday (hence the spanking by
The Coyotes have a triumverate of goaltenders they're sorting through, so the Preds won't see David Aebischer, who played Wednesday against the Blue Jackets. According to the Arizona Republic, Auld gets the nod tonight.
If this game goes to the shootout, here are some relevant goaltending numbers. For total save percentages in the shootout (covering both 2005-6 and 2006-7), Auld sports a woeful .567 for Phoenix, while Chris Mason stands at .760 for Nashville (average is .667). Auld hasn't faced any current Predators in the shootout, and the only current Coyote that Mason has faced is Radim Vrbata, who scored in one attempt last year.
The top shooters for each team in the shootout (both seasons total, minimum 5 attempts) would be Shane Doan (.500), Steve Reinprecht (.400), and Radim Vrbata (.308) for Phoenix, and Alexander Radulov (.500), Martin Erat (.333), and Marek Zidlicky (.167) for Nashville. This is one area where the Predators will miss Paul Kariya, who stands 2nd in shootout scoring percentage at .667.
My guess is that this won't make it to the shootout, as Nashville notches a convincing win, something like 3-1 or so.