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Nashville Predators vs Phoenix Coyotes Preview: A Grand Night for Steve Sullivan

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Tonight at Bridgestone Arena, not only do the Nashville Predators have an important game to win, but the fans get a special treat with the opportunity to celebrate Steve Sullivan's 1,000th NHL game.

Claus Andersen

The Stats

Phoenix Coyotes Nashville Predators
Record 13-15-5 24th 14-13-6 17th
GF/Game 2.48 22nd 2.46 24th
GA/Game 2.76 19th 2.52 13th
5-on-5 SF/60 30.3 6th 24.1 30th
5-on-5 SA/60 28.7 16th 25.7 5th
Fenwick Close 50.07 15th 47.14 23rd
5-on-5 Save % .910 19th .921 13th
5-on-4 GF/60 4.8 25th 6.9 12th
# of PP's/Gm 3.58 15th 3.09 25th
4-on-5 GA/60 5.7 10th 8.1 27th
# 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.

Phoenix Coyotes

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.


Steve Sullivan

#26 / Left Wing / Phoenix Coyotes

5-8

161

Jul 06, 1974



GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG
SOG PCT
2012 - Steve Sullivan 30 5 7 12 -7 20 2 0 0 46 10.8

Nashville Predators

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.


Paul Gaustad

#28 / Center / Nashville Predators

6-5

212

Feb 03, 1982



GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG
SOG PCT
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...