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Nashville Predators at Arizona Coyotes Preview: Desert Hockey

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Desert hockey is not to be confused with dessert hockey.

Arizona Coyotes v Nashville Predators Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

The Predators finally conquered the Golden Knights in Vegas on Tuesday evening. They face the Arizona Coyotes tonight.

Nashville Predators

Goals from Colton Sissons, Calle Järnkrok, Kyle Turris, Filip Forsberg, and Nick Bonino on Tuesday night sweetened the victory in Vegas. They continue their road trip tonight in Arizona.

Will we see Juuse Saros in net? He’s had a rough two games this season, allowing 4+ goals and looking less than his stellar self. Further, Filip Forsberg left Tuesday’s game early. Stay tuned to see if Forsberg draws into the lineup or sits out a game or two. Daniel Carr cleared waivers Wednesday but could stay in the lineup if Forsberg is unable to play.

It appears Forsberg is a game-time decision.

Rocco Grimaldi looks like he’s a permanent fixture in the lower-six with Daniel Carr being placed on waivers on Tuesday. Can Grimaldi help Kyle Turris gain some confidence and get back to his scoring ways, or help keep that line going if Turris is moved up?

Arizona Coyotes

The Coyotes are 2-2-1 on this young season. They added Phil Kessel over the offseason, providing veteran leadership and scoring to a young group of players ready to prove themselves.

The Coyotes got some awful news earlier in the week when defender Niklas Hjalmarsson was placed on injured reserve with a cracked fibula after blocking a shot. The Coyotes always seem to be bitten by the injury bug, so hopefully this is the only big subtraction for them this season.

Nick Schmaltz and Conor Garland both have three goals each over five games. Phil Kessel has not found the back of the net yet for Arizona, but I wouldn’t expect that to last long. Christian Dvorak scored twice against the Jets, so keep your eye on him. The Coyotes dropped the game in Winnipeg to the Jets on Tuesday.

Goalie Antti Raanta has been sidelined with some minor issues, so Darcy Kuemper has been shouldering the load over the last five games. He has a nice .955 Sv% and has 2-2.

Memories and Feelings

  • Remember how Arizona always seemed to score shorthanded last season? Let’s not do that again.
  • I personally don’t have any feelings about the Coyotes, but longtime Preds fans will remember some scrappy playoff series in the early part of the 2010s. I feel like I used to see the Coyotes a lot when the team was not doing very well.

Reasons to Watch

  • Phil Kessel in a Coyotes uniform!
  • Get used to the Coyotes. They’re presumably moving to the Central Division with the additional of the Seattle expansion team next year, so we are going to see a lot more of these guys.

Tonight’s Theme Song

It’s not going to get you hyped up, but this song has been stuck in my head for a few days and it’s one of my favorites.

Tonight’s Drink of Choice

Coffee.

How to Watch

Tonight’s game is “way late” with puck drop at 9:00 Central. Fox Sports-TN has the broadcast and 102.5 The Game has the radio call.