Nashville Predators @ Phoenix Coyotes Preview: Halloween Hockey

The Nashville Predators will go trick-or-treating tonight in Glendale, Arizona...

Tonight the Nashville Predators begin a 7-game road trip with a journey into the desert to face the Phoenix Coyotes, a rematch with the team which bounced them from the 2012 playoffs.

Game Time: 9:00 p.m. on Fox Sports TN

Radio Note: Willy Daunic is stepping in as the play-by-play radio man after the sudden departure of Tom Callahan, so let's wish Willy good luck in his season debut.

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The Stats

Nashville Predators Phoenix Coyotes
Record 6-5-1 16th 8-3-2 7th
GF/Game 1.92 27th 3.31 3rd
GA/Game 2.58 11th 3.00 23rd
5-on-5 Close SF/60 29.7 16th 36.2 1st
5-on-5 Close SA/60 30.3 15th 30.5 18th
Fenwick Close 49.60 17th 53.10 9th
5-on-5 Close Save % .927 12th .916 17th
5-on-4 GF/60 4.9 23rd 8.1 11th
# of PP's/Gm 3.17 27th 3.85 10th
4-on-5 GA/60 6.3 13th 6.6 17th
# of PK's/Gm 3.67 17th 3.92 21st

The Coyotes are off to a fine start, and are getting solid results in pretty much all aspects of the game. While the Predators hold an edge in Save Percentage, that was largely built up by Pekka Rinne, who is on the shelf for several weeks.

Phoenix Coyotes

The Coyotes are trying to complete the sweep of a three-game home stand tonight, after having beaten Edmonton and Los Angeles recently.

They'll come into this game without the services of gargantuan center Martin Hanzal, however, who drew a 2-game suspension for hitting Edmonton Oilers defenseman Jeff Petry in the head Saturday night. As our pals at Five For Howling point out, this year's version of Hanzal is showing up all over the box scores in a good & bad way:

It was the best of Martin Hanzal. Five goals and 11 points in 12 games to begin the 2013-14 season, the best start of his career.

It was the worst of Martin Hanzal. Seven minor penalties, most occurring in the offensive zone, and an illegal hit to the head of Edmonton Oilers defenseman Jeff Petry earning a two-game suspension.

The 6' 6" center is equal parts impressive and frustrating this season. He's scored at least one point in all but three games and is winning 51.9 percent of his face-offs. Hanzal is on pace to set career-highs in goals, assists, points, hits and shots on goal. He is also on pace to set a career-high in penalty minutes.

The new face to watch out for is Mike Ribeiro, the puck-dangling forward who has bounced around a bit in recent years, but always seems to do well against Nashville. In 26 career games vs the Preds, Ribeiro has racked up 6 goals and 18 assists for 24 points.

Mike Ribeiro

#63 / Center / Phoenix Coyotes



Feb 10, 1980

Oh yeah, and they've got a goaltender who has scored more goals than Gabriel Bourque and Viktor Stalberg combined:

Mike Smith

#41 / Goalie / Phoenix Coyotes



Mar 22, 1982

Nashville Predators

After missing the last 10 games, Roman Josi is expected back in the lineup tonight, and naturally we'll watch how the D pairs shake out. Will Seth Jones still play with Shea Weber? Will Victor Bartley or Ryan Ellis watch from the press box? There will be oodles of drama on the blueline this evening...

...but of course up front there's plenty to keep an eye on, too. With Viktor Stalberg getting another shot to play, close attention will be paid to his every shift.

While Craig Smith is getting the recognition (and deservedly so) for leading the way offensively, it's also worth recognizing David Legwand, who has chipped in with 7 points as well, in perhaps a more understated way.

David Legwand

#11 / Center / Nashville Predators



Aug 17, 1980

2013 - David Legwand 12 1 6 7 -5 2 0 0 0 14 7.1

With his team-leading six assists, maybe Leggy is the guy who can get Stalberg going? Tune in tonight (hopefully the trick-or-treating will be over by 9:00, if it even takes place tonight at all) and join us in the Game Thread to find out!

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