The Phoenix Coyotes will look for a return to form when they head to Nashville for a tilt with the Predators on Tuesday night. The Yotes saw their seven-game winning streak come to an end in their 6-4 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday. In Nashville, they'll meet another struggling opponent
After a hot start, the Predators find themselves struggling to stay afloat, having lost four in a row and five of their last seven. Much of that comes back to their inability to put the puck in the net. Nashville is averaging barely over two goals per game, and a dismal 11 percent on the power play. However, their defense does keep them in games, allowing just over two and a half goals a game, good for 11th in the league.
On the flip side, Phoenix's offense has been very good, netting almost three goals per game. Similar to Nashville, the Yotes lack star power, but have gotten steady production from up and down their lineup, with seven players over 10 points on the season.
In what has the potential to be a low-scoring affair, due to the stinginess of the Preds' defense, and the ineffectiveness of their offense, this game should come down to the guys between the pipes.
There are few hotter goaltenders in the league than Phoenix's Ilya Bryzgalov. He slipped up against Anaheim, allowing six goals, but he allowed just six in his previous four games combined. The big Russian is 10-3-5 on the season, and has faced more shots than almost any goalie in the NHL, coming in at third in that category.
His counterpart, Pekka Rinne, is struggling over his last four, posting an 0-2-2 record. Despite his sub-.500 record on the season, his overall stats aren't terrible, with a .914 save percentage, which is one notch below Bryz on the season.
Tuesday presents an interesting game for the Coyotes, in that it lacks that Crosby-type star power to make it a marquee matchup, but it still gives an exciting contest, pitting a potent offense against a strong defense. While this looks like another should-win for Phoenix against a struggling Nashville squad, the Ducks showed us that no team is going to hand you a 'W'.