The Phoenix Coyotes will be looking to end the Nashville Predators season Monday night in a crucial Game 5 at Jobing.com Arena.
The big news going into the game is the suspension of Coyotes defenseman Rostislav Klesla. Klesla was suspended one game by the NHL for his boarding incident against Matt Halischuk in Game 4.
The NHL senior vice president for player safety and hockey operations Brendan Shanahan explained the controversial suspension.
"While we would not always classify a player who knows he is in race for a puck as defenseless," Shanahan said, "on this hit, Halischuk becomes unable to defend himself when Klesla grabs his jersey and tugs him backward (before shoving him into the boards)."
On the Nashville bench, it's expected that suspended forwards Andrei Kostitsyn and Alexander Radulov will return to the lineup. The duo were suspended one game for violating team rules, and then were marked as healthy scratches for Game 4.
"I'm happy to go back to the lineup," Kostitsyn said after Sunday's practice. "I'll try to do the best for my team and help my team tomorrow night.
The Coyotes are hoping clinch a spot in the Western Conference Finals, but they understand that Nashville will not go down without a fight.
"Obviously, you're both very, very desperate. I think it's whoever makes less mistakes. I know they're going to come real, real hard," Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris said after practice Sunday. "We've got to do a good job defending, and then when momentum swings our way we've got to do a real good job in their zone. So, both games are hard to win and lose."
Start time: 7:00 p.m. PST
Television: NBC Sports Network (Nationally)
Radio: XTRA Sports 910