(Sports Network) - Hoping to avoid losing three straight in regulation for the first time this season, the Nashville Predators begin the west coast portion of their current road trip as they take on the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena.
The Predators recorded a point in each of their first eight games, going 5-0-3. That run did include three straight losses, but each setback came in overtime.
Nashville won back-to-back games after that winless stretch, but has since lost two straight in regulation to St. Louis and Detroit. After getting blanked by the Blues last Thursday, the Predators skated to a 5-2 setback on Saturday in Detroit.
"We came out strong and then we take penalties and give them the momentum," said Kline. "Each period we started out strong and then we just fell behind the eight-ball."
Nashville, which has been held to two goals or less in five of its last seven games, kicked off a five-game swing over the weekend and visits Phoenix, Los Angeles and Anaheim before ending the trek in St. Louis on Nov. 11.
The Coyotes are expected to get some healthy bodies back for this game as Martin Hanzal is slated to return from a six-game absence due to a lower-body injury. Defenseman Derek Morris, who missed Saturday's 3-0 loss to Tampa Bay with a lower-body injury, is day-to-day but could also play tonight.
Ilya Bryzgalov allowed all three goals on 23 shots in Saturday's loss, Phoenix's fourth in five games and seventh in the last nine (2-4-3), and head coach Dave Tippett is waiting for some of his key offensive players to get on track.
"We have a lot of players that, stats-wise, can contribute a lot more," said Tippett. "You look at our top forwards, we have no goals from [Shane] Doan, no goals from [Wojtek] Wolski, no goals from [Ray] Whitney. These are people we rely on for skill. At some point we need them to contribute."
Wolski has eight goals and 15 points in 19 career meetings with Nashville, but Doan has just one goal and four assists in his last eight versus the Preds.
These two clubs are meeting for the first time since the Coyotes won last year's season series, 3-0-1. The Predators have lost two straight, three of four and seven of their last nine in Phoenix.
Rinne is 4-1-1 with a 1.47 goals-against average versus the Coyotes, while Bryzgalov is 6-3-3 with a 2.47 GAA when facing the Preds.