Archive for March 11, 2012
Nashville Predators 40-21-7
Phoenix Coyotes 34-25-10
As fans of the Nashville Predators continue to wait for official word as to whether or not Alexander Radulov will rejoin Nashville for the remainder of the season, the team continues to take care of business on the ice as they head out on the road.
Nashville’s four-game road trip comes on the heels of a three-game homestand where the Predators finished 2-1-0, winning games against Colorado and Detroit while dropping the first of the three games to the Kings.
The Predators last played on Saturday night when they edged Detroit 3-2 for their 40th win of the season. The win also marked the Predators 23rd win on home ice this season. Nashville became the only team in the NHL to win at least 23 home games for seven consecutive seasons.
Monday night, the Predators visit Phoenix for the first of a four-game road trip that sees Nashville play the Coyotes, San Jose, Los Angeles and Anaheim. The Predators are 4-2-0 in six road games against the Pacific Division this season.
The Coyotes lead the season series against Nashville two games to one. Monday night’s contest is the final time the two teams meet in the regular season.
Phoenix is the only team Nashville meets this week that currently sits in the top 8 of the Western Conference standings, but San Jose and Los Angeles are fighting to get into a playoff position.
In their last 10 games, Phoenix has gone 5-4-1, but to start the month of March the Coyotes are 1-4-1 including two losses to the last place team in the Western Conference, the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Coyotes went 11-0-1 in February.
For the Predators, players to watch included Sergei and Andrei Kostitsyn as well as goaltender Pekka Rinne.
Nashville’s offense has been powered by the Kostitsyn brothers since the start of March. Andrei and Sergei have factored into half of Nashville’s goals, 7 of 14, since the beginning of the month.
Rinne is 7-5-1 with a 1.91 goals-against average, a .935 save percentage against the Coyotes and leads the NHL in wins this season with 38 victories.
These teams last met on December 6th at Bridgestone Arena. The Coyotes edged the Predators 3-2 when Phoenix scored with just 1:45 left in regulation to break a 2-2 tie for the 3-2 win.
After Monday night’s game, the Predators don’t play again until Thursday night in San Jose.
On Saturday night, the Nashville Predators edged the Detroit Red Wings by a 3-2 score in front of a sold out Bridgestone Arena.
David Legwand assisted on all three Predators goals and now has 11 points in his last 12 games, including 2 goals and 9 assists.
Nashville opened the scoring when Legwand stole the puck from Detroit center Gustav Nyquist, creating a 2-on-1 with Patric Hornqvist. Legwand passed to Hornqvist who shot the puck passed Detroit netminder Joey MacDonald on the blocker side at the 7:30 mark of the first period. It was Hornqvist’s 21st goal of the season.
“It was just a poke-check. Hornqvist is going to get open and if you get him the puck he is probably going to bury it,” Legwand said.
Despite setting up all three Nashville goals, Legwand gives credit to the Kostitsyn brothers. “They have some chemistry from playing together in the past. They are fun to watch. Andrei and Sergei are both great players,” he said.
The brothers, however, have high praise for their power-play linemate.