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Coyotes at Predators preview: One skid must snap

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Arizona Coyotes (23-23-3) at Nashville Predators (26-23-2)

Starting Time/Venue: 6 p.m. MST at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN

In a battle of two teams struggling as of late, the Arizona Coyotes and Nashville Predators will hash it out as only one team will snap out of their losing streak.

The Coyotes have dropped four consecutive games while the Predators have done so in their past three.

This season, both teams have faced each other twice and Arizona is 2-0. These two Central Division enemies will clash one last time this regular season on Mar. 28 in Tempe.

Rewinding to the first matchup in “Smashville,” it was a 12-goal melee as the ‘Yotes pulled off a 7-5 victory on Nov. 11, 2023. Logan Cooley had three assists while Michael Carcone scored twice in the win.

Then in The Valley, Arizona held off the Predators in a back-and-forth 3-2 win on Jan. 20. Connor Ingram recorded a 30-save performance to preserve the lead despite a late push from Nashville.

Three weeks later after sniffing around a wild-card spot, the ‘Yotes now find themselves down in 13th place in the Western Conference.

Coming off of an 11-day break, the Coyotes allowed three goals in under the first seven minutes of a 3-2 defeat to the Vegas Golden Knights. Arizona competed with Vegas for the rest of the game to claw back into it, although the damage ended up already being done early.

With their playoff hopes slowly dwindling away, the Coyotes have a chance to impede the Preds’ this evening who haven’t played since Jan. 31.

As things currently stand, the Predators are even with the St. Louis Blues in points (54), but the Blues hold the last wild-card position in the conference. St. Louis also has two games in-hand on Nashville.

The Predators are 1-4-1 in their last six games, most recently losing 4-2 against the Los Angeles Kings.

Leading the charge during a rough stretch, Nashville’s captain Roman Josi has 14 points (2 goals, 12 assists) in his past 11 games.

On the penalty kill, the Predators are 27th in the NHL, canceling out 76.5% of opposing power plays while down a man.

With a crucial two points on the line and both previous games against one another being decided by fine margins, tonight is a mysterious clash that no one knows how things will play out.

Key Stats

Goals: Coyotes – RW Clayton Keller: 21 | Predators – LW Filip Forsberg: 24

Assists: Coyotes – LW Matias Maccelli/RW Clayton Keller: T-25 | Predators – D Roman Josi: 35

Points: Coyotes – RW Clayton Keller: 46 (21 goals, 25 assists) | Predators – LW Filip Forsberg: 51 (24 goals, 27 assists)

Injuries

Arizona Coyotes: D Troy Stecher (lower body – IR), C Travis Boyd (upper body – IR)

Nashville Predators: D Alexandre Carrier (upper body – Day-to-Day)

Canucks reportedly interested in signing former Coyotes F Phil Kessel

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Alec Cipollini covers Arizona Coyotes and Cardinals news for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on his X account @AlecCipollini

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