COYOTES (14-5-4) PREDATORS (11-10-2)
Radio: Preds Radio Network Flagship - 102.5-FM The Game Radio Network; Network Affiliates
SPECIAL TEAMS SUCCESS
Nashville’s special teams continues to be a strong point for the Predators this season. The Preds scored five man-advantage goals in their last four outings, including two multiple power-play goal periods.
• Nashville’s power play ranks in the League’s Top 10 (10th, 21 percent), while its home power play remains one of the League’s best (sixth, 25.9 percent).
Nashville’s penalty kill has stymied some of the League’s top power-play units in their last five outings, including the League’s third-best road power play on their three man-advantage chances on Saturday night.
• Nashville’s penalty kill has held the opposition scoreless on their last 13 times shorthanded, last allowing a power-play goal on Nov. 15 in Pittsburgh.
• The Preds have only surrendered three power-play goals on 29 times shorthanded in their last nine outings (89.7 percent success rate).
• Nashville’s penalty kill is now ranked 13th in the League (83.3 percent), after allowing the 10th-fewest power-play goals (13) in the League.
• David Legwand has 11 points (3g-8a) in his last 11 outings to lead the team with 18 points (4g-14a) in 21 games. Twelve (4g-8a) of Legwand’s 18 points have come away from the Music City.
• Shea Weber became the highest scoring defenseman in franchise history (114g-188a-302pts) with his power-play goal on Nov. 19 in Detroit. Weber is now tied for third among League defensemen with six goals. The Preds are 6-0-0 when he finds the back of the net. Nashville’s captain ranks fourth on the team (6g-5a-11pts), and among the League’s Top 25 in defensemen scoring. Weber has led Nashville in ice time in 16 of the last 17 games to rank fourth in the League in the category (26:42).
• Patric Hornqvist, who left Saturday’s game with an upper-body injury, has eight points (3g-5a) in his last 13 games to lead the team in goals and move into third in team scoring (6g-7a-13pts).
• Seth Jones leads all first-year players in average time on ice (23:41). The Frisco, Texas native is tied for 14th in points among first-year players (3g-6a-9pts), 11th in goals (3), 15th in shots on goal (33) and second in blocked shots (39), while ranking third in power-play points and power-play goals (2g-3a-5pts) among rookies.
• Kevin Klein leads the team and ranks 12th in the League with 55 blocked shots.
• When the Preds score first they hold onto the lead, going 9-1-2 in those contests this season.
• Six of Nashville’s 11 wins this season have come by one goal – it is 6-0-2 in one-goal games.
• Nashville is 11-1-1 when scoring more than one goal, and 9-0-1 when scoring three or more goals this season.
• The Predators have played the fewest home games this season (nine), only Dallas and New Jersey have played fewer.
• Nashville has played 14 road games this season – only Anaheim (16) and New Jersey (15) have played more games away from their home venue.
• The Preds have outscored their opposition 6-2 in the second period and 11-4 in the final 40 minutes in their last four games.
• The Predators have had seven rookies appear in the lineup this season. They had eight rookies appear last season, and 11 during the 2011-12 campaign. Nashville is also one of two teams in the NHL to field multiple teenagers in its lineup (Filip Forsberg, 19 and Seth Jones, 19), only Buffalo has had more teenagers on its roster this season (four).
LAST TIME OUT: Nashville 0, N.Y. Rangers 2 at Bridgestone Arena
• Kevin Klein's fighting major was the sixth of his career (last on March 14, 2013 at Vancouver). Klein has been one of the League’s least penalized players in recent years, after being assessed just four minors in his last 128 regular-season games.
• Goaltender Marek Mazanec made his sixth straight start, stopping 32-of-34 shots in the loss. The Czech netminder’s .929 save percentage is second among rookies behind Anaheim’s Frederik Andersen.
• Shea Weber led all Nashville skaters with three shots on goal.
HOME ICE ADVANTAGE
Nashville has posted a 5-3-1 record at home in 2013-14. The Predators have been one of the League’s best teams on home ice since the beginning of the 2005-06 season, compiling 197 home victories, tied for the fourth most in the NHL in that span and just three wins behind Vancouver for third. Nashville is the only team in the NHL to post at least 23 home victories in seven consecutive full seasons. The Preds have also sold out a 37 of their last 47 home games dating back to March 6, 2012 vs. Los Angeles.
STRONG IN THE CIRCLE
The Predators rank second in the League in team face-off win percentage this season (55.1 percent). Nashville has been better than 50 percent in the face-off circle in 20 of its 23 games this season.
Nashville is led in the face-off circle by Paul Gaustad, who has won 247-of-400 face-offs this season (61.8 percent) to lead the League in the category (minimum 250 draws). The 6-5, 220-pound center has ranked among the League’s Top 10 in the category in each of the last four seasons. Matt Cullen also ranks among the League’s top face-off men (fifth, 58.5 percent), winning 162-of-277 draws on the season.
STORYLINES vs. PHOENIX
The Predators and Coyotes face off for the first of two meetings on Bridgestone Arena ice in 2013-14. Nashville holds a 15-10-3 advantage all-time in their home barn, but the Coyotes have won three of the last four meetings in the Music City.
The Preds opened their recent 17-day road trip at Jobing.com Arena on Halloween night, as Nashville jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first period on goals from Matt Hendricks, Eric Nystrom and David Legwand. Phoenix responded with two goals of its own, before Paul Gaustad opened the gap again to begin the third period. Shane Doan and Antoine Vermette also tallied in the third to tie the game and force overtime. After a scoreless extra frame, Mikael Boedker scored in the fifth round of the shootout to defeat the Preds.
These teams last met at Bridgestone Arena on March 28, 2013, as they combined for nine goals in the opening period in an eventual 7-4 Phoenix victory. The game set Nashville franchise records for most combined goals and most goals against in a single period. The Coyotes jumped out to a 5-0 lead within the first 8:26, but the Preds responded with goals from Legwand and Rich Clune to cut the margin to 5-2 by the 9:33 mark. Yandle would open the gap once again, before Gabriel Bourque tallied the ninth goal of the first 20 minutes. Vermette would tally in the second, and Shea Weber would later find the board in the third.
Bourque posted three points (2g-1a) in his last four games against Phoenix… Hornqvist has 12 points (6g-6a) in 14 career games against the Coyotes… Legwand has posted 26 points (8g-18a) in 45 games against Phoenix.
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS VS. PHOENIX
• Gabriel Bourque posted his last multi-point outing (1g-1a) against Phoenix on March 28, 2013.
• Matt Hendricks scored his first goal in a Preds sweater on Oct. 31, 2013 at Phoenix.
• Matt Cullen converted his most recent penalty shot against Phoenix on Dec. 31, 2011 (McElhinney).
• Mattias Ekholm made his NHL debut against Phoenix on Oct. 13, 2011.
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