Game Day: Phoenix Coyotes @ Nashville Predators
Last night the Phoenix Coyotes almost let one slip away, going up 3-0 on the Chicago Blackhawks before being forced into a shootout situation that saw Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Radim Vrbata and Mike Smith step up and seal the deal for a 4-3 win. Tonight, they face the Nashville Predators for the last time until March 12th, 2012, and despite their 14-9-3 record, are at least in some part conscious of the last not-too-distant time they faced off against them--a Pekka Rinne lights out night that handed them a 3-0 loss.
This is the third game in four nights for the Coyotes, and they have a date with the Detroit Red Wings to look forward to on Thursday. The Predators have had a tough time stringing wins together and most recently made headlines as Ryan Miller's successful (but no less dramatic) return game, which finished by the score of 3-2 for the Sabres.
Quick Hits: Coyotes
♦ Last night, David Schlemko found himself a new partner on D: Keith Yandle. Both had over 25 minutes of ice time and three shots on goal, and Schlemko asisted on Yandle's 3rd of the season.
♦ Kyle Turris, after three games this season, has averaged 14 shifts per game and has six shots on goal.
♦ The stalemate going on between Ray Whitney and Radim Vrbata for the team points' lead wasn't solved against Chicago, what with the former assisting on the latter's opening goal. If shootout goals counted in the overall tally, however, Vrbata would have the edge.
♦ Raffi Torres scored his fourth goal of the year after spending some time on a line with Shane Doan and Daymond Langkow.
♦ Rostislav Klesla was hurt on Saturday, giving way to the debut of Chris Summers. Klesla joins Michal Roszival in the Coyotes' infirmary.
Quick Hits: Predators
♦ Pekka Rinne has 3 shutouts this year, just one behind league leader Jonathan Quick's 4.
♦ In Phoenix a lot of the talk surrounds Mike Smith, but the Preds have a Smith of their own. Craig Smith has four points in his last two games, collecting a goal against the Sabres and three assists against Vancouver.
♦ David Legwand leads the season series with 3 assists in two games played against the Coyotes thus far.
♦ Matt Halischuk has three points in three games against the Coyotes in his career, including a goal in the last 3-0 win.
♦ Four of Colin Wilson's six goals have come at Bridgestone Arena this season.