The Nashville Predators look to tie the series up Sunday night against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobbing.com Arena. After a tough loss to the Coyotes Friday night, they were able to take the 1-0 lead in the series. The Pekka Rinne v.s. Mike Smith show didn't go on as planned in Game 1. Hopefully we see Rinne play a lot better than Smith. Puck drops at 7:10 PM CT.
Coverage in Nashville: 102.5 The Game
Coverage in Glendale: XTRA Sports 910
Coverage in USA: NBC Sports Network
Coverage in Canada: TSN and RDS
Playoff Series Scoreboard
Line Up News
Projected Predators Scratches: #22 W Jordin Tootoo, #23 W Brian McGrattan, #24 W Matt Halischuk, #33 C Colin Wilson, #38 D Jack Hillen, #49 D Ryan Ellis and #37 G Chet Pickard
Projected Coyotes Scratches: #37 W Raffi Torres (Suspension), #2 D David Rundblad, #5 D Connor Murphy, #6 D David Schlemko, #12 W Paul Bissonnette, #20 D Chris Summers, #21 C Andy Miele, #26 D Michael Stone, #36 W Matt Watkins, #39 W Brett Maclean, #43 C Marc-Antoine Pouliot, #49 C Alexandre Bolduc, #52 C Brett Hextall, #54 C Ethan Werek, #57 D Maxim Goncharov, #58 W Jordan Szwarz, #35 G Justin Pogge and #75 G Louis Domingue
Projected Line Ups
CoyotesLW C RW #13 Ray Whitney #11 Martin Hanzal #17 Radim Vrbata #89 Mikkel Boedker #50 Antoine Vermette #19 Shane Doan #14 Taylor Pyatt #15 Boyd Gordon #28 Lauri Korpikoski #8 Gilbert Brule #22 Daymond Langkow #24 Kyle Chipchura D D #3 Keith Yandle #53 Derek Morris #32 Michal Roszival #23 Oliver Ekman-Larsson #16 Rostislav Klesla #33 Adrian Aucoin G #41 Mike Smith #1 Jason LaBarbera
Game 2: Phoenix Coyotes Players to WatchName G A +/- #23 Oliver Ekman-Larsson 1 3 -3 #17 Radim Vrbata 1 1 -3 #13 Ryan Whitney 2 3 +1
Thoughts on Both Teams
Phoenix: The Phoenix Coyotes were lucky to walk away with the win in Game 1. Mike Smith kept the Coyotes in the game and allowed them to win. Smith faced 25 shots in the third period and overtime, but only allowed one goal. Mike Smith stopped 32 of 34 shots in the game.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson had a team high, 30:35 of time on ice. It was surprising to see that stat because seeing a 20 year old rookie having the ice time leader. Ekman-Larsson is a rookie by the way. "OEL" is a great player to have at the point on the power play. So watch for Oliver Ekman-Larsson in Game 2.
Nashville: The Nashville Predators were very close to winning Game 1 Friday night. Nashville started the game out way too slow, but Rinne was able to keep them in the game by allowing only one goal in the first period. It took the Predators half the game to wake up and start playing playoff hockey game. The long, seven day, rest really showed. The Predators have to start fast and finish just as strong as Game 1.
The Predators were unable to win Game 1, mainly because of Mike Smith. Nashville peppered Smith with shot after shot, but he was able to not only stop it and control the rebound. They succeeded on scoring on Mike Smith when players have been in front of the crease picking up rebounds or blocking his vision. That is what the Predators need to continue to do Sunday night.
Face-offs are going to be huge for the Predators Sunday night. Nashville's face-off percentage was 41 % (32 of 78). That isn't going to cut it. Expect Paul Gaustad to jump to the top lines in situational times. In Saturday's team practice, the centers were working with Barry Trotz on face-offs most of the time on the ice. So, there better be an improvement.
Here are some Quick Hits from the Nashville Predators.
PLAYOFF QUICK HITS
• This is the Predators second consecutive trip to the Western Conference Semifinals. They fell to Vancouver in the 2011 WCS (4-2), after defeating the Anaheim Ducks in the WCQ to advance in the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
• David Legwand has nine points (6g-3a) in his last 10 postseason outings dating back to Nashville’s 2011 WCS series vs. Vancouver. Legwand is Nashville’s all-time leader in postseason goals (12), assists (14), points (26), plus/minus (+9) and games played (43).
• Martin Erat ranks second to Legwand on the franchise’s all-time playoff points (22), goals (8) and games played (42) lists. He is tied with Legwand for the most assists (14) in franchise postseason history.
• Mike Fisher leads all Predators with 37 career postseason points (17g-20a).
• In his last 12 playoff games over his last two series (2011 and 2012), Pekka Rinne has allowed 26 goals in 775:20 minutes of work for a 2.01 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage.
• Alexander Radulov has five points (1g-4a) in six games this postseason. Radulov set a playoff franchise record with assists in four straight games from Game Two thru Five of the WCQ vs. Detroit.
• Ryan Suter (35gp) and Shea Weber (35gp) have each taken the ice in every Predators’ playoff game over the team’s last four trips to the postseason – they are the only players to do so.
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