Originally posted on Fang Faction  |  Last updated 5/3/12

The Nashville Predators are trailing in this best-of-7 series to the Phoenix Coyotes, 2-1. In Game 3, the Predators were able to bounce back by winning the game 2-0 and cutting the lead in half. Nashville will attempt to tie the series up at 2-2, Friday night in a rocking Smashville! Puck drops at 6:40 PM CT!

TV/Radio Coverage

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 

Game Date Away Home Result Game 1 4/27 NSH PHX 3-4 PHX OT Game 2 4/29 NSH PHX 3-5 PHX Game 3 5/2 PHX NSH 0-2 NSH

Line Up News

Starting Goalies:

Name W L OT SV % GAA #35 Pekka Rinne 5 2 1 .929 2.20 #41 Mike Smith 6 3 2 .942 2.03

Projected Predators Scratches: #46 W Andrei Kostitsyn (Benched), #47 W Alexander Radulov (Benched), #7 D Jonathon Blum, #15 C Craig Smith, #17 C Chris Mueller, #23 W Brian McGrattan, # C Kyle Wilson, #38 D Jack Hillen, #49 D Ryan Ellis, #64 D Victor Bartley, #30 G Jeremy Smith and #37 G Chet Pickard

Projected Coyotes Scratches: #37 W Raffi Torres (Suspension), #28 W Lauri Korpikoski (Lower Body), #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, #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

Injury Report

Predators: None

Coyotes: #28 W Lauri Korpikoski is questionable (Lower Body) and #15 C Boyd Gordon (Left Arm) is probable.

Projected Line Ups

                                                                                          Predators

LW C RW #74 Sergei Kostitsyn #12 Mike Fisher #10 Martin Erat #57 Gabriel Bourque #11 David Legwand #27 Patric Hornqvist #18 Brandon Yip #13 Nick Spaling #33 Colin Wilson #24 Matt Halischuk #28 Paul Gaustad #22 Jordin Tootoo D D #6 Shea Weber #20 Ryan Suter #51 Francis Bouillon #8 Kevin Klein #75 Hal Gill #59 Roman Josi G #35 Pekka Rinne #39 Anders Lindback


Coyotes

LW 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 #43 Marc-Antoine Pouliot #24 Kyle Chipchura #22 Daymond Langkow #8 Gilbert Brule D D #3 Keith Yandle #53 Derek Morris #32 Michal Roszival #23 Olver Ekman-Larsson #16 Rostislav Klesla #33 Adrian Aucoin G #41 Mike Smith #1 Jason LaBarbera

Game 4: Phoenix Coyotes Players to Watch

Name G A +/- #17 W Radim Vrbata 2 1 +2 #13 W Ray Whitney 1 2 +2 #19 W Shane Doan 1 1 +2

Thoughts on Both Teams

Coyotes: The Phoenix Coyotes didn't play their best hockey in Game 3, where they were shutout 2-0. They were shutout because the Predators adjusted their playing style to beat the Coyotes. Dave Tippet and the Coyotes will have to change their playing style to adjust to the "old, new" Predators.

Attention to Mike Smith's puck-handling abilities came to question Thursday with Dave Tippet. The two Predators goals were scored because of lousy puck-handling by Smith. He [Mike Smith] told reporters that he doesn't plan to change his puck-handling style.

Coach Tippet said Thursday, in a media session after practice, that Boyd Gordon was fine after the game. So, I expect him to be in the lineup Friday night. Boyd Gordon blocked a slap-shot by Shea Weber while on the penalty kill.

There isn't any expected lineup changes for the Coyotes. You might see Derek Morris scratched because of the three penalties he had in Game 3, but that is unlikely. Lauri Korpikoski is questionable for returning to the lineup with a lower body injury. Korpikoski very well could be playing in Game 4, who knows?

Predators: With the Game 3 shutout win over the Phoenix Coyotes Wednesday night, Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn's playing availabilities were put into question. Jordin Tootoo and Matt Halischuk replaced them, who were very good playing the much needed style to beat Phoenix.

Honestly, I don't see Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn back in the lineup for Game 4. There is no need right now for change. The Predators played textbook hockey, which is how to be the Coyotes. Here is a quote via John Manasso.

We’ll make a decision as a group,” Trotz said. "I know it’s going to be very tough if I do anything. I thought everybody was pretty committed, so I can’t give you a definite decision right now because I don’t have that. They guys who were in got the job done and played very hard.”

Hal Gill and Paul Gaustad didn't practice Thursday with the team. Barry Trotz told the media that they are having a "maintenance day." So, keep an eye out for that, but don't read too much into it.

Matt Halischuk fully practice on the fourth line as a center to replace Paul Gaustad. Good news there as during the second period in Game 3, Halischuk was cross-checked into the boards by Adrian Aucoin. Halischuk went to the dressing room, but returned in the third period fully ready.


Here are some Playoff Quick Hits from Predators.NHL.com

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.
• Defenseman Francis Bouillon is tied for the playoff lead in plus/minus rating (+8).
• Alexander Radulov has six points (1g-5a) in seven 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 (37gp) and Shea Weber (37gp) 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. The duo also ranks first and second respectively among all NHL blueliners still alive in the playoffs in shots.
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