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10-13-2011, 06:54 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Birmingham, AL
Country: Northern Ireland
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Home Opener!! Nashville Predators v Phoenix Coyotes: 7pm CDT


Bridgestone Arena

Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville Predators
2-0-0 4pts
Wilson - Legwand - Smith
Erat - Spaling - Kostitsyn
Tootoo - O'Reilly - Halischuk
Smithson - Geoffion - Hornqvist

Weber - Suter
Klein - Blum
Laakso - Hillen


Coach Barry Trotz

Phoenix Coyotes
0-1-1 1pts
Whitney - Langkow - Doan
Pyatt - Hanzal - Vrbata
O'Sullivan - Gordon - Lorpikoski
Torres - Nokelainen - Boedker

Yandle - Morris
Ekman-Larson - Aucoin

Coach Dave Tippett

Tonight's Storylines
Provided by
The Nashville Predators kick-off the home portion of their 2011-12 campaign tonight against the Phoenix Coyotes, a team with which they split the season series with in 2010-11 two games apiece, despite a plus-four goal differential. While Phoenix won the first (Nov. 3, 2010) and last (Feb. 19, 2011) meetings by one-goal margins, Nashville prevailed by three-goal margins in its wins – a 3-0 win at Bridgestone Arena behind Rinne’s third shutout of the Coyotes in a six-start span on Nov. 30, 2010, and 5-2 decision on Jan. 18, 2011 at Arena where J-P Dumont recorded the franchise’s fourth-ever road hat trick. The power play was also particularly strong, going 4-for-18 (22.2 percent) over the four-game slate, despite scoring all five at even strength on Dumont’s big night. The Predators have posted a home record of 10-2-(1)-1 vs. the Desert Dogs since the start of the 2003-04 campaign, going 16-9-(1)-2 overall in the same span.

Patric Hornqvist scored the Preds other two goals in the 5-2 win on Jan. 18, and led the team in points against Phoenix a season ago with five (3g-2a) in four games, and has eight points (5g-3a) in nine career contests vs. Phoenix… Matt Halischuk recorded his first career multi-point effort in the Jan. 18 contest, notching two assists… Cal O’Reilly has three points (1g-2a) in four career outings vs. the Coyotes… Phoenix is one of just three teams that Rinne has recorded three shutouts against (Minnesota and Vancouver are the others). For his career, the 6-5 netminder is 6-3-1 with a 1.78 goals-against average, a .937 save percentage. It is the lowest goals-against average against any team he’s faced more than three times.
Preview Provided by Hocky NIght in Nashville
The Nashville Predators(2-0-0) will play their first regular season home game of the 2011-2012 season on Thursday night when they take on the Phoenix Coyotes(0-1-1).

Phoenix opened the season with a 6-3 loss in San Jose, and a 2-1 shootout loss in Dallas. They will be looking for their first win of the season, and will play a desperate style of hockey against the Predators.

Ilya Bryzgalov was signed by the Philadelphia Flyers, so Mike Smith was brought in to handle the goaltending responsibilities for the Desert Dogs.

Nashville comes into the game having won both of their first two contests on the road. They will be looking to move to 3-0-0 on the year, and to collect points that could prove to be very valuable at the end of the year.

My player to watch for the Coyotes is Shane Doan. As is usually the case for Phoenix, Doan has been their best player so far this season. He has two goals and one assist in the first two games, and is tied with Keith Yandle for the team lead in shots with 11. Doan is the heart and soul of this Phoenix team, and his play largely dictates the play of the entire team.

For Nashville, my player to watch is rookie phenom Craig Smith. He has two goals and two assists in his first two NHL games. It will be interesting to see how he responds to the atmosphere of opening night in Smashville.

The festivities begin at 4:00 p.m when the players, coaches and broadcasters will walk the gold carpet with select season ticket holders. After that, there will be a plaza party leading up to the game. The puck will drop at approximately 7:08 p.m.
Media Links
Listen: Radio link on the right
Watch: SportSouth
Streaming: TBA
Twitter: Official Preds twitter

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