ashton-remaxKeys to Watch

Ending the Road Trip

Tonight, the Nashville Predators will finish off their five game road trip against the Arizona Coyotes. The extended absence away from Nashville did not start on the right foot, but has begun to swing in the Nashville Predators’ favor. On Tuesday evening, the offense was able to come alive with contributions coming from all parts of the lineup. Ryan Johansen scored his first of the year, while Matt Irwin scored his first as a Predator. Craig Smith continued his hot streak with two goals and Pekka Rinne was solid. In our preview on Tuesday, the discussion was focused on getting on track and building momentum. Tonight will be a big test with a desperate Coyotes squad looking to move up in the rankings.

Breaking the Streak

Filip Forsberg currently leads the Nashville Predators and is tied for sixth in the NHL with seven assists. He also leads the team in points with seven. Personally, I don’t know if Forsberg could purchase a goal. He is doing all of the right things, but cannot bury the goal. Watching his style this season shows that he is putting plenty of shots on net (16) which is sixth on the team. The chances will continue and Forsberg will score, but he needs to be patient. Pressing too much could bring disastrous results. Prediction: Forsberg scores his first goal of the year tonight against a weak defensive Coyotes team.

Trouble in the Desert

Our final key to tonight’s matchup is the struggles of the Arizona Coyotes early on this season. Statistically, the Coyotes are last in the NHL with six points on the season. They are an offensively viable team that can put up goals (27), but defensively are allowing 3.89 goals per contest with 35 goals allowed this season. Their power-play is 27th in the league (10.0%) and penalty kill ranks 25th in the NHL (74.2%). The Coyotes are in dire straits for a win tonight and will come out aggressive early on. The Predators need to weather the storm, play physical, and get solid goal tending to come out of Gila River Arena with the win.

The Nashville Predators will look to build on the momentum gained from Tuesday night’s decisive win against the Colorado Avalanche as they make their way to Arizona. Be sure to catch all of the action on Fox Sports-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game. Puck drops at 9:00 pm!