COYOTES (14-5-4) at PREDATORS (11-10-2)
Season series: This game is the second of three between these teams. In the first game at Jobing.com Arena, the Phoenix Coyotes rallied from two goals down to beat the Nashville Predators, 5-4, in a shootout on Oct. 31.
Big story: Phoenix will look to avoid its first three-game losing skid of the season on Monday in Nashville. After playing well out of the gate, the Coyotes have lost two straight, including a defeat to the Anaheim Ducks that marked their first regulation loss at home in 12 games (9-1-2). Meanwhile, the Predators had won three in a row before a 2-0 loss to the New York Rangers at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday.
Coyotes: Phoenix had a season-high 44 shots in a 4-3 overtime loss Thursday to the Colorado Avalanche; the Coyotes then matched that total in the loss to the Ducks on Saturday. Over the two-game skid, Phoenix has outshot its opponents 88-66.
The Coyotes, who are 5-2-1 at Nashville over the past four seasons, will likely have co-leading scorer Martin Hanzal back in the lineup. Hanzal sustained a lower-body injury against the Ducks and played only a few shifts.
Captain Shane Doan will enter the game with an eight-game point streak, during which he has notched seven goals and four assists.
"Shane's the one guy, who consistently, game after game, he goes out and he creates chances for us," Head Coach Dave Tippett said after Monday's morning skate. "...It doesn't matter where you put him (in the lineup) he seems like he gets the job done."
The last time Phoenix played at Nashville it tied a franchise record by scoring six goals in the first period. That game was played March 28, 2013.
Predators: There may not be a more hot-cold attack in the NHL than Nashville. The Predators are coming off two distinct stretches: One in which they scored two goals in four games, from Nov. 8-15, and another in which they scored 13 in three, from Nov. 16-21.
Nashville will hope the shutout loss to the Rangers and backup Cam Talbot on Saturday isn't a return to struggles of yore. The Predators managed only 17 shots, went 0-for-2 on the power play and rarely threatened the rookie Talbot.
"They played a good defensive game," forward Eric Nystrom said. "We had a hard time getting on the inside. They have some good-skating defensemen, and their forwards picked a lot of pucks off on the backcheck. We didn't move our feet enough, and they were catching us from behind."
Who’s hot: Coyotes goalie Mike Smith leads all NHL goaltenders in shots against (690) and saves (629). He also ranks tied for second in games played (21)… Despite suffering his first loss in four starts, Nashville goalie Marek Mazanec is still hot. The Predators rookie made 32 saves on 34 shots and his .929 save percentage in seven appearances is 12th in the NHL.
Injury report: Phoenix forward Lauri Korpikoski (upper-body injury) and defenseman Zbynek Michalek (lower-body injury) are out… Nashville wing Patric Hornqvist (lower body) and center Filip Forsberg (upper body) are questionable, while goaltender Pekka Rinne (hip) remains sidelined.
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