By Dave Vest GLENDALE -- The Coyotes will try to extend their winning streak to a season-high four games tonight when they host the Nashville Predators at Jobing.com Arena. The puck drops at 7 p.m. (Arizona time).
Phoenix (6-3-2) will enter the game less than 24 hours after beating the Colorado Avalanche, 4-1, in Denver on Wednesday night.
The Coyotes, who are riding a 4-0-1 unbeaten streak into tonight’s contest, tied a season-high by blocking 20 shots in Wednesday’s game, and seven different players recorded an assist.
Jason LaBarbera, who made 23 saves in a 5-2 win at Nashville on Oct. 13, will start in goal for the Coyotes for the third time this season.
The Coyotes today recalled center Kyle Chipchura from the American Hockey League. Chipchura was on a four-game point streak at the time of his recall with four goals and one assist during that span. He will replace center Martin Hanzal, who suffered a lower-body injury on Wednesday night. Hanzal is listed as day-to-day.
Newcomer Cal O’Reilly, whom the Coyotes acquired from Nashville last week, will not play tonight as he continues to recover from a minor lower-body injury.
Photo by Getty Images.
Pekka Rinne, who celebrated his 29th birthday today by signing a franchise record seven-year contract with Nashville (5-4-2), is expected to start in goal for the Predators. Rinne is the first goalie in club history to start each of the team’s first 11 games of the season, and he has risen to first in the NHL in saves (307) and shots against (333).
Against Phoenix, Rinne is 6-4-1 with a 1.98 goals-against average. It is his second lowest goals-against average against any team he has faced more than three times.
Predators rookie center Craig Smith has notched nine points in 11 games and is tied for second among NHL rookies in both points and goals (four).
Center Mike Fisher (upper body) and left wing Sergei Kostitsyn (lower body) practiced with the team on Wednesday in Glendale and will be game-time decisions.
Coyotes right wing Radim Vrbata has notched eight points in the last five games, including four goals in the past two games.
After being held scoreless in his first seven games, Predators right wing Patric Hornqvist has scored in three straight games, posting four goals in that span.
Tonight's game is the 50th all-time between the Coyotes and Predators. Phoenix leads 24-17-2-6. It is also the 25th all-time game between these teams in Arizona. Phoenix leads 15-7-0-2.
Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett is only one win from 100 career wins with Phoenix. He has coached 175 games for the Coyotes over the past two-plus seasons.
Tonight's game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Arizona and XTRA Sports 910 (AM). A link to the radio broadcast will be provided at phoenixcoyotes.com at 7 p.m.