Phoenix Coyotes (36-28-15) at Nashville Predators (35-32-12)
|Date & Time||Thursday April 10, 2014, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Nashville Predators -116 / Phoenix Coyotes +105 --- Over/Under: 5
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The Coyotes face a must win in Nashville on Thursday night as they look to keep their playoff hopes alive while the red hot Preds look to continue their strong play.
The Coyotes have dropped back to back contests in overtime and while they have managed to salvage a point in both of those contests they have to be a bit upset with the fact that they couldn’t close things out and earn the full four. Phoenix does have a game in hand on the Dallas Stars who hold a two point edge on the Coyotes heading into tonight’s contest but these are the types of games that the Coyotes need to grab both points especially this late in this season. The loss of Mike Smith was thought of to be the end of the Coyotes’ playoff chances and while it may ultimately play a factor you can’t fault Thomas Greiss who has stepped in nicely and has given the Coyotes a chance to win every night. Unfortunately, he will have to outduel one of the best in the game tonight as Pekka Rinne stands at the other end and he has played very well since coming back from injury.
The Predators have struggled mightily at times this season and their slow start will ultimately cost them a spot in the postseason as they’re just too far behind with too few games left on the schedule. It is tough to watch for them as they are playing some of the best hockey in the league at the moment and have really thrived in the spoiler role as they have pulled off some nice victories over high quality opponents. The Preds took a hit to their roster over the last couple of seasons with the biggest being the loss of Ryan Suter who is enjoying success in Minnesota but his departure has yet to be filled despite a valiant effort from youngsters Roman Josi and Seth Jones. However, I think Nashville will be back next year and with Rinne having a full season under his belt I think he can lead the team back to the playoffs as early as next season. As for now I like the way they’re playing and despite the Coyotes needing the win I think the home side gets it done and spoils the party once again.