NHL: Coyotes eye elusive road win, but Predators sharp on home ice


The Nashville Predators have had some much-needed success at home this month.

That might not bode well for the struggling Arizona Coyotes, who remain entrenched on the road.

Looking to extend their home point streak to five games, the Predators try to hand the Coyotes a fourth consecutive road defeat on Monday night.

Nashville went 2-3-1 at home in October but is 3-0-1 in November. The Predators’ three-game home winning streak ended with Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Tampa Bay, but the club seemed pleased with its overall approach and performance against one of the NHL’s top teams.

“Even though we didn’t win, (Saturday was) probably our best effort (during the first four of a five-game home stretch),” said Predators star Filip Forsberg, who scored in a second straight game Saturday and has recorded 10 of his team-leading 18 points in 10 home games.

“(We) look forward to build on that for more.”

Forsberg has posted two goals and an assist in his last three games against the Coyotes. Nashville, meanwhile, has won three straight and 10 of the last 11 home meetings with Arizona.

The Coyotes, who have played just four times at their home arena in Tempe, Ariz., which they share with the Arizona State hockey team, won the first three games on this stretch of 14 consecutive road contests. However, they’re 0-3 since and coming off a second straight 4-1 defeat at Vegas on Thursday.

“We need to find the balance,” said Arizona coach Andre Tourigny, whose team has been outscored 44-32 while going 5-7-0 away from home.

“I think we’re playing good hockey, but the fact is we believe in ourselves, and we want to be able to win games.

“We’re right there, and now we need to (take) the next step.”

Clayton Keller continues to lead the Coyotes, posting a team-high 18 points. He scored in a third straight game Thursday and has four goals with four assists during his six-game point streak. Keller has recorded a goal and three assists in his last four games versus Nashville.

Teammate Karel Vejmelka (5-5-1, 3.23 goals-against average) has allowed four goals in each of his last two starts. He also gave up four in each of his three starts against the Predators last season. Backup Connor Ingram has yielded 18 goals while going 1-4-0.

Meanwhile, Nashville’s Juuse Saros (6-6-2, 3.09 GAA) has allowed seven goals in his last two starts but is 2-1-1 with a 2.48 GAA versus Arizona during his career. Teammate Kevin Lankinen (2-2-0, 2.60 GAA) could make his first home appearance as a Predator after the first five — including four starts — came on the road.

Nashville’s Juuso Parssinen looks to continue the strong start to his NHL career after recording three goals and two assists in four contests since making his debut Nov. 12.

“He looks like an NHL player,” Forsberg said of Parssinen’s early success. “It looks like he’s been doing this for 10 years.”

–Field Level Media

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