Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#55 Nashville Predators -120 vs.
#56 Arizona Coyotes 6
Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 10:05pm EDT
Gila River Arena, Glendale
Written by Chris Altruda

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Nashville Predators at Arizona Coyotes

When and Where: Thursday, Oct. 17, Gila River Arena, Glendale, Ariz., 10:05 p.m. EDT.

The Nashville Predators are expected to turn to Pekka Rinne to help them snap out of their desert doldrums in Arizona when they face the Coyotes on Thursday night to complete a three-game road swing.

Rinne looks to maintain perfect start

Nashville (4-2-0) has won all four games Rinne has been between the pipes, with the veteran Finnish goaltender conceding 11 goals and posting a .908 save percentage. He shook off a tough first period to stop all 17 shots he faced in the final 40 minutes Tuesday night and finished with 33 saves in helping the Predators down the Vegas Golden Knights 5-2.

"He worked and battled and just stayed with it," coach Peter Laviolette told The Associated Press about Rinne, who is fourth among active goaltenders with 345 wins. "He had to keep fighting for things. They fire a lot of pucks at the net and that keeps you needing to be on your toes all the time and he was strong. He gave us a chance, especially early on.

"It maybe could have been 3-1 or 4-1, it may have been hard to climb out of, so the fact we were able to be down just one going into the second period, and we turned things around pretty quick and that was real positive. He was terrific."

Filip Forsberg, who scored his team-leading fifth goal and has tallied in all but one of Nashville's first six games, is day-to-day after suffering what is believed to be a lower-body injury in the third period of the win over Vegas. Forsberg has a point in all six games, matching the franchise record set by Marek Zidlicky at the start of a season.

Rinne is 19-9-2 lifetime versus Arizona and made 24 saves in his most recent matchup, a 5-2 victory Feb. 25. The Predators, though, are 1-3-2 in their last six games in Arizona, where Rinne is 7-5-1 with a 2.28 goals-against average lifetime.

Matt Duchene is looking to start a new point streak after being held off the scoresheet for the first time. He has team-highs of seven assists and nine points but has registered just two assists in his last six games against the Coyotes.

'Yotes look to run point streak to four games

Arizona (2-2-1) has five points from its last three games after posting a 4-2 victory at Winnipeg on Tuesday night to take three of a possible four points from a two-game road swing.

The power play finally clicked for the Coyotes, who converted both chances after failing to do so nine times over the first four games. Christian Dvorak and Nick Schmaltz scored the man-advantage goals 2:10 apart in the second period, and Dvorak tallied again later in the period.

"We played a pretty good game; we came out strong in the second and that's what we needed to do," Connor Garland told the Coyotes' official website. "The power play got clicking, it looked good in Colorado too, so that's going to be huge if we can keep that up."

The 23-year-old Dvorak, who scored 15 goals in each of his first two seasons in the league, had just two goals in 20 games in 2018-19 after missing the first 62 with a wrist injury.

Darcy Kuemper, who made 38 saves, likely will get a second straight start as he seeks to extend his personal winning streak to three games. He gave the Predators fits in his only start against them last season, turning aside 45 shots in a 2-1 home victory Nov. 15.

Kuemper is 4-2-1 with a 2.44 GAA and .920 save percentage lifetime versus Nashville. Dating back to last season, Kuemper has allowed two or fewer goals in his last 11 starts while posting a 5-4-2 record, 1.30 GAA and .959 save percentage. That streak matches the club record set by Nikolai Khabibulin from Oct. 15-Nov. 28, 1998.

The Coyotes will be without top defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson for a significant spell after he cracked his fibula stopping a shot in Saturday's overtime loss at Colorado. Fellow blue liner Jordan Oesterle left Tuesday's game midway through the third period after blocking a shot but is expected to be available for this contest.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Despite Nashville's recent hiccups in Arizona, Laviolette's team played its best 40 minutes on the road to roll past Las Vegas. Potentially not having Forsberg is a concern, which is why this is not an aggressive play, but the Preds' power play has been consistent with a goal in five straight games.

They were also able to generate shots on the Coyotes last season, racking up a 122-74 advantage in the three meetings.

Prediction: Predators ML (-130)

Full-Game Total Pick

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The under is the play given Rinne's recent performance and Kuemper's hot start. The under is 5-1 in Nashville's last six games as a road favorite and 9-3-1 in its last 13 on the road overall. The under is also 6-1 in Arizona's last seven at home and 5-1-1 in its last seven versus Central Division foes.

Prediction: UNDER 6 goals (-110)

Full-Game Prop Bet

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A somewhat challenging pick because Forsberg is off the board with his game-time status and is the team leader with five goals. The challenge comes with the fact the Predators have 28 goals and 14 goal-scorers, with 10 players having at least two.

Duchene does not have a great track record versus Arizona with 11 goals in 29 career games, but with Nashville's power-play clicking, the opportunities should be there to light the lamp.

Prediction: Predators' Duchene to score (+130)

Half-Time Side Pick

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Neither team has been very productive in the first period thus far, combining for seven goals. Arizona has also been stingy defensively in the opening 20 minutes, yielding four markers in the opening 20 minutes. The Coyotes also held the Predators without a first-period goal in the three meetings last season, and with both goaltenders in good form, a scoreless opening stanza is definitely in play.

Prediction: Draw 1st period 3-way ML (+180)

Half-Time Total Bet

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Arizona scored both goals in the first period in the three meetings between the teams last season but has tallied three first-period goals in its first five contests. Nashville has not been much better with four in six, but this is more a confidence pick in the goaltenders.

Prediction: UNDER 1.5 goals first period (+105)
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Written By Chris Altruda

A 1994 graduate of Marquette University when they were known as the Warriors and Brooklyn native, Chris Altruda is based in Chicago. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiner, he worked at three major U.S. wire services and also has prior experience in sports handicapping and daily fantasy roster building. Now that the Cubs have won a World Series, he holds out hope the Jets will win a Super Bowl before he dies. Follow Chris daily right here at W&W and on Twitter at @AlTruda73. You won’t be disappointed.