The Phoenix Coyotes attempt to earn coach Dave Tippett a spot in the franchise record book when they conclude a three-game homestand against the Nashville Predators on Thursday. With 164 victories, Tippett is one behind Bob Francis for first place on the franchise list. Phoenix got the fifth-year coach to this spot with a 3-1 triumph over the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday, when Mike Smith made 41 saves and Kyle Chipchura recorded a goal and an assist.
The Coyotes improved to 5-0-1 at home with the victory and have earned at least one point in nine of their last 10 games. Nashville looks to rebound from an ugly loss as it begins a franchise record-tying seven-game road trip. The Predators have been idle since Saturday, when they suffered a 6-1 loss at home to the St. Louis Blues.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, FSN Tennessee (Nashville), FSN Arizona (Phoenix)
ABOUT THE PREDATORS (6-5-1): Carter Hutton has recorded mixed results since taking over for Pekka Rinne (infected hip), posting an overtime win over Winnipeg before being pulled after allowing five goals on 26 shots Saturday. Magnus Hellberg made his NHL debut in relief and stopped three of the four shots he faced. Defenseman Roman Josi, who hasn't played since Oct. 4 due to a concussion, may return to action Thursday.
ABOUT THE COYOTES (8-3-2): Chipchura recorded one goal in his first 12 games this season before his two-point effort against Los Angeles. Center Andy Miele notched his first two NHL points - two assists - in his season debut Tuesday after eight games without a point over the previous two campaigns. Center Martin Hanzal will miss Thursday's contest as he finishes serving his two-game suspension for a charging incident against Edmonton on Saturday.
1. Coyotes LW Lauri Korpikoski (upper body) practiced with the team Wednesday and could return after a three-game absence.
2. Nashville is 5-0-1 when scoring the game's first goal.
3. The Predators have had two seven-game road trips in the past, most recently from Jan. 22-Feb. 5.
PREDICTION: Coyotes 4, Predators 1