Arizona Coyotes vs. Nashville Predators Pick & Prediction JANUARY 20th 2024

One of the best road teams in the NHL for nearly two months, the Nashville Predators have no problems packing their bags.

Home ice has not been kind to the Arizona Coyotes since the calendar flipped to 2024.

The Predators seek to deliver another road triumph and the Coyotes are out to avoid a fifth loss in six home games Saturday at Tempe, Ariz.

Since losing six of its first eight road games, Nashville is 10-2-1 away from home. Since Nov. 24, those 10 victories were tied for most in the NHL, entering Friday’s action. On Thursday, Ryan O’Reilly had a goal with an assist and Juuse Saros made 33 saves during the Predators’ 2-1 victory at Los Angeles.

“It was a really good road effort,” Predators coach Andrew Brunette said.

“We’re going in and trying to grow here as a team when we’ve got the lead on the road.”

Thursday’s victory was Nashville’s 12th decided by one goal this season. According to the NHL, that total is the fourth-most in the league entering Friday’s play.

“(There was) no panic,” said Nashville’s Gustav Nyquist, whose tiebreaking goal 13:40 into the second period proved to be the game-winner Thursday.

“I thought we played a really good road game, and it was a nice win for us.”

Though Nashville has lost four of the last six at Arizona, the Coyotes have been outscored 24-10 while going 1-4-0 at home in the new year. Arizona won eight of its final nine home games of 2023.

The Coyotes return home following a 1-1-1 road stretch that concluded with Thursday’s 2-1 loss at Vancouver. Defenseman Travis Dermott scored for Arizona, which managed just 21 shots on goal. It marked the seventh time in the last nine games that the Coyotes were held to two or fewer goals.

However, going toe-to-toe with one of the NHL’s top teams on the road appears to be something the Coyotes can build upon as they try to turn things around at home.

“We can take so many positives from that game (at Vancouver),” Dermott said. “We stuck with them, right in their pocket the whole game.”

The Coyotes ran into a hot goaltender in Vancouver star Thatcher Demko and could face another of the game’s best in Saros, who has stopped 82 of 87 shots faced while winning two of his last three starts. However, Saros yielded six goals on 24 shots against during Arizona’s 7-5 win at Nashville on Nov. 11.

Predators backup goalie Kevin Lankinen (3.12 goals-against average) has won his last two starts.

Arizona’s Connor Ingram (2.48 goals against as a starter) made 24 saves Thursday and stopped 37 shots at Nashville earlier this season. Teammate Karel Vejmelka has a 4.88 goals-against average while losing three of his last four starts.

The Coyotes’ Clayton Keller (team-leading 39 points) had his five-game point streak end Thursday. He has a goal and seven assists in his last four games versus Nashville.

Predators star Filip Forsberg has four goals with three assists in his last five games against the Coyotes. O’Reilly also scored versus Arizona in November. –Field Level Media

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