The Nashville Predators look to even their best-of-seven series with the visiting Phoenix Coyotes tonight, Friday May 4th, for Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals. The Coyotes just lost their first road game of the playoffs, but still lead 2-1. NHL oddsmakers have installed the Predators as -160 moneyline home favorites over the Coyotes (+150) with the over/under set at 5 goals. Be sure to check the Phoenix Coyotes vs Nashville Predators Game 4 2012 NHL Playoff Odds before they drop the puck.
Phoenix (6-3, 3-1 V) goaltender Mike Smith was tagged for both goals on 26 shots. It was the first loss for Smith and Phoenix since Game 5 of the opening round, when Chicago posted a 2-1 overtime victory only to be eliminated by the Coyotes in the next game. Phoenix also had been 3-0 on the road in these playoffs before losing Game 3 in Nashville. “We have to compete harder in what we do than what we did. We’re going to bounce back,” Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson said. Of course, the Coyotes would love to bounce back with a win this evening to set up a chance to end this series when they host Nashville in Monday’s Game 5.
While a sweep would have been beneficial for a team that’s struggled to remain healthy this postseason, it was unrealistic. So panic has not set in for the Coyotes, nor should it. “We have the control,” defenseman Keith Yandle said. “I think we obviously have to play a better game than we played last game and treat this Game 4 like a Game 7 for us because we have to get the win here. You know coming in when you’re playing two games on the road, to get two obviously would have been great, but one is a good feat. Hopefully we can get that.”
Nashville (5-3, 3-1 H) used a clutch performance by their Vezina Trophy finalist goaltender to finally get on the board in the series with a 2-0 victory in the Music City. Pekka Rinne made 32 saves in Wednesday’s win. It was the first shutout of Rinne’s playoff career and it couldn’t have come at a better time for the Predators. David Legwand and Mike Fisher provided the offense for a Nashville club that was playing without two of its top scorers, as forwards Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn were both suspended by the team for missing curfew before Game 2.
Predators forwards Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn will miss their second straight game tonight. Radulov and Kostitsyn were suspended for Game 3 after violating team rules. Head coach Barry Trotz said the two players have served their suspension, but he liked the lineup in Game 3, which resulted in a 2-0 victory for the Coyotes. Trotz explained that he wants to give that same lineup a chance in Game 4, as the Predators attempt to pull even in their series. Forwards Matt Halischuk and Jordin Tootoo are in place of Radulov and Kostitsyn.
The Bottom Line: Playing without their top two best offensive players is going to catch up to the Predators. Coyotes will rebound and go home up 3-1. Want to dominate the books this season with some of the best NHL Picks Experts in the business? Then sign up right now and get NHL Picks Free!
Recent Trends to Consider:
Under is 10-3-2 in the last 15 meetings in Nashville.
Over is 3-1-1 in the last 5 meetings.
Coyotes are 5-12-1 in the last 18 meetings in Nashville.
Coyotes are 7-0 in their last 7 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Coyotes are 4-0 in their last 4 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Coyotes are 5-1 in their last 6 games as an underdog.
Coyotes are 5-1 in their last 6 road games.
Coyotes are 5-1 in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
Predators are 7-1 in their last 8 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Predators are 4-1 in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
Predators are 2-5 in their last 7 Conference Semifinals games.
Phoenix Coyotes vs Nashville Predators
When: Friday, May 4th@7:30 PM EST
Pick: Predators -160
Point-Spreads recommends you check the Phoenix Coyotes vs Nashville Predators 2012 NHL Playoff Odds before they drop the puck.