Coyotes have chance to clinch at home — again

May 7, 2012, 8:53 PM | Updated: 10:16 pm

The Coyotes have been in this position before.

Up 3-1 with a chance to clinch a playoff series at home,
the ‘Yotes are hoping not to repeat the same mistakes they
made in the first round against Chicago, when they lost 2-
1 in overtime.

Needless to say, they know the Predators won’t go down
quietly.

“Definitely, we want to close it out tonight; it’s going
to be a tough game,” forward Martin Hanzal said Monday
morning. “They’re not going to give us anything easily.
So, we’re going to try to close it up and hopefully we can
do it.”

A win Monday night would lead to a couple more firsts for
the franchise: clinching a series at home (they are 0-5)
and reaching the Western Conference Finals.

They would there join the Los Angeles Kings, who reached
the WCF by way of a sweep of the St. Louis Blues. But
that’s for another day — possibly Tuesday — as for now
the team is still focused on a Nashville team that will
come out Monday night fighting for their season.

“”There’s moments that pass you by, you look back 20 years
from now and you say, ‘that was the moment,’ that was the
moment that could make a difference and tonight that could
be their moment where they could be a difference and we
get back into the series a little bit and get it to 3-2,”
Predators coach Barry Trotz said. “That’s all we can do.”

Trotz made the decision to insert Alexander Radulov and
Andrei Kostitsyn back into the lineup after the two were
suspended for Game 3 due to a violation of team rules and
held out of Game 4 due to the win in Game 3.

So they’ll be at full strength Monday night, assuming no
one hits up Old Town before the game.

“I think this is the hardest game of the series, and we
asked [Ray Whitney] and he said the same thing; the fourth
game, close it up, it’s the hardest game of the series,”
Hanzal said. “They’re not going to give us anything
easily, so it’s going to be a tough one.”

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Coyotes have chance to clinch at home — again