It turns out that the Nashville Predators will go nearly two weeks without a home game this postseason.
The next one will be next Wednesday when Nashville hosts the Phoenix Coyotes on Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinal series. The last one came in Friday’s 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings, which ended that first-round series after five games.
The National Hockey League announced dates for the first four games of the two Western Conference matchups Wednesday afternoon. At that point, the Eastern Conference field for the next round remained undetermined by virtue of the fact that three of those four series had extended to seventh games.
The Predators and Coyotes will kick off the second round Friday at Glendale, Ariz. Official start times were not released.
“From our standpoint, I’m actually glad we’re starting on the road this time,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “It gets us focused and we’ve had a lot of time at home here. Getting on the road to start the series, I think, really benefits us.”
Trotz noted that the Predators have won six of their last eight postseason road games, a stretch which dates to the start of the 2011 playoffs. They won two of three at Anaheim and two of three at Vancouver last year and both games at Detroit in this season’s first round.
Phoenix was 22-13-6 at home during the regular season but lost two of three in its first-round series against Chicago.
A year ago, Nashville had four games between the end of its first-round series and the start of its second. This time it will be a week, which included days off for the players on Saturday and Tuesday.
“I don’t mind when teams are playing and we’re not playing,” Trotz said. “As long as you prepare correctly, and I think we’re preparing correctly. So I’m not concerned.
“I know in the long haul it will pay dividends for us. We have lots of fresh legs. We have lots of fresh minds, and I think we’re excited to be engaged here.”
A look at the games that have been scheduled:
• Game 1: Friday at Phoenix
• Game 2: Sunday at Phoenix
* Game 3: Wednesday at Nashville
• Game 4: May 4 at Nashville