The Predators look for their sixth straight home victory over the Coyotes as the teams meet Thursday at Sommet Center.
After outscoring its first two opponents 9-1, Nashville (2-1-0) struggled overall in a 4-1 loss at St. Louis on Wednesday.
“It’s always a little different the first time you play the guys you played with,” said Kariya, who led the team with 76 points last season. “They’re a really good team over there and a great group of guys.”
The Predators look to get back on track by continuing their home dominance over the Coyotes, who are winless in their last seven visits to Nashville since a 2-1 win on Oct. 22, 2002. Though the teams split four meetings last season, Nashville has outscored Phoenix 19-6 during its five-game home winning streak in the series.
Jason Arnott, who had two goals and two assists in his first two games, had two goals and five points in three games versus Phoenix last season.
“It wasn’t all (Mason’s) fault, absolutely not,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “We left Mace to the wolves. He was under siege most of the time.”
Mason, who allowed one goal in 64 shots in the Predators’ first two contests, is 2-1-0 with a 2.62 goals-against average against the Coyotes.
Phoenix will play its second straight road game after opening with two home games. The Coyotes will try to avoid losing their ninth consecutive game on the road dating to last season, when they went 13-26-2.
After a 3-2 season-opening victory over St. Louis, Phoenix (1-2-0) has been outscored 6-1, and is 0-for-16 on the power play this season.
The Coyotes had 32 shots on goal and went 0-for-7 with the man advantage in a 3-0 loss at Columbus on Wednesday.
“It was a game where I thought we could have contributed a power-play goal and it would have been a tighter scenario,” Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said. “We’ve got to find a way to get some goals on our power play. It’s as simple as that.”
After Mikael Tellqvist started the Coyotes first two games, David Aebischer made 30 saves Wednesday in his first start since signing with Phoenix after going 13-12-3 in his only season with Montreal in 2006-07.
The Coyotes are using a three-player rotation in goal involving Aebischer, Tellqvist and Alex Auld, who has yet to play. Tellqvist, meanwhile, made 19 saves in a 3-2 win over Nashville on Dec. 4 in his only outing against the Predators.