Coyotes 2, Predators 1
GLENDALE, Ariz. - Behind two goals from rookie forward Kyle Turris, the Coyotes beat the Nashville Predators 2-1 Thursday night in front of 14,193 at Jobing.com Arena.
“It was a big game,” Turris said. “In the standings, they were a point ahead of us in seventh place … it was a big game and hopefully we can get some momentum from it.”
Turris’ first two-goal game in his short career couldn’t have come at a bigger time for the Coyotes, who moved into seventh place in the Western Conference with 34 points (15-13-4).
“It was a four-point game and we’re battling for a playoff spot,” said Coyotes goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov
, who made 30 saves. “We played against a great team tonight. It was a great team effort. We played desperate hockey.”
scored midway through the second period for Nashville (15-13-3), which is 1-3-1 in its past five games.
“Bottom line is we haven’t scored a lot of goals lately and we have to get production from our top guys,” Predators Head Coach Barry Trotz said.
Phoenix scored with 9.7 seconds left in the first period.
During four-on-four play, Coyotes defenseman Ed Jovanovski
poke-checked the puck from Predators forward Martin Erat to create a breakaway for Turris. The rookie faked a shot, got Predators goalie Dan Ellis down on the ice, and then went to his forehand for his fourth goal of the season to give the Coyotes a 1-0 lead.
“A couple shifts earlier, I came down and (Joakim) Lindstrom gave me a puck wide and I took a slap shot,” Turris said. “I was so far out, I put it wide. I talked to (Lindstrom) when I got back to the bench and he said ‘you know he’s coming out, just fake a shot and take him wide.' That was the first thing I thought about when I was coming down (on the breakaway).”
It was a four-point game and we’re battling for a playoff spot. We played against a great team tonight. It was a great team effort. We played desperate hockey. - Ilya Bryzgalov
Turris scored the game-winning goal midway through the third period.
Forward Enver Lisin streaked the right side and threw an unexpected shot at the net that handcuffed Ellis. Falling to the ice, Turris found the puck and poked it into the net for his fifth goal of the season at 10:02.
“Enver made a tremendous play with his speed to go wide,” Gretzky said. “Kyle went to the net and stayed patient and knocked it in.”
Turris credited Lisin for his second goal.
“Lisin made a nice play to drive wide and had a nice shot on net that stunned the goalie,” Turris said. “He didn’t know where it was. It was underneath him and I just started to jam at it."
Bryzgalov played well in his seventh consecutive start.
“My (defense) helped me a lot tonight,” Bryzgalov said. “Plus, I adjusted my game a little bit after we watched the video with (Goaltending Coach Grant Fuhr)."
Gretzky was happy with his goalie's performance.
“Bryzgalov seemed to be in a zone and everything seemed to be straight on,” Gretzky said. “He seemed to have a good eye for the line of the puck … when we did break down, I think Bryzgalov was really solid tonight.”
• The Coyotes are 13-1-1 when allowing two goals or less.
• Phoenix now has earned a point in its past fives games and is 3-0-2 over that stretch.
• Nashville outshot the Coyotes 31-27. Turris and Peter Mueller led the Coyotes with five shots each.
• Coyotes defenseman Zbynek Michalek added four blocked shots to his league-leading total of 110.
• The Predators haven’t won in Jobing.com Arena since Feb 10, 2008.
• Defenseman David Hale,and forwards Kevin Porter and Daniel Winnik were scratches for the Coyotes. Nashville scratched Ville Koistinen.
|Three star selections