NASHVILLE -- David Schlemko
, Ray Whitney
, Lauri Korpikoski
and Mikkel Boedker
each scored their first goals of the season, and the Coyotes beat Nashville, 5-2, on Thursday night to spoil the Predators' home opener at Bridgestone Arena.
chipped in an empty-net goal and an assist as the Coyotes (1-1-1) capped their three-game road trip to open the season with their first victory.
Ryan Suter and Colin Wilson scored for Nashville (2-1-0), which started the night walking down a gold carpet into the arena as part of the festivities.
But an emotional video montage in memory of Wade Belak, the former NHL enforcer found dead in Toronto in August, seemed to sap the Predators despite a sellout crowd eager to cheer a team coming off its first run to the Western Conference semifinals.
The Predators had been 10-2-1-1 against Phoenix in Nashville since the start of the 2003-04 season and 16-9-1-2 overall.
Phoenix had more than enough goals after the first period after outshooting Nashville 16-7 in the first 20 minutes. Schlemko scored his first goal of the season from the left circle off a rebound, sending the puck under Pekka Rinne as the goalie sprawled to his left at 12:00. Whitney scored on a slap shot off an assist from Daymond Langkow
2:28 later, and Korpikoski made the score 3-0 with a backhander at 18:45.
|Photo by Getty Images.
Suter's shorthanded goal on his own slap shot at 14:01 of the second seemed to jumpstart the Predators. David Legwand got his second assist, sliding the puck over to Wilson in the slot for his first goal of the season that cut the lead to 4-2 at 9:08 of the third.
The Predators outshot Phoenix 10-3 in the third and played with so much energy Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett took a timeout at 13:04. The Predators even got a power play when Martin Hanzal
was called for holding the stick at 14:37, but they couldn't get anything else past goalie Jason LaBarbera
, who made 23 saves in his first game of the season.
► EDITOR'S NOTE:
Dave Vest of phoenixcoyotes.com compiled this recap.
Leading 4-2, Coyotes goalie Jason LaBarbera
made an acrobatic save on a power-play, tip-in attempt by Nashville's Colin Wilson with 4:07 left in the game to help secure the victory.
► Click here
to watch the KEY MOMENT
• The Coyotes entered the game having scored only 18 goals in 10 games vs Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne. On Thursday, Phoenix scored four goals on Rinne in less than 32 minutes.
• Captain Shane Doan
scored the 299th goal of his career into an empty net with 1:10 left in the third period.
• Defenseman Keith Yandle
played only 16:40. Most of that ice time came before he collided with Nashville's Jordin Tootoo midway through the second period.
• Defenseman Rostislav Klesla
• Center Boyd Gordon
won 15 of 20 faceoffs.
• Forward Raffi Torres
notched the 100th assist of his NHL career in the first period.
• The Coyotes scratched Kyle Chipchura
, Patrick O'Sullivan
and Chris Summers
• The Coyotes' next game is Saturday vs. Winnipeg at Jobing.com Arena. The puck drops at 4 p.m. (Arizona time). The game can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona and can be heard on XTRA Sports 910 (AM).