Anthony Perez | Dave Vest GLENDALE – Defenseman Ed Jovanovski notched his first hat trick in the NHL to lead the Coyotes to a 4-3 victory over the Nashville Predators on Wednesday night at Jobing.com Arena.
Jovanovski, who has notched 131 goals in 979 games after being the first overall pick in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft, gave Phoenix (4-4-3) a quick 1-0 lead when he blasted a wrist shot past Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne just 68 seconds into the game.
Nashville's Francis Bouillon answered with a goal at 8:58 of the first period. The Preds then took a 2-1 lead 30 seconds later when Sergei Kostitsyn stole the puck from a Phoenix defender and wristed a shot past Coyotes goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.
Trailing 2-1, Jovanovski recorded his second goal just over a minute into the second period when he gained possession of the puck inside the left faceoff circle and then rifled a shot that somehow beat Rinne inside the left post.
The Predators (5-3-3) again took the lead when Patric Hornqvist scored a power-play goal at 12:44 of the second period.
Nashville's Steve Sullivan nearly put the Preds ahead by two goals early in the third period on a semi-breakaway, but his bid for his fifth goal of the season was denied.
Phoenix snapped a lengthy power play scoring drought and tied the score 3-3 at the 4:23 mark of the third period when Lee Stempniak picked up his fourth goal of the season after Nick Spaling was called for a delay-of-game penalty for lifting the puck over the glass. The goal was the 100th of Stempniak's career and his 18th with the Coyotes in 29 games dating to last season.
After another Nashville penalty, the Coyotes took a 4-3 lead when Jovanovski completed his hat trick with 14:22 left in the game.
“It was a heck of an effort on his (Jovanovski’s) part,” Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "He was opportunistic in getting the goals, but he played a solid game for us, too. Him and (Sami) Lepisto were a good pair for us out there and it’s good to see him get rewarded for that work.”
Bryzgalov stopped 28 of the 31 shots he faced, while Rinne stopped 24 of the 28 shots he faced in the losing effort.
Ed Jovanovski entered Wednesday's game with five two-goal games on his resume but zero hat tricks. That changed at the 5:38 mark of the third period when he took a cross-ice pass from Ray Whitney and swiped a shot from the right circle past Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne.
• The Coyotes will practice on Thursday at the Alltel Ice Den in Scottsdale at 11:30 a.m. That practice is open to the public. Phoenix's next game is on Friday vs. the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center. The puck drops at 5:30 p.m. (Arizona time). The game can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona Plus. Click here for more information. The game can be heard on XTRA Sports 910.
"It was nice to get the win and nice to contribute offensively... We have forwards who can score, but we are encouraged to jump up into the play and I guess I had a little puck luck tonight."
"That was a big third period for us. We played a lot better. We were not very good ... in the first two periods but we were able to right the ship and it was a big win for us against a good team."
"The first and second periods we played really well, but (in) the third they got some chances and that was it."
• Nov. 30, 2010:
• Feb. 19, 2011:
• Nov. 3, 2010: PHX 4, NSH 3
• Jan. 18, 2011:
Wrist shot -