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game recap

Predators 2, Coyotes 0

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 1:49 AM
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Predators 2, Coyotes 0
Phoenix Coyotes 0, Nashville Predators 2
 

By Dave Vest
NASHVILLE – Looking to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinals vs. Nashville, the Coyotes gave up two goals within a 66-second span of the first period of Game 3 on Wednesday night and couldn’t recover at Bridgestone Arena.

The Predators won, 2-0, behind a 32-save shutout by Vezina Trophy finalist Pekka Rinne.

Predators forward David Legwand gave Nashville a 1-0 lead when he wristed the puck past Smith at 8:10 after rookie Gabriel Bourque corralled an errant clearing attempt by Coyotes goalie Mike Smith and fed Legwand the puck in the slot for an easy goal from the left corner.

Mike Fisher upped Nashville's lead  to 2-0 soon after Legwand’s goal. Martin Erat set up the tally by forcing a turnover in the Phoenix zone and then centering the puck to Sergei Kostitsyn, who fed Fisher the puck for the goal at 9:16. Fisher appeared to be trying to pass the puck back to Kostitsyn, but it hit Smith's stick and flipped over his shoulder and into the net.

“I thought we gave up two easy goals, unearned goals, early,” Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said. “When you look at the situation, you knew they were going to come hard and we gave them that early energy, that early momentum.”

Trailing 2-0, the Coyotes went on a five-on-three power play for 41 seconds late in the third period. Despite creating multiple scoring chances, including a couple off the stick of Radim Vrbata (see KEY MOMENT below), the Coyotes couldn’t get the puck past Rinne.

“It feels good,” said Rinne, who allowed nine goals in the first two games. “It’s always tough after the first few games and you give up a lot of goals and lose two games in a row. You put a lot of pressure on yourself and it feels good to win this one, and play a solid game. It makes the series totally different now."

The Predators won despite playing without suspended forwards Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn.

“We did a good job as a team tonight, but we’ve still got to keep getting better,” Predators captain Shea Weber said. “We respect this team and know that they’re going to come out just as hard next game.”

Coyotes defenseman Rostislav Klesla came within an inch or so of putting Phoenix ahead 1-0 early in the first period, but his shot from the left wing sailed just wide and hit the right post.

Photo by Getty Images.

"I just wanted to put it quickly far side," Klesla said. "Too bad it didn’t go in because the game could have turned the other way."

The Coyotes still lead the best-of-seven series, 2-1, with Game 4 in Nashville on Friday.

"We don’t expect to beat Nashville four straight," Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris said. "We know they’re a real good team; a real physical team that plays hard (and) is going to come to the net all night long. They play a lot like us so we knew it was going to be a good matchup and we’ll lose some games but we’ll bounce right back… I think they just competed better."

 

With the Coyotes desperately trying to score during a lengthy five-on-three advantage late in the third period, Predators goalie Pekka Rinne made two dazzling saves on shots from in close by Coyotes forward Radim Vrbata

Rinne, who posted the first postseason shutout of his NHL career, made the second one in acrobtaic fashion from his belly at 14:56 of the period.

Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett: "Vrbata got 35 (goals) this year and that’s one that has gone in a lot of times for him. Tonight, it didn’t go in."

► Click here to see the KEY MOMENT.
 

• Coyotes captain Shane Doan played 20:05. He took a team-high five shots and delivered a team-high five hits.

Gordon
• Center Boyd Gordon left the game after blocking a shot in the third period. After the game, Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett was asked to provide an update on Gordon's condition. His reply: "Gordon’s fine. We’ve seen him block ones like that before. It doesn’t seem to bother him."

• Prior to Wednesday, the last time the Coyotes were shut out in a Stanley Cup Playoffs game occurred on April 20, 2010 in Game 4 of their quarterfinal series vs. Detroit. The Red Wings won 3-0.
 
• What follows is the official ruling from the NHL on the no-goal call against Nashville in the first period: "At 13:49 of the first period of the Phoenix-Nashville game, video review was initiated by the Situation Room in Toronto because the puck ended up in the Phoenix net. It was ruled on the ice that the play had been whistled dead before the goaltender was pushed into the net. No goal."

• The Coyotes scratched Paul Bissonnette, Alex Bolduc, Louis Domingue, Maxim Goncharov, Brett Hextall, Lauri Korpikoski, Andy Miele, Connor Murphy, Justin Pogge, Brett MacLean, David Schlemko, David Rundblad, Michael Stone, Chris Summers, Jordan Szwarz, Raffi Torres, Matt Watkins and Ethan Werek.

• The Coyotes' next game is Game 4 on Friday vs. the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena. The puck drops at 4:30 p.m. (Arizona time). The game can be seen on NBC Sports Network and can be heard on XTRA Sports 910 (AM).
 
"I thought with both teams that there wasn’t an abundance of chances out there. We gave up some early, easy ones that were glaring. You could tell they defended a lot better tonight, but ultimately they were opportunistic on their chances and we couldn’t find one."  "We made two mistakes and both of them ended up in our own net. Obviously, we didn’t capitalize on a couple of opportunities we had the other way. Give them credit; they found a way to win." "That was more like the way we need to play. We didn't give up as much. They're a good team. They're quick. We've got to play the same way."
Tippett Doan
Weber
 
Rinne
Legwand
Fisher
 
  • GAME 3: NSH 2, PHX 0
  • GAME 4: May 4
  • GAME 6: May 9 (if nec.)  
  • GAME 1: PHX 4, NSH 3 (OT)
  • GAME 2: PHX 5, NSH 3
 
• GAME 5: May 7
 
• GAME 7: May 11 (if nec.)

scoring summary
1st Period
08:10
NSH
David Legwand (3) ASST: Gabriel Bourque (2)
1 - 0 NSH
09:16
NSH
Mike Fisher (1) ASST: Sergei Kostitsyn (1), Martin Erat (3)
2 - 0 NSH
2nd Period
NONE
3rd Period
NONE
penalty summary
1st Period
05:04
PHX
Marc-Antoine Pouliot  Holding the stick against  Colin Wilson
11:04
NSH
Mike Fisher  Interference against  Martin Hanzal
15:39
NSH
David Legwand  Hooking against  Antoine Vermette
17:29
PHX
Derek Morris  Hooking against  Mike Fisher
2nd Period
05:58
PHX
Adrian Aucoin  Interference against  Matt Halischuk
15:18
PHX
Derek Morris  Cross checking against  Sergei Kostitsyn
3rd Period
09:38
PHX
Derek Morris  Cross checking against  Jordin Tootoo
12:59
NSH
Sergei Kostitsyn  Hooking against  Martin Hanzal
14:18
NSH
Martin Erat  Tripping against  Oliver Ekman-Larsson
goalie stats
Mike Smith
SA: 26TOI: 57:51
Saves: 24EV: 15 - 17
PIM: 0PP: 8 - 8
SV%: .923SH: 1 - 1
Pekka Rinne
Pekka Rinne
5-3-1
SA: 32TOI: 60:00
Saves: 32EV: 23 - 23
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 5
SV%: 1.000SH: 4 - 4
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