The Predators are 7-2-1 in their last ten. Go ahead and add another win to that column.
With Martin Erat registering 3 points and Sergei Kostitsyn with 2 assists as well, the Nashville Predators dispatched the Phoenix Coyotes on the start of their 4-game West Coast swing at Jobing.com Arena.
The Predators wanted to get off to a strong start after their 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday evening. Yet, it would take nearly twenty minutes before either team would find the back of the net first. With 29 seconds left in the first period, Martin Erat found a way to get a shot through Mike Smith.
However, only 49 seconds into the second period, Nashville allowed the Coyotes to tie the game up at one with a quick goal from Daymond Langkow. Both teams would swap goals throughout the remainder of the period with Mike Fisher scoring at 11:04, Keith Yandle scoring at 14:23, and Francis Bouillon registering his first goal of the season at 18:26 of the second, sending Nashville into the second intermission with a 3-2 lead.
The Predators seemed to be rolling from there, getting a Craig Smith breakaway goal at 2:36 of the third period. With a two goal lead, the real question would be if Nashville would sit back and take their foot off the gas or whether they would step on the throats of the Coyotes. The former of the two would be the case as Oliver Ekman-Larsson would score at 7:11 of the third and Raffi Torres would tie the game with 5 minutes to spare to send the game into overtime.
After a sloppy overtime by both teams, a shootout would be needed to decide the recipient of the extra point. Collecting the only goal of the shootout, Andrei Kostitsyn sent a deked-out goal through the legs of Mike Smith while Pekka Rinne stopped all three Coyotes shooters giving Nashville the 2 points and placing them only 2 behind Detroit for 4th place in the Western Conference.
The Predators head further west towards San Jose for a Thursday evening battle with the Sharks in the Shark Tank. Puck drop is at 9:30pm CST.
Powerplay – 0 for 3, 0%
Penalty Kill – 1 for 1, 100%
Best Play of the Game: Craig Smith grabs a timely Paul Gaustad pass and streaks in on Mike Smith. Smith finishes the play and the breakaway to make the game 4-2 early in the third period.
Worst Play of the Game: A tough third period saw the Predators give up a two goal lead and play sloppy down the stretch. Recovering for the win, Nashville seemed mighty gassed in the last 12 minutes of the entire game.
My Three Stars:
#1: – Martin Erat – 1 goals, 2 assists, +2 on the night.
#2: – Sergei Kostitsyn – 0 goals, 2 assists, +2 on the night.
#3: – Andrei Kostitsyn – Game-winning shootout goal
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