Coach Barry Trotz postgame comments
Steve Sullivan, Pekka Rinne and Shea Weber postgame comments
Coach Dave Tippett, Zbynek Michalek, Ed Jovanowski, and Adrian Aucoin postgame comments
It took sixty-five minutes and 20 extra shots for a winner to be decided at the Sommet Center in Nashville on Tuesday night when the Phoenix Coyotes prevailed in a 1-0 win against the Predators.
Adrian Aucoin put a shot past Preds goalie Pekka Rinne to give the Yotes a 2-1 advantage in the tenth round of the shoot out. When Shea Weber's first ever shoot out attempt attempt to tie the game went wide, the match finally ended.
The Coyotes had gone ahead in the second round of the shoot out when Lauri Korpikoski sneaked a shot past Rinne to put the Yotes up 1-0. With their backs against the wall, David Legwand scored as the second shooter in the third round to tie 1-1.
From the fourth through the ninth rounds, no one was able to reach the net. Many unlikely shooters were trotted out by both teams before Aucoin sealed the win for the Coyotes.
Storylines From the Game
No One Would Give an Inch...
The game was a hard fought affair from the opening puck drop through the end of of the five minute overtime period. Coach Barry Trotz described the situation, ""Both teams were checking well and using all four lines. There wasn't a lot of space, so when you moved, you had to fight for inches on both sides. It wasn't overly physical in terms of dirty or nasty, but it was a hard game because it was a goal line stand on both sides, they were really pushing back, and we knew one puck would be the difference."
When asked when he thought it would come down to a shoot out Trotz replied, "I sensed that before the game. We talked about it and I said tonight's going to be a shoot out and actually it was the longest in franchise history."
The game was fast paced with only 11 face offs in each of the first two periods and 39 for the entire 65 minutes of play.
Both Rinne and Ilya Bryzgalov were stellar in goal for the entire evening. Double shut outs are a rarity and can only occur when both goalies are at the height of their game.
Rinne and Bryzgalov actually faced a surprisingly small amount of actual scoring chances from the opposition. With the battles for inches on the ice, there was very little open space around the net and few clear shots.
Each team had only one penalty so there was little time on the man advantage for either squad. Rinne stopped 26 Coyote shots while Bryzgalov stopped 25 from the Predators. In the shoot out, only three shots out of twenty found the net.
First Game With no Injured Players...
Tuesday's game was the first one since early in the season that there was no one injured for the Predators in what was thought to be their starting twenty players. That lasted one shift and 36 seconds until Cody Franson had to leave the game with an "upper body injury."
Trotz commented after the game, "It's been a while (since all were able to play). We have used so many bodies this year. We've got guys who are still trying to come back like Goc, Tootoo and Ward. Your depth is really going to get tested, especially after the Olympic break. It's going to be an absolute war every night."
Trotz indicated that Alexander Sulzer would get a recall from Milwaukee to replace Franson in the line-up on Wednesday.
It appears that Cal O'Reilly has landed a permanent job with the Predators. He was brought up on an injury recall and has appeared in enough games where he would have to go through waivers to go back to Milwaukee.
Trotz was asked if O"Reilly was here permanently ge said, "Basically, yes." Further he stated, "Cal has played a lot, up and down, I think he's earned the right through experience and I think he's playing with more pace than he has in the past and has a better comfort level and I know we are going to need four lines to get the job done."
The Predators will practice on Wednesday in preparation for Thursday's match with the Colorado Avalanche at the Sommet Center. The Preds will finish their four game homestand on Saturday against San Jose before hitting the road for four games against the Eastern Conference before the Olympic break.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass