Monday, March 12, 2012

Predators best the Coyotes in the shootout to pick up two points

In a game that was billed as a goaltender battle between Pekka Rinne and Mike Smith, two teams not known for offense, broke into a wide open game that ended with the Nashville Predators walking away with a 5-4 victory over a resilient Phoenix Coyotes team in a shootout.

The Predators got goals from Marty Erat, Mike Fisher, Frankie Bouillon, and Craig Smith while the Coyotes picked up markers from Daymond Langkow, Keith Yandle, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, and Raffi Torres to knot the score at 4-4 at the end of regulation as well as overtime.

Andrei Kostitsyn was the hero in the shootout as the only scorer to give the Predators the win in the skills competition and a huge two points that moved them to 89 on the season, only two behind Detroit.

Rinne and Smith both stopped 31 of 35 shots during full-out on ice play but Rinne stopped all three shooters in the shootout and Smith let Andrei Kostitsyn slip one in on his first Predator shootout attempt to claim the two points for Nashville.

The Predators are off until they met the Sharks in San Jose on Thursday night.

Make the jump for more detail from the game...

At The Puck Drop...

In Goal: Pekka Rinne (38-14-7,  2.35, .925) versus Mike Smith (30-17-7, 2.28, .927)

Scratches: Nashville - Jack MacLellan, Kevin Klein, Brabdon Yip, Brian McGrattan, Matt Halischuk, Ronman Josi. Phoenix - David Runblad, David Schlemko, Martin Hanzal, Paul Bissonnette, Chris Summers, and Derek Morris.

First Period...

The game started like most match-ups between the Coyotes and Predators with plenty of skating and tight defense at both ends of the ice and few stoppages of play.

With 8:38 left, the best chance of the period came when Boyd Gordon had a shot at the open net and a sliding Mike Fisher made the save.

The Coyotes had another close chance at 3:08 when Rinne committed early and Raffi Torres hit a post on a narrow miss.

The Predators jumped out to a 1-0 lead with 28.1 seconds left in the opening period when Sergei Kostitsyn drove toward the Phoenix net and dropped a pass to Erat who put it past Smith from the left circle on one of the few scoring chances that the Preds had in the opening period. Hal Gill also picked up an assist.

1st Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators           1        8        12       0-0:00  4-9  31%
Coyotes          0        8        22       0-0:00  9-4  69%

Second Period...

Phoenix tied the game, 49 seconds into the middle period, when Langkow took a pass from Oliver Ekman-Larsson and sent it toward the net where it deflected past Rinne.

Shea Weber almost put the Preds back on top at 5:09 when he hit the crossbar.

Phoenix got Yandle loose for a breakaway at 10:46 but he lost the one on one rush when Rinne came up big on a save.

The Predators raced back the other way on another breakaway and Erat missed the initial chance but Sergei Kostitsyn picked up the rebound and fed it to Fisher who put it past Smith from the slot at 11:04 to give Nashville a 2-1 lead..

Antoine Vermette was called for hooking Nick Spaling at 11:14 for the first penalty of the game. The Coyotes got a short-handed shot but the Preds could not muster a shot.

The Coyotes came back with another goal at 14:23 when Yandle slipped a shot past Rinne to tie the game at two. Vermette and Whitney picked up the assists.

Sergei Kostitsyn was called for tripping Ekman-Larsson at 16:43. The Coyote power play was cut short at 17:55 when Whitney tripped David Legwand.

During the resulting four on four, Bouillon took a pass from Ryan Ellis, missed his initial shot, picked up his own rebound, and then put it past Smith for his first goal of the year to give the Preds a 3-2 lead.

2nd Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators         2        13        23       1-2:00 5-11  31%
Coyotes            2        10        15       2-4:00 11-5  69%

Third Period...

Nashville went ahead 4-2 at 2:36 when Paul Gaustad fed a pass to Craig Smith who made a nice move on a breakaway to get the puck into the net.

The Coyotes pulled within a goal when Ekman-Larssen took a pass from Michal Rozsival and put it past Rinne at 7:11 to make it a 4-3 contest.

The Predators went on the man advantage at 7:33 when Mike Smith flipped the puck over the glass causing a delay of game call. The Preds got one shot on the power play but did not connect.

Phoenix came back to tie the game at 15:01 when the Preds won a defensive end faceoff and then turned the puck over and Torres was credited with the goal of the game. Langkow and Shane Doan picked up assists on the play.

3rd  Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        1        13        20       0-0:00 14-9  61%
        2        15        13       1-2:00 9-14  39%


The Predators got a freaky shot off at 1:14 that almost fooled smith as it floated toward the goal. Yandle had the potential game winner at but missed a great chance. There were several other chances but Phoenix outshot the Preds 2-1 in overtime before heading to the shootout.

Overtime      Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        1        13        20       0-0:00 15-8  65%
        2        15        23       1-2:00 8-15  35%


Ray Whitney was blocked by Rinne.
Andrei Kostitsyn scored on Smith in his first shootout attempt as a Predator.
Radim Vrbata was blocked by Rinne from the left side.
Marty Erat was blocked by Smith.
Mikkel Boedker hit the pipe on a miss to give the Preds the 5-4 shootout victory.


Final     Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        5        35        58       1-2:00 26-32  45%
        4        35        66       3-6:00 32-26  55%

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

No comments: