By Amanda DiPaolo
Early goals and the power play was the difference maker for the Phoenix Coyotes Wednesday night as Nashville Predators were edged 4-3. Veteran defenseman Ed Jovanovski scored his first career hat trick in 979 games.
Following the Predators style of play this season, the Coyotes got on the score sheet just 1:07 into the first period. Ed Jovanovski scored from Martin Hanzel and Radim Vrbata. In their first 9 games, Nashville scored in the first minute of the game three times.
The Predators had two power play chances in the first 7 minutes of the game. Martin Hanzel and Taylor Pyatt were both called for tripping. Going into the game, Phoenix had an 89% kill off rate at home and Nashville was unable to capitalize on the man advantage.
Just as the second power play expired, Francis Bouillon took a wrist shot from the blue line and tied the game. It was his first goal of the season and his 25th career goal. Tootoo and Goc were credited with assists. Three players not in the lineup for the Detroit game on Saturday were able to connect to tie the game.
The Predators would strike again 30 seconds later when Sergei Kostitsyn scored his second goal of the season. Klein passed the puck to Tootoo going up the ice, who then sent it to Kostitsyn. Kostitsyn scored a gorgeous goal when he was able to grab the puck and put it in the back of the net with a wrist shot when the luck bounced over the stick of the Coyotes’ defenseman.
The second period started like the first, with Ed Jovanovski scoring a bad goal against Pekka Rinne.
Nashville would have more opportunities on the man advantage in the second period. Oliver Ekman-Larsen lost control of the puck at the blue line and Tootoo was about to run off alone in on goal but Ekman-Larsen threw out his stick, tripping Tootoo. It was the third power play chance for Nashville, but still no success. The power play had gone 0 for 3 when Nashville got its fourth chance on the man advantage.
Nashville had only scored on the power play only once in the last 29 man advantages. Patric Hornqvist ended the drought. Shane Doan was called for interference with 8 minutes left to play in the second. The power play finally came alive as Hornqvist scored his fourth goal of the year when he picked up a rebound from Colin Wilson’s solid shot in the slot and whacked it in the back of the net. Cal O’Reilly also got an assist.
The Predators took a 3-2 lead into the third period but were again unable to hold on for the victory. Nashville had an early chance in the third to make it a 4-2 game when Steve Sullivan had a breakaway but hit the crossbar. Sullivan thought he scored and raised his arm, but was told there was no goal.
The Coyotes would tie the game just moments after Sullivan’s failed breakaway when Nick Spaling was in the box for delay of game. Lee Stempniak scored for Phoenix, the team’s first power play goal of the season at home for the Coyotes.
Just 37 seconds after the power play goal, the Predators were called for another penalty. This time, Cody Franson went to the box for holding the stick. The Coyotes took the lead on a power play goal by Ed Jovanovski, getting the first hat trick of his career at 5:38 of the third period.
Nashville was unable to find the equalized. The Predators have now lost three games in a row.
The Predators road trip continues out west for the team’s third back-to-back series of the season. On Saturday, Nashville takes on the red hot Los Angeles Kings. Sunday, the Predators face Anaheim.
Are you looking for tickets to an upcoming Predators home game? Follow this link for discounted tickets. Make an account and then use the word Preds as the code for the discount. The next Predators home game is Saturday night, November 13th when the Preds take on the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.