The Nashville Predators set a new franchise record tonight – but it wasn’t for something they’ll particularly want to remember. They scored three goals in the first period of tonight’s game with the Phoenix Coyotes, which combined with the six scored by Phoenix for the most by both teams in a single period since the Preds first came into the league 15 years ago.
One minute and 56 seconds later Radim Vrbata set up behind the Nashville net before skating out front and whipping a shot past Rinne for a 2-0 Phoenix lead.
Just eight seconds later Phoenix won the faceoff and tried to dump the puck into the Nashville zone, but the puck hit Jonathon Blum and bounced into the air. Boyd Gordon charged forward and beat Blum before firing the puck. The puck bounced off Hal Gill in front of the net, and David Moss grabbed it and put it home for a 3-0 lead just 3:50 into the game.
That chased Pekka Rinne from the net. Chris Mason replaced him and stopped the bleeding – for three minutes and 18 seconds. He surrendered a goal to Matthew Lombardi at 7:08 and another to Keith Yandle on the power play at 8:26 for a 5-0 deficit.
Nashville finally got off the starting block 37 seconds later at 9:03 when David Legwand fired a shot that Jason LaBarbera slowed down but couldn’t stop. It trickled behind LaBarbera and the score was now 5-1. Just 30 more seconds would pass before Rich Clune deflected a Roman Josi shot from the blue line at 9:33 to make the score 5-2.
That tied the Nashville Predators franchise record for the most goals in a single period by both teams – the sixth time the Preds had combined with an opponent for seven goals in a frame. But six minutes later, at 15:57, Radim Vrbata picked up his second goal of the period with a shot from the left wall that was eerily similar to Martin Hanzal’s that opened the scoring. Hanzal had Chris Mason screened but didn’t touch the puck on its way in.
Now down 6-2, Nashville once again responded quickly. Gabriel Bourque picked up the puck deep on the left side and chipped the puck over to Taylor Beck, who threw the puck in front of the net. David Legwand was there waiting to put the puck away; the rebound off LaBarbera fell to Bourque and he put it away at 16:29.
The teams managed to go scoreless for the last 3:31 to bring the period to close with the score 6-3 for the Phoenix Coyotes over the Nashville Predators, setting a new Nashville franchise record for the most goals by both teams in one period. Hopefully they won’t play any more like this for quite some time. They’re still playing at the moment, down 7-3 at the second intermission, so the fact that they’re not down 12-6 is a start.