If there’s one thing the Nashville Predators can’t afford as they look to make a run to the playoffs, it’s a loss in regulation. They took a pretty nasty one tonight, dropping the final game of their homestand to the Phoenix Coyotes.
Martin Hanzal opened the scoring for Phoenix at 1:46, and by 8:26 the Coyotes were up 5-0. Nashville responded with two goals to tie their franchise record for the most goals in a single period by both teams. Then both teams scored one more to make the score 6-3 by the end of the first, and the Preds had set a new record. (For a full breakdown of the first period, check out our post about the new franchise record.)
As I thought he might, Pekka Rinne came back in to start the second period – and made a glove save on the very first shot against him just 10 or 15 seconds in. But the score became 7-3 at 2:44, on an Antoine Vermette goal off a rebound given up by Rinne from a Paul Bissonette shot.
The shots were 17-13 for Nashville heading into the second period. The Preds once again outshot the Coyotes, this time 11-9, but they went without a goal in the second. They did pick up a goal from Shea Weber at 10:02 of the third period, from a nice drop pass by Fisher, but Jason LaBarbera turned away the rest of the Preds’ shots and the game ended with the score 7-4.
- Just for fun, here’s that first period scoring summary.
- Steve Sullivan’s 1,000th career game was certainly a memorable one, even if he somehow managed not to pick up a point. He said during one pre-recorded interview segment that he hopes he’ll be remembered as a Predator. I don’t think he has to worry about that one. He’s one of the team’s all-time greats.
- As if this dark cloud of a game needed a pitch-black lining: after blocking a Derek Morris shot with his right hand late in the third period, Mike Fisher left the ice and skated straight back to the dressing room. There’s no word yet on how serious the injury is, but he didn’t return for the rest of the game and he looked to be in quite a bit of pain.
- Just to make sure all the things happened tonight, Shea Weber broke the glass behind the Phoenix net with a slap shot on the power play in the second period.
- Pekka Rinne gave up three goals on four shots in 3:50 to start the game. Chris Mason relieved him and gave up three on nine shots in 16:10. Then Rinne re-entered the game in the second period and gave up one goal on 16 shots in his last 40:00. Several of the goals both Nashville Predators netminders gave up were flukes, so it wasn’t all on them, but this a night they’ll both want to forget.
- Not a lot else to say about this one. Time to shake it off and focus on the road ahead, which begins in Colorado on Saturday.