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Predators try to get even against Coyotes

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:50 AM

John Kreiser - Columnist

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Predators try to get even against Coyotes
Nashville Predators vs. Phoenix Coyotes


(Phoenix leads best-of-seven series 1-0)


Big Story: Having stolen Game 1 despite being outshot 25-7 after the second period, the Coyotes try to grab a two-game lead against Nashville, which shook off a week-long layoff by dominating the last 34 minutes but went home empty-handed when Ray Whitney scored his first OT goal in 17 years.

Team Scope:

Predators: Nashville coach Barry Trotz said his team needed a couple of periods to shake off the rust from a week-long layoff. But once that happened, the Predators did almost everything right. They outshot Nashville 16-1 in the third period and scored a power-play goal to force overtime, then had the better of play in overtime until Whitney scored off a faceoff.

"We have a couple of areas we have to tighten up," Trotz said. "But we got three (goals) and they got four. We should make sure we win the game when we get three. We had lots of chances, but they found ways to keep it out of the net."

Coyotes: Phoenix continues to win by playing rope-a-dope hockey. The Coyotes have been outshot in all seven of their playoff games and allowed Nashville to fire 42 shots at Mike Smith on Friday. But despite blowing a lead in the final five minutes of regulation for the fourth time in the playoffs, the Coyotes won when Whitney grabbed the puck after Martin Hanzal won an offensive-zone draw and swatted it past a surprised Pekka Rinne.

Despite the win -- their first ever in the second round of a Stanley Cup Playoff series -- the Coyotes know they're playing with fire -- and that they've got to tighten up.

"We've got to be better because sooner or later it's going to cost us," forward Daymond Langkow said Saturday. "We sit back in the third, we've had leads -- we just need to be more aggressive. We just sat back and you can't do that against a good team like that."

Who's Hot: Smith has stopped 268 of the 283 shots he's faced in seven games.

Injury Report: Both teams are as healthy as could be expected at this time of year.

Stat Pack: Phoenix has gone to overtime in six of its first seven playoff games, an NHL record. … The Coyotes have allowed exactly 100 more shots than they've taken (283-183), but have scored six more goals than their opponents.

Puck Drop: The one area in which the Coyotes excelled on Friday was faceoffs -- and they won the game because of their prowess in the circle. Phoenix won 46 of 78 draws (59 percent) and Hanzal won 14 of 22 -- including the one that turned into Whitney's game-winner.

Not surprisingly, the Predators' centers spent part of Saturday's practice working on faceoffs.

"All their centers are really good," Mike Fisher said. "We have to find a way to be better in that area and win more battles."

series schedule/results
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 27 '12 NSH 3 at PHX 4 - OT R. Whitney
Apr 29 '12 NSH 3 at PHX 5 T. Pyatt
May 02 '12 PHX 0 at NSH 2 D. Legwand
May 04 '12 PHX 1 at NSH 0 S. Doan
May 07 '12 NSH 1 at PHX 2 M. Hanzal
A. Radulov7156+2400
A. Kostitsyn7314+3200
G. Bourque7314+2201
D. Legwand7224+2811
K. Klein7224-2201
P. Hornqvist7134+2210
S. Weber7213-2910
M. Erat7123-2410
R. Suter7123-3410
F. Bouillon7033+8200
N. Spaling7033+4000
M. Fisher7033-3600
P. Gaustad7112-1000
B. Yip7112-1600
S. Kostitsyn7101-4201
M. Halischuk3011+1400
C. Smith2011-1000
R. Josi7000-4800
R. Ellis3000+2000
H. Gill2000+2000
J. Hillen2000+1200
J. Tootoo1000+0200
C. Wilson1000+0000
P. Rinne74-3182232.51.919
A. Vermette8538+01030
K. Yandle8077+7400
M. Boedker8336+3002
R. Whitney8246+3601
R. Klesla8246+1200
T. Pyatt8314-2201
S. Doan8224+4400
R. Vrbata8224-1610
M. Hanzal5224+3401
O. Ekman-Larsson8134+0211
D. Langkow8044+3200
G. Brule7213+1000
K. Chipchura7112+3200
R. Torres3112+2200
D. Morris8022+3400
B. Gordon8022+0400
A. Aucoin7022+4600
M. Pouliot3011+1000
M. Rozsival7000-1000
L. Korpikoski5000+0000
P. Bissonnette2000+01500
D. Schlemko2000+0000
M. Smith86-2183162.03.943