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Final Look: Raanta Keeps Coyotes Close with 38 Saves

Arizona suffers just its fifth road regulation loss of the season

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Game Recap

RAANTA KEEPS COYOTES CLOSE WITH 38 SAVES

The Coyotes turned a frustrating start into a frantic finish on Monday night, ultimately falling just shy of matching the Nashville Predators in the end, coming up short in a 3-2 loss at Bridgestone Arena.

The Predators outshot the Coyotes by a 22-5 in count in the first period but were only able to claim a 1-0 lead out of it as Antti Raanta put on a magnificent 21-save show during the opening 20 minutes of play.

"The first period was tough and Raants was unreal, they threw everything at us," head coach Rick Tocchet said. "In the second we kind of got our legs back, I really liked our game in the second and third and we had some glorious chances at the end."

Though Nashville added to claim a 2-0 lead with 12:07 left to play in the second period, the Coyotes, amidst a much better middle frame, struck to get on the board.

Upon striding into a cross feed from Nick Schmaltz after Alex Goligoski dialed up with a 100-plus foot stretch pass to spark the play, Lawson Crouse found himself alone with an inside lane and beat Pekka Rinne with a backhander high to the short side.

Crouse's goal, his seventh of the season, halved the Coyotes' deficit to 2-1 entering the third period.

Nashville reclaimed a two-goal lead, 3-1, with 10:04 left in regulation.

Jakob Chychrun responded 37 seconds later, however, cutting the score to 3-2 with 9:37 remaining when he leaned into a one-timer from the right circle after a gorgeous set-up from Clayton Keller in the high slot.

The Coyotes pulled Raanta for an extra attacker with 2:27 left on the clock but were unable to find the equalizer, suffering only their fifth regulation road loss of the season.

Schmaltz and Keller each extended their point streaks to four games with assists. Goligoski registered his fifth-multi point game of the season with two assists.

Raanta's 38 saves were his third-most in a game this season.

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TRACKING IT

GAME #39: ARIZONA (2) at NASHVILLE (3)

  • SOG: ARI - 28, NSH - 41
  • PP: ARI - 0/2, NSH - 0/1

ARIZONA SCORING:

NASHVILLE SCORING:

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THEY SAID IT

"The slow start cost us. We were happy with the way we came back and got ourselves back into it, we had a much better second half. It stings a little bit, but we're happy with our effort to end the game."

Jakob Chychrun, on Monday's 3-2 loss to Nashville

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DON'T OVERLOOK IT

THE SITUATION: Antti Raanta's 38-save performance

If it weren't for Antti Raanta, Monday's game could've been well out of reach after the first period.

The Predators peppered Raanta for 22 shots in the opening frame but were only able to strike for a single goal. Nashville finished the night with 41 shots on goal, Raanta stopped 38 in total, including a number of high-danger looks.

"That could've been ugly without him," Jakob Chychrun said of Raanta. "He did a heck of a job tonight and he really kept us in it. He gave us a chance and that's all you can ask for. We're going to need him down the stretch here."

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GOTTA SEE IT

THE SITUATION: Jakob Chychrun's third period goal

He's been scoring in clutch situations all year, and Jakob Chychrun did so once again on Monday night when he got the Coyotes to within a goal with 9:27 remaining in regulation, burying a one-timer from the right circle.

Chychrun pinched low in the zone while Clayton Keller attracted attention in the high slot. Keller, after evading and dancing around coverage, dished to Chychrun, who transferred his weight into a shot that beat Pekka Rinne high to the short side.

The goal served as Chychrun's 10th of the season, moving him into fifth among all NHL defenseman in that category.

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PHOTO FINISH

A hockey hug on its way. Jakob Chychrun, arms wide open, coasts in to join the celebration following Lawson Crouse's goal late in the second period Monday night at Bridgestone Arena, getting the Coyotes on the board in the team's eventual 3-2 loss to the Nashville Predators. (Photo Credit: John Russell - NHLI via Getty Images)

Lead Photo Credit: John Russell - NHLI via Getty Images // GIF Highlight Footage: Fox Sports Arizona

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