NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Nashville Predators made their strong start
count thanks to a big goal at the finish.
Scott Hartnell scored on a power play with 47 seconds left, sending
Nashville to a 4-3 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night.
After jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first period, the Predators gave up
three consecutive goals. But Hartnell came through in the final minute.
"Getting a last-minute goal on the power play to get the two points rather
than one was huge," Hartnell said. "It looked to me like it went off Scott
Walker's stick. No matter who scored it, it was a huge goal."
Marek Zidlicky also had a power-play goal and an assist for the Predators.
"We kind of stopped playing after a bit," Hartnell said. "They took it to
us and got three unanswered goals. We had 20 minutes to win a hockey game and
we did that."
Andrew Hutchinson and Martin Erat also scored for Nashville, which got 21
saves from Tomas Vokoun.
Daymond Langkow, Daniel Cleary and Brian Savage scored for Phoenix. The loss
ended a nine-game unbeaten string for the Coyotes.
"I wasn't happy with the first 20 minutes," Phoenix coach Bob Francis
said. "I thought we picked it up in the second period and we competed hard in
Hutchinson scored the first goal of the game with a wrist shot from the
inside edge of the right circle that beat goaltender Sean Burke at 4:43.
Zidlicky scored at 10:06, just 18 seconds into a power play. Kimmo Timonen
took a shot that deflected off Paul Mara's skate and into the net.
Phoenix scored in the first period on a power play when Langkow skated in
front of the net with three Predators players around him and put the rebound of
a shot by Jeff Taffe past Vokoun.
The Coyotes tied it at 5:05 of the second period. Brad Ference took a shot
from high in the slot, and Vokoun moved out in front of the crease to stop it.
But Cleary got control of the rebound and fired it over Vokoun, who was face
down on the ice.
Savage put the Coyotes ahead at 12:44 of the second period on the power
play. Mara fired a one-timer from the point that went off the left pad of
Vokoun and between his legs.
Savage, stationed to the left side of the net, put in the rebound.
Erat tied it at 3 at 17:17 with a backhander from low in the slot.
"We found a way to win and that was key, even though we didn't have some of
our `A' game," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "I mean, I thought Sean
Burke was real strong. When it was 2-1 we had four or five glorious chances and
each time Burke stood tall.
"We knew they were going to be good in the second period. They got ahead
and we really dug in and were able to battle back. I thought we were OK going
into the third period," he said.
Timonen took a shot from the point at 19:13 of the third that deflected off
Hartnell and into the net.
"Marty saved my life when he scored that third goal," Vokoun said. "All
the credit goes to the guys. I stood around watching for two periods."