Filip Forsberg scored twice in the third period and the Nashville Predators rallied to defeat the Arizona Coyotes by a 5-2 final on Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena. The win was Nashville’s sixth consecutive victory over the Coyotes and the seventh-straight game with at least a point against the Pacific Division foe.
The Predators entered the third period down 2-1, but scored four times in the final frame to record their 13th win of the campaign.
“It can be frustrating when you’re playing [well and] you’re not getting the results that you’re looking for, so I was really happy that we stayed with it,” Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “We didn’t get frustrated, we didn’t start taking penalties and just kept our eye on the ball for 60 minutes. It was a real solid 60.”
“I think we kept it positive,” Captain Shea Weber said. “It’s like we have tried to do in the past, but we’re just more confident. It felt like the guys knew it was going to come sooner or later. We’ve played periods like that in the past where it hasn’t come, but if you stick to it long enough, then it’s going to come your way.
Arizona capitalized on a power play for the only tally of the opening frame. Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s point shot found a way through traffic to elude Pekka Rinne and give the Coyotes a 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission. Nashville outshot Arizona 13-4 in period No. 1, which finished with a James Neal shot that rang off the post with just seconds left in the frame.
The Predators evened the score at 12:32 of the second period with a power-play marker of their own off the stick of Calle Jarnkrok. Weber fed Jarnkrok in the slot where he directed the puck between the legs of Mike Smith for the tally. Arizona retook the lead before the period was out, as Kyle Chipchura sent a puck over the shoulder of Rinne at the net mouth for a 2-1 lead.
But it didn’t take long for Mike Ribeiro to strike against his former club to knot the score at 2-2. Ribeiro capitalized on an Ekman-Larsson turnover and snapped a shot past the glove hand of Smith to pull even with Arizona once more. Less than three minutes later, Forsberg potted his first of the night to give the Preds their first lead of the evening. Forsberg navigated the puck into the slot where he fired a laser into the back of the cage.
Forsberg wasn’t done there, as he sent the Preds faithful home with Frostys courtesy of his second tally on the night after one-timing a Ribeiro feed off an odd-man rush. Neal finished it off for the Preds, scoring into an empty net with less than a minute left in the contest.
“We know what we’re capable of in here, and we haven’t been showing it lately,” Forsberg said. “We’ve been playing pretty good but haven’t got the goals, and we know what we’re capable of. I think it was just about getting together and doing the work. We know we can do that to any team in the League if we really turn it on, and I think we really did.”
Preds Rewarded in Third
The Predators had seen this before – outshooting and outchancing their opponent headed into the third period, yet still behind on the scoreboard. But on Tuesday, Nashville found a way to breakthrough, with some help from a 21-year-old Swede.
Filip Forsberg’s first multi-goal game of the season came at the right time; his first tally proving to be the game winner, his second giving his club some room to breathe as time ticked away on the Coyotes.
“It’s part of my job to score goals for the team, and it’s been frustrating, especially when we haven’t been winning,” Forsberg said. “As long as we win, it doesn’t really matter [if I score], but it’s always good to help the team get a win, especially here at home.”
Mike Ribeiro also tallied in the third before James Neal iced it, part of a four-goal frame, with the Preds finally reaping the benefits of their pressure on the opponent throughout the night.
“We knew that we were playing better and sometimes the scoreboard, a lot of times, doesn’t show how we’ve been playing,” Ribeiro said. “We just kept working and it’s a big win for us, especially lately, but it’s a good start of this month. I think it was important for us to leave November behind us and really focus in front of us.”
Gif of the Game:
Pekka Rinne does the unthinkable as he keeps the puck from fully crossing the goal line.
Mike Ribeiro on his goal and the win over Arizona:
“I was looking behind me if there was someone to drop it, but I think I just had to shoot there,” Ribeiro quipped. “It was a big goal for us, but most importantly, the two points for us is what we needed. It’s a new day, a new month and I think we need to look forward and be confident.”
Preds forward Colin Wilson was a late scratch and missed the game with a lower-body injury. Forward Mike Fisher left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury and did not return.
Forward Cody Bass, who was recalled Tuesday morning from Milwaukee, skated in his first regular season game for the Preds and led the team with five hits.
The Predators are currently on a six-game winning streak against Arizona and have points in seven-straight overall (6-0-1) against the Coyotes.
Nashville will host the Florida Panthers on Thursday night before starting a three-game road trip Saturday night in Detroit.
Tuesday’s infographic features Mike Ribeiro’s performance against his former club, with an Adele reference tossed in for good measure.
Infographic: Preds Chase Coyotes Away