Nashville Heads Home Down 2-0

Nashville Predators 3 vs Phoenix Coyotes 5: Coyotes Lead Series, 2-0

Well, the Nashville Predators are going back to Nashville with their tales between their legs. On Wednesday, Game 3 is an absolute must-win if they want to have any chance of coming back. Given that there is a very small chance being down 3-0, the Predators could come back.

Tonight, the Predators were absolutely lazy on the puck. They were also very poor defensively, leaving Pekka Rinne out to dry on many of those goals. Barry Trotz fixed the face-off problem, now a new problem has come up, laziness and poor defense. Trotz should skate them like Herb Brooks did to the 1980 US Miracle team. Sunday night’s play was a complete disgrace.

There is really too many problems with this Predators team right now. I bet if you look at the numerous other Preds blogs, there will be something different.

Klein’s Beauty Pass

Playoff breakout defenseman, Kevin Klein, had once another great play in this 2012 playoffs. Instead of saving a goal, he created a goal. The first goal of the game for the Nashville Predators, by the way. 

Kevin Klein made a spinning and falling, backhand, pass to a breaking Andrei Kostitsyn on the right side. Kostitsyn went one on one with Mike Smith. There, Andrei deked and made Smith way out of position. Then, Andrei was able to score the first goal for the Predators all because of Mr. Kevin Klein.

Watch this sweet video:

Gaustad, Face-Off Specialist

Paul Gaustad was the face-off specialist Sunday night, in Game 2. Gaustad was 8-for-12 (67 %) in face-offs. We saw that Barry Trotz was putting Gaustad out in key situations/draws. Gaustad would take the face-off draws on either the first or second line, then go straight to the bench to get the original center on the line, on the ice.

The Predators were a lot better in the face-off draws in Game 2, compared to Game 1. In Game 1, Nashville was 41 % in face-off wins. While in Game 2, the Predators won 52 % of their draws. Trotz working with the centers on face-offs in Saturday practice, really worked out.

Jones and Roenick Rip Radulov

Completely right. Takes the words out of my mouth. Alexander Radulov finished with a -2, outstanding!

Playoff Series Scoreboard

Game Date Away Home Result
Game 1 4/27 NSH PHX 3-4 PHX OT
Game 2 4/29 NSH PHX 3-5 PHX

Line Up Report

Starting Goalies:

Name SV SH Decision SV % TOI
#35 Pekka Rinne 34 39 L .872 57:40
#41 Mike Smith 30 33 W .909 60:00

Predators Scratches: #15 C Craig Smith, #22 W Jordin Tootoo, #23 W Brian McGrattan, #24 W Matt Halischuk, #38 D Jack Hillen, #49 D Ryan Ellis and #37 G Chet Pickard

Coyotes Scratches: #37 W Raffi Torres (Suspension), #2 D David Rundblad, #5 D Connor Murphy, #12 W Paul Bissonnette, #20 D Chris Summers, #21 C Andy Miele, #26 D Michael Stone, #28 W Lauri Korpikoski, #32 D Michal Roszival, #36 W Matt Watkins, #39 W Brett Maclean, #49 C Alexandre Bolduc, #52 C Brett Hextall, #54 C Ethan Werek, #57 D Maxim Goncharov, #58 W Jordan Szwarz, #35 G Justin Pogge and #75 G Louis Domingue

Period-by-Period Summary

First Period

  • 0:33 in, Rostislav Klesla took a puck to the face and left the ice with a towel on his mouth.
  • 1:11 in, Patric Hornqvist and Andrei Kostitsyn went on a 2-on-1, but Hornqvist’s shot hit off the post.
  • 2:07 in, Roman Josi fell down behind the net that allowed Gilbert Brule to take the shot on net. The shot caused a scrum in front, but Rinne held on to it.
  • 5:27 in, David Legwand tried to wheel around a Phoenix defender and to only backhand the shot into Smith’s leg pads.
  • 8:32 in, Antoine Vermette scored on tic-tac-toe passing from Mikkel Boedker and Keith Yandle. Rinne had no chance of stopping the goal that made it 1-0 Coyotes.
  • 12:57 in, Colin Wilson quickly shot a pass from Hal Gill. That created a shoving match where only Brandon Yip went to the box for roughing.
  • 14:57 in, Yip’s roughing call was killed off after a heavy Phoenix attack.
  • 17:13 in, Andrei Kostitsyn absolutely undress Mike Smith on a breakaway, to tie the game up at 1. Klein set up that play because while falling, passed the puck to Andrei, behind the back.
  • The first period ended with a 1-1 tie. Phoenix led in shots, 12-9.

Second Period

  • 0:13 in, Alexander Radulov received a stretch pass from Ryan Suter, entering the zone. Radulov went on a breakaway, but shot into Smith’s blocker.
  • 3:47 in, Radim Vrbata broke away from the Nashville defense, but didn’t shoot and instead wheeled around. Vrbata stopped at the back of the net and passed in between Rinne’s legs to a wide-open Martin Hanzal. Hanzal just banked it home to take the 2-1 Phoenix lead.
  • 6:30 in, Kevin Klein’s shot from the point hit off the cross-bar.
  • 7:05 in, Rinne was interfered with and fell to the ice. The puck went to Radim Vrbata from David Legwand tossing the puck to him! Vrbata shot the puck home to widen the lead to 3-1 Coyotes.
  • 9:17 in, Legwand broke into the zone and had a great chance to snipe Smith. Leggy shot it right into Smith instead.
  • 9:24 in, Ray Whitney went to the penalty box for slashing Radulov. Radulov wasn’t happy with the slash, at all.
  • 11:20 in, the Predators power play was on fire during the Whitney penalty. Nashville had possession most of the power play. Ryan Suter’s shot from the point was deflected by Patric Hornqvist in front of Mike Smith, into the net.
  • 11:50 in, Shane Doan broke into the Nashville zone, untouched, and took the shot. Doan’s shot left a rebound for Taylor Pyatt, who smacked the puck out of mid-air to take the two goal lead back, 4-2 Phoenix.
  • 12:40 in, Klesla returned to the bench with the mask bar under his chin.
  • 13:31 in, Paul Gaustad received a pass from Colin Wilson, across the top of the crease. Gaustad’s redirection missed the net by very little.
  • 17:07 in, Shea Weber went to the penalty box for boarding M.A. Pouliot.
  • 19:07 in, Weber’s penalty was killed off very well. Nashville’s PK was putting a ton of pressure on Phoenix.
  • 19:50 in, Keith Yandle went to the penalty box for slashing and Mike Fisher retaliated. Fisher was called for roughing.
  • The second period ended with Phoenix up, 4-2. The Coyotes led in shots through two, 31-24.

Third Period

  • 0:22 in, Radim Vrbata went to the penalty box for interference. 4 on 3 for Nashville, for 1:29.
  • 0:53 in, Ryan Suter’s one-timer from Weber was lasered into the back of the net to cut the lead to 4-3 Phoenix, on the power play.
  • 1:50 in, Yandle and Fisher came out of the box and put the game back to 5 on 5.
  • 3:33 in, Pekka Rinne bailed out the Predators again after a turnover. It was an amazing save, falling back.
  • 3:36 in, Derek Morris’ shot off the face-off was deflected off Doan’s blade in the back of the net. Phoenix took back the two goal lead, again, and made it 5-3.
  • During this long stretch of time, I felt a lot of emotions flow through me. Doubt, fear, anger, sadness and hope. Sorry for the huge gap of no report.
  • 15:32 in, Rinne left a huge rebound for Taylor Pyatt to score. Luckily, it was swept away.
  • 15:50, Dave Tippet used his time out.
  • 17:40 in, Rinne was sent to the bench for the extra attacker.
  • 18:01 in, Barry Trotz used his time out to draw something up.
  • 19:14 in, Legwand went to the penalty box for cross-checking Boyd Gordan while Gordon went to the box for high-sticking.
  • The game ended with Phoenix winning, 5-3. They outshot Nashville, 39-31.

Game 2 Phoenix Coyotes Playoers to Watch:

Name G A +/- TOI
#23 Oliver Ekman-Larsson 0 0 +3 21:23
#17 Radim Vrbata 1 1 +2 17:14
#13 Ray Whitney 0 2 +2 16:03

Scoring Summary

Antoine Vermette – Yandle and Boedker at 8:32 in the 1st
Andrei Kostitsyn – Klein and Spaling at 17:13 in the 1st
Martin Hanzal – Vrbata and Whitney at 3:47 in the 2nd
Radim Vrbata – Hanzal and Yandle at 3:47 in the 2nd
PP Patric Hornqvist – Suter and Fisher at 11:20 in the 2nd
Taylor Pyatt – Doan at 11:50 in the 2nd
PP Ryan Suter – Weber and Erat at 0:53 in the 3rd
Shane Doan – Morris and Vermette at 3:36 in the 3rd

My Three Stars of the Game

1. Antoine Vermette: Goal & Assist, +2
2. Keith Yandle: 2 Assists, +3
3. Shane Doan: Goal & Assist, +2

Game Highlights