Pekka Rinne leads Predators to Big Game 3 Win

Phoenix Coyotes 0 vs Nashville Predators 2 : Coyotes lead series 2-1

The Nashville Predators cut the series lead in half by winning Game 3, 2-0. Pekka Rinne led the Predators to victory by recording his first ever playoff shutout. Rinne stopped all 32 shots. His best save of the night was during the 5-on-3 in the third period. 

The most important thing about the Game 3 win was the Predators got the win without Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn. Their replacements, Jordin Tootoo and Matt Halischuk, had an outstanding game and I don’t see them being pulled out. The Game 4 lineup will most likely, stay the same.

Read more of this game after the jump…

Different Team

The Nashville Predators looked like a totally different team in Game 3, than what we have been used to seeing. Lately, we have seen less forechecking and laziness. Well, with the team suspensions of Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn, the Predators got back to the “old Predators’ hockey.” That is what Barry Trotz knows best.

With dumbass players out of the lineup, two players would have the long awaited chance to be back in the lineup. Those two players ended up being Matt Halischuk and Jordin Tootoo, two players (especially Tootoo) who have wanted to be on the ice in a playoff game situation.

The first period was absolutely textbook Predators’ hockey. Hard forechecking and forcing turnovers that create goals. That is how the first two goals were scored. To get away from the goals, the Predators were blocking more shots and playing a much better physical game. 

The first period game continued throughout the final two periods. The Predators were blocking shots and clearing pucks out. Then, they would chase after them to set up scoring chances. That is a nice way to bounce back in a series. Play the way that got you their, “Predators’ hockey.”

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
Game 3 5/2 PHX NSH 0-2 NSH

Line Up Report

Starting Goalies:

Name SV SH SV % Decision TOI
#35 Pekka Rinne 32 32 1.000 W 60:00
#41 Mike Smith 24 26 .923 L 57:51

Predators Scratches: #46 W Andrei Kostitsyn (Suspension), #47 W Alexander Radulov (Suspension), #7 D Jonathon Blum, #15 C Craig Smith, #17 C Chris Mueller, #23 W Brian McGrattan, # C Kyle Wilson, #38 D Jack Hillen, #49 D Ryan Ellis, #64 D Victor Bartley, #30 G Jeremy Smith and #37 G Chet Pickard

Coyotes Scratches: #37 W Raffi Torres (Suspension), #28 W Lauri Korpikoski (Lower Body), #2 D David Rundblad, #5 D Connor Murphy, #6 D David Schlemko, #12 W Paul Bissonnette, #20 D Chris Summers, #21 C Andy Miele, #26 D Michael Stone, #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

  • 4:59 in, Shea Weber’s slapper just missed the net wide. It was fast!
  • 5:05 in, Marc-Antoine Pouliot went to the penalty box for holding the stick.
  • 6:49 in, Rostislav Klesla hit the goal post, shorthanded.
  • 7:05 in, Pouilot’s penalty was killed off well by the Phoenix Coyotes.
  • 8:10 in, the Nashville Predators finally caught Mike Smith out of his net. David Legwand received the pass from the corner and just roofed the shot, top-shelf. That made it 1-0 Nashville.
  • 9:16 in, Martin Erat stole the puck and passed it to Sergei Kostitsyn. Kostitsyn passed to Mike Fisher, where his shot was deflected off Mike Smith’s stick. That made it 2-0 Nashville. Kostitsyn and Fisher were alone in front of Mike Smith, all started because of Erat’s forecheck.
  • 11:04 in, Mike Fisher went to the box for interference. Power play for Phoenix.
  • 13:04 in, Fisher’s penalty was killed off, easily.
  • 13:49 in, Legwand’s shot hit the post and trickled into the net after the puck went under Smith. The referee waved it off, immediately. By the way, there was no whistle blown. The officials went to Toronto, but they still waved it off. The reason was that the refs felt that Smith was pushed in.
  • 15:39 in, David Legwand went to the penalty box for roughing. Legwand used his stick to hook Vermette and to blow by him.
  • 17:29 in, Derek Morris went to the penalty box for hooking. Morris hooked Fisher, trying to beat him to the puck, shorthanded. 4-on-4 hockey.
  • 17:39 in, Legwand’s penalty was killed off, power play Nashville.
  • 19:20 in, Radim Vrbata’s shot from the blue line, shorthanded, went off Rinne’s glove and forced a rebound in the crease for Ray Whitney. Luckily, Rinne handled it.
  • 19:29 in, Morris’ penalty was killed off.
  • At the end of the first period, Nashville was leading, 2-0. Phoenix led in shots, 10-8.

Second Period

  • 4:16 in, Craig Smith tried a wrap-around pass to Brandon Yip, at the top of the crease. Keith Yandle held Yip up and couldn’t get anything on the puck.
  • 5:58 in, Matt Halischuk was cross-checked by Adrian Aucoin into the boards. Halischuk went to the locker room. Aucoin went to serve the interference penalty. Halischuk would return later.
  • 7:58 in, Aucoin’s penalty was killed off.
  • 10:51 in, Pouliot’s one-timer was stopped, easily by Pekka Rinne. Pouliot ripped that shot.
  • 11:13 in, Vrbata was robbed by Rinne, on his belly. Rinne was having a bit of trouble in the series of shots, put proved to be normal Peks.
  • 15:18 in, Martin Erat was cross-checked by Morris, chasing after the puck. Morris went to the penalty box for cross-checking. Power play Nashville.
  • 15:50 in, Boyd Gordon blocked a slap-shot by Shea Weber on the PP. The shot hit off Gordon’s left arm. As soon as he had a chance to get to the bench, he did so and went to the locker room. He would return.
  • 16:52 in, Bourque and Kostitsyn went on a 2-on-1. Bourque attempted to pass to Kostitsyn, but a sprawling Coyotes’ defender, tipped the puck into Smith, who was barely able to keep the puck out of the net.
  • 17:18 in, Morris’ penalty was killed off.
  • The second period ended with Predators still up 2-0. Phoenix led in shots through two, 22-16.

Third Period

  • 2:16 in, Matt Halischuk returned to the game after being nailed into the boards.
  • 2:45 in, Boyd Gordon returned to the game after blocking Weber’s shot.
  • 3:04 in, Michal Roszival’s one-timer shot went high close to Rinne’s neck area. Rinne kept it low and was able to hold on to it.
  • 7:44 in, after a great shift by Jordin Tootoo, he added to it right here. Sergei Kostitsyn’s shot from the point was deflected by Tootoo on Smith. Great recognition by Toots.
  • 9:38 in, Jordin Tootoo was cross-checked in the head by Derek Morris. Morris was given only a minor.
  • 11:28 in, Mike Smith made three huge saves on the Predators during their PP. The shot from Weber at the point was stopped but left a rebound for Fisher, who was stoned. Then, it was picked up by Legwand, who was also robbed.
  • 12:59 in, Sergei Kostitsyn went to the penalty box for hooking. PP Coyotes.
  • 14:18 in, Martin Erat went to the penalty box for tripping Ekman-Larsson. Temporary, 5-on-3 Coyotes.
  • 14:18 in, Dave Tippet used his time out to regroup the power play unit.
  • 14:55 in, Rinne robbed Doan and Vrbata twice on sure goals. What an amazing series of stops!
  • 14:59 in, Kostitsyn’s penalty was killed off. Now it was 5-on-4 hockey.
  • 16:18 in, Erat’s tripping penalty was killed off. The penalties were both killed.
  • 17:30 in, Colin Wilson blocked a huge shot defensively, then went down offensively, to hit the puck off the post.
  • 17:58 in, Smashville went crazy during their TV Timeout Standing Ovation.
  • 17:58 in, Mike Smith was pulled for the extra attacker.
  • The game ended with the Predators winning 2-0. Phoenix won in shots, 32-26.

Game 3: Phoenix Coyotes Players to Watch

Name G A +/- TOI
#17 Radim Vrbata 0 0 -1 19:43
#13 Ray Whitney 0 0 -1 19:47
#11 Martin Hanzal 0 0 -1 18:49

Scoring Summary

David Legwand – Bourque at 8:10 in the 1st
Mike Fisher – S. Kostitsyn and Erat at 9:16 in the 1st

My Three Stars of the Game

1. Pekka Rinne: 32 Saves and Shutout
2. Martin Erat: 1 Assist
3. David Legwand: Goal

Game Highlights