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Mully's Musings: vs. Phoenix

Tuesday, 12.6.2011 / 10:49 PM CT / Features
By Bryan Mullen
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Mully\'s Musings: vs. Phoenix
After two periods on Tuesday, there seemed to be a feeling inside Bridgestone Arena that the Predators would defeat Phoenix. The game was tied 1-1 and Nashville was outplaying the Coyotes.

Even when Ray Whitney put Phoenix up 2-1 early in the third, there didn’t appear to be any panic. Eight minutes later, Nashville Captain Shea Weber tied it with a 5-on-3 power play goal. But the backbreaker for the home team was on the horizon, and it came in the form of a 4-on-4 goal by the Coyotes’ Keith Yandle with 1:45 to go.

It resulted in a 3-2 loss for the Preds, who continued their home struggles. Nashville is 0-3-1 in its last four home games, but will try to regroup when they head to Columbus for Thursday’s game.

On to the musings…


THREE MUSINGS
Rinne returns: Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne started on Tuesday after getting a breather on Saturday against Buffalo. Rinne stopped 32 of 35 shots and had a solid night. He gave up a goal nine seconds into the game, but didn’t get rattled. He stopped the next six shots of the period, and stopped another 11 in the second. Phoenix was more aggressive in the third and fired 17 shots at Rinne, who stopped 15 of them. But it was one too many. While the rest from the one-game break certainly helped Rinne’s mind and body, sometimes it can be tough for a goaltender to step back in and be on top of his game. It’s safe to say Rinne will be tougher to beat on Thursday in Columbus.

Weber’s will: When Nashville is on the power play, there are times when Captain Shea Weber simply takes over a game. It happened again on Tuesday when the Preds were on a 5-on-3 power play and desperately needed a goal to tie it. Weber launched a shot, which slightly deflected off of a Coyotes defender, and beat goaltender Jason LaBarbera. Weber played a solid defensive game, was second on the team in shots (five), led all players in hits (five) and played a game-high 28:21. Weber’s on-ice and off-ice leadership will be needed as Nashville attempts to break out and string a couple of victories together.

Draw it up: One of the issues Preds coach Barry Trotz sees with his team right now involves face-offs. Nashville has struggled on draws recently, and it bit the team once again late in the third when Chris Mueller lost a face-off, which helped lead to the Coyotes’ game-winning goal. Mueller, it should be noted, was 6 for 7 on draws through the first two periods. Still, it’s an issue that the coaching staff will address. And it’s something the Preds are likely to improve on. During practices, face-off drills are taken seriously, so expect them to be ramped up even more now.


THREE QUOTES
Barry Trotz: “Right now we seem to be better road warriors than we are at home. We just have to get some wins at home.”

F Patric Hornqvist: “We gave them a little too much time and space on the 4 on 4. They made a great play and won the game right there. We have to get back on track.”

D Ryan Suter: “We can’t hit the panic button. We have to continue to get better and work hard.”


THREE STARS
D Keith Yandle, Phoenix: Game-winning goal
G Jason LaBarbera, Phoenix: Stopped 30 of 32 shots
D Shea Weber, Nashville: PP goal, 5 hits, 5 shots

SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

SCHEDULE
 

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Wilson 14 5 8 8 13
R. Josi 14 1 8 -6 9
R. Johansen 14 4 4 0 8
J. Neal 14 4 4 1 8
M. Fisher 14 5 2 -1 7
M. Ekholm 14 3 4 2 7
S. Weber 14 3 4 -7 7
R. Ellis 14 0 6 0 6
F. Forsberg 14 2 2 -11 4
M. Salomaki 14 1 1 2 2
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 7 7 0 .906 2.63
C. Hutton 0 0 0 .667 3.00