Post-Game Musings: Game 4 vs. Phoenix

Friday, 05.4.2012 / 9:45 PM CT / Nashville Predators Playoffs Coverage
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators
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Post-Game Musings: Game 4 vs. Phoenix

The Phoenix Coyotes scored off a Preds turnover in the middle of the first period and Nashville had an apparent goal waived off late in the third period as the Coyotes picked up a 1-0 win to grab a 3-1 series lead.

Nashville started slowly in the first period, but continued to play better as the game progressed, still the Preds now head to Phoenix needing to sweep the final three games in order to advance. Both goaltenders navigated an end-to-end wide open start to the game, making key saves to keep the game scoreless until the skaters settled in to a more defensive style.

Now on to the musings…

THREE MUSINGS:
Wide Open Start -- The first six-and-half minutes of play was wide open run-and-gun hockey with both teams trading scoring chances. Not the style of game the Preds really want to play, but it did make for an entertaining start. And both teams were flying around the ice. Rinne got into the game early as he was forced to make three or four quality stops, including a one-on-goalie down low by Boedker just under five minutes into the game.

Spaling-Wilson-Yip – The Spaling line – with Wilson and Yip on the wings – was very effective for Nashville tonight and seemed to get stronger as the game continued. The trio finished the game with five of the team’s 25 shots on goal --- including a third of the 15 shots fired by the team’s forwards. Beyond the shots on goal, the line held time of possession in the Phoenix zone for the majority of their shifts.

Hornqvist -- Patric Hornqvist was front-and-center in several of the Preds top scoring chances tonight; he took 25 shifts in the game and seemed to have close to a dozen good chances, starting with a great chance on a scrum as time expired in the first period with Hornqvist and Bourque trying to whack away at a loose puck in the crease. In the second period Hornqvist rang a shot off the post 5:31 on a rush in transition 5:31 into the period and then snapped a shot over the crossbar on Smith's giveaway a few seconds later. A misfire on a backdoor redirect later in the second period, a strong neutral zone move late in the second period, a pair of one-on-one partial breakaways in the third period, along with what appeared to be the game-tying goal on the power-play with 7:12 remaining in regulation (the officials waived the play off because they intended to blow the whistle before the puck crossed the line).

THREE STARS:
1) PHX G Mike Smith – 25-save shutout
2) NSH G Pekka Rinne23 saves; only goal against was deflected off a stick and off the post
3) NSH F Patric Hornqvist game-high 12 attempted shots, most from dangerous scoring areas

SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

SCHEDULE
 

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 58 36 18 4 160 134 76
2 DAL 55 35 15 5 178 147 75
3 STL 57 31 17 9 138 133 71
4 LAK 54 33 18 3 151 128 69
5 COL 58 29 25 4 155 160 62
6 SJS 53 28 20 5 154 143 61
7 ANA 53 26 19 8 120 125 60
8 NSH 55 25 21 9 142 148 59
9 ARI 54 25 23 6 143 164 56
10 MIN 54 23 21 10 133 134 56
11 VAN 54 22 20 12 125 144 56
12 CGY 54 25 26 3 144 160 53
13 WPG 54 24 27 3 139 157 51
14 EDM 56 22 29 5 138 168 49

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Josi 55 11 29 -2 40
F. Forsberg 55 18 18 -7 36
S. Weber 55 14 21 -5 35
M. Ribeiro 55 6 28 3 34
J. Neal 55 20 13 18 33
M. Ekholm 55 6 19 3 25
R. Ellis 54 6 16 2 22
C. Smith 55 11 7 -1 18
C. Jarnkrok 54 9 8 0 17
C. Wilson 38 4 12 -1 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 20 18 8 .902 2.57
C. Hutton 5 2 1 .916 2.36