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 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 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 33 31 1 64
R. Josi 81 14 47 -3 61
J. Neal 82 31 27 27 58
S. Weber 78 20 31 -7 51
M. Ribeiro 81 7 43 11 50
C. Smith 82 21 16 4 37
M. Ekholm 82 8 27 14 35
R. Johansen 42 8 26 10 34
R. Ellis 79 10 22 13 32
C. Jarnkrok 81 16 14 1 30
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 34 21 10 .908 2.48
C. Hutton 7 5 4 .918 2.33