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 56 36 16 4 158 128 76
2 DAL 53 33 15 5 170 142 71
3 STL 55 30 17 8 132 129 68
4 LAK 51 31 17 3 135 117 65
5 SJS 51 27 20 4 147 138 58
6 NSH 53 25 20 8 136 139 58
7 COL 55 27 24 4 148 152 58
8 ANA 50 25 18 7 111 115 57
9 MIN 52 23 20 9 127 126 55
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 52 20 20 12 120 142 52
12 CGY 51 23 25 3 134 148 49
13 WPG 52 23 26 3 136 150 49
14 EDM 54 21 28 5 132 164 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Josi 53 10 27 -2 37
S. Weber 53 14 21 -4 35
F. Forsberg 53 15 18 -6 33
M. Ribeiro 53 6 27 3 33
J. Neal 53 19 13 18 32
M. Ekholm 53 6 16 3 22
R. Ellis 52 6 15 2 21
C. Smith 53 11 6 -1 17
C. Jarnkrok 52 9 7 0 16
C. Wilson 36 4 12 0 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 20 17 7 .904 2.50
C. Hutton 5 2 1 .916 2.36