Post-Game Musings: Game 5 at Phoenix

Tuesday, 05.08.2012 / 1:11 AM / Nashville Predators Playoffs Coverage
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators

The Preds may well have played their best game of the series – and possibly the playoffs – posting a 33-17 advantage in shots on goal and 73-to-40 lead in shot attempts, while holding a massive edge in zone time, but still finding a way to lead hits 39-37. Still, the Coyotes took advantage of two transition sequences in the second period to claim a 2-0 lead and held on after Colin Wilson’s third period goal cut the lead in half.

Pekka Rinne allowed just three goals over the final three games of the series, but Nashville was unable to provide enough offense to support his efforts as the Preds were edged 1-0 and 2-1 in the final two games as the Coyotes closed out the series in Game 5.

Now on to the musings…

THREE MUSINGS:
Counter attacks --
Nashville was victimized on two counter-attacks by the Coyotes in the second period for both of Phoenix's goals tonight. On the first, the Preds had a strong offensive shift when Weber's shot through a screen was blockered to the corner; Weber and Suter lost contain on the high forward and the Coyotes hit Shane Doan for a breakaway. Rinne made the initial save, but Phoenix beat Nashville to the rebound and scored on the regroup with traffic in front of Rinne. On the second, the Preds again had a strong offensive shift, but Legwand was dumped in the corner creating numbers through transition for the Coyotes. Phoenix hit the trail forward for the 2-0 lead.

No luck from the posts -- The Preds rang a pair of great scoring chances off the post in the second period. Josi came out of the penalty box and joined Radulov on a two-on-one 6:20 into the period; Josi's shot eluded Smith but dinged the post and then the puck hopped over Radulov's stick on the backdoor preventing an easy tap in. Legwand's drive was deflected with a diving desperation save by Smith and then the rebound back out the other side to Josi was blocked by the back-checking defenseman in the goal crease. On Nashville's next power-play -- with 9:01 left in the frame -- Weber teed up a shot from the center point which beat Smith to the glove side, but caught the post flush; the rebound attempt by Andrei Kostitsyn was pushed into Smith's pads low.

Special Teams – Nashville had four power-plays in the game, but were unable to generate offense from the man advantages. The Preds did get a two-on-one at the very start of their second PP – when Josi come out of the penalty box to turn a four-on-four to a power-play and did ring a shot off the post on their third power-play, but were unable to convert and unable to generate sustained momentum after any of the PPs.

THREE STARS:
1) PHX G Mike Smith – 32 saves; allowed just one goal over the final two games of the series
2) PHX D Derek Morris – 1 goal; 3 hits, 3 blocked shots; game’s opening goal; strong defensive play especially on the PK (4:05 shorthanded ice time)
3) NSH F David Legwand – 1 assist, +1 plus/minus; 6 hits, 2 blocked shots; great pass to create Nashville’s goal


THREE STARS OF THE SERIES:
1) PHX G Mike Smith - allowed just 1 goal over the final 2 games of the series, backstopping Phoenix to 1-0 and 2-1 wins to close out the series
2) NSH F Martin Erat - 1 goal, 1 assist; solid defensively and was dangerous with the puck on his stick throughout the series; 2nd star in Games 1 & 3; OT forcing goal in Game 1
3) PHX F Shane Doan - 2 goals, 2 assists, +4 plus/minus; GWG goal in 1-0 Game 4 win; assisted on game's opening goal in Game 5; assisted on GWG in Game 3

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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
S. Weber 79 23 33 -2 56
P. Hornqvist 76 22 31 1 53
C. Smith 79 24 28 16 52
M. Fisher 75 20 29 -4 49
R. Josi 72 13 27 -2 40
M. Cullen 77 10 29 4 39
C. Wilson 81 11 22 -1 33
N. Spaling 71 13 19 2 32
R. Ellis 80 6 21 9 27
G. Bourque 74 9 17 -5 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Hutton 20 11 4 .910 2.62
D. Dubnyk 11 18 3 .891 3.43

 
 

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