NSH
16-23-9
PHX
21-18-9

21 SOG
25 SOG

Coyotes 4, Predators 0

Associated Press | Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:48 AM

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Before each game, Chad Johnson sits alone in the stands behind the net and visualizes the upcoming matchup.

The 26-year-old goalie could hardly have imagined anything better than what transpired for him and his teammates on Monday night.

Johnson, called up last week after Mike Smith was hurt, earned his first NHL shutout in his Phoenix debut and the Coyotes beat the Nashville Predators 4-0.

Johnson had 21 saves in a game dominated defensively by a Coyotes team finally playing the style that led them to the Western Conference finals a year ago. Phoenix entered the night allowing an NHL-high 20 goals in five games.

"You're taking a chance on a young guy but he stepped in and played real solid," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "Nothing fancy, just solid, and I thought our team played solid in front of him."

Johnson's twin brother and parents were watching him in an NHL game for the first time.

"I'm sure they're pretty happy," he said. "My mom might be crying a little bit."

Keith Yandle had a power-play goal and two assists and Nick Johnson a goal and one assist. Antoine Vermette and Laurie Korpikoski also scored in the Coyotes' second win in six games.

Nashville got just three shots on goal in the first period, allowing Johnson to ease into his role.

"I thought he was great," Yandle said. "He controlled the rebound. He looked calm in there. Anytime there was a rebound he grabbed it and sucked it in. He played like a guy who's been around a long time."

The Coyotes made it a lot easier with their play in front of him.

"I thought we did a good job of limiting them to one shot or one opportunity," Yandle said. "If they did get one shot, either he made the rebound or we did a good job clearing them out. A lot of credit goes to our forwards. They came down and helped us a lot. We had a tight house in front of our net."

The Predators, playing without injured Patric Honrqvist, were shut out for the second time in three games and have scored just 10 times in six games this season.

"You've got to fight to get in the interior," coach Barry Trotz said. "For the most part, Phoenix deflected the attack pretty well, but when you're getting deflected to the outside all the time you've got to fight to get in the interior. We didn't get enough interior play and therefore we didn't cause enough havoc."

"Sometimes you've got to get greasy goals," he said. "We're not willing to get greasy goals."

It was the first meeting of the season of teams that met in last season's Western Conference semifinals, a series won by Phoenix 4-1.

Smith missed his third straight game with a lower-body injury, and Tippett chose to go with Johnson rather than usual backup Jason LaBarbera.

Johnson was making his seventh NHL appearance, fifth as a starter. In his previous appearances, all for the New York Rangers, he never played at home. He played in one game for the Rangers as a substitute last season. His last NHL start was three years ago.

"I wasn't really nervous," he said. "I didn't know what to expect. It's been a while since I've been in NHL action, so definitely the first period - getting kind of my feet back into it - was important. I didn't really feel nervous. I felt good, though. I felt good after the second and third, I felt really comfortable."

Three of Nashville's first five games ended in shootout losses, but it fell behind early in this one and Phoenix steadily built on the lead.

Vermette, with assists from Nick Johnson and Yandle, put Phoenix up just three minutes into the game with a left-handed one-timer through a tiny window past goalie Pekka Rinne, who had 21 saves.

In the second period, Nashville tried to turn up the pressure, to no avail. Then Korpikoski knocked in a loose puck from in front of the net for his 50th career goal and the Coyotes led 2-0 with 3:12 left in the period.

Phoenix put it away with two third-period goals.

The Coyotes made it 3-0 when Yandle passed to Nick Johnson, who knocked it past Renne with 9:26 remaining. Yandle's power-play goal with 4:58 to go wrapped up the scoring.

Tippett said he hoped Smith would be ready to go by this weekend. Asked if Johnson's shutout warranted another start Wednesday night against Edmonton, the Coyotes coach would not say.

"You know that old saying `If it's not broke, don't fix it,"' he said. "I go by `If it's not broke, you haven't looked hard enough.' So we'll see."

Notes: The Coyotes were without C Martin Hanzal for the third time in four games with a lower-body injury. ... Greg Jamison told The Arizona Republic he expects to meet the Friday deadline to complete purchase of the Coyotes from the NHL. The new lease agreement with the city of Glendale expires if no deal is reached by then. ... Nashville's seven-game road trip matches the longest in franchise history. ... The Denmark national soccer team, which plays Mexico in Glendale on Wednesday night, attended the game.

1st2nd3rdT
NSH
PHX
Scoring Summary
1st Period
03:00PHX Antoine Vermette (3) ASST: Nick Johnson (1), Keith Yandle (3) 1 - 0 PHX
2nd Period
16:48PHX Lauri Korpikoski (3) ASST: Boyd Gordon (3) 2 - 0 PHX
3rd Period
11:34PHX Nick Johnson (1) ASST: Keith Yandle (4), Derek Morris (4) 3 - 0 PHX
15:02PHX PPG - Keith Yandle (1) ASST: Oliver Ekman-Larsson (3), Radim Vrbata (4) 4 - 0 PHX
Three Stars of the Game
Chad Johnson
1st
Chad Johnson
SA: 21TOI: 59:41
GA: 0EV: 20-20
PIM: 0PP: 1-1
SV%: 1.000SH: 0-0
Keith Yandle
2nd
Keith Yandle
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 2Hits: 0
PTS: 3PIM: 2
+/-: 2TOI: 25:46
Nick Johnson
3rd
Nick Johnson
G: 1Shots: 1
A: 1Hits: 1
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 8:18
Penalty Summary
1st Period
07:29PHX Steve Sullivan  Too many men/ice - bench
15:12NSH Rich Clune  Fighting (maj) against  Kyle Chipchura
15:12PHX Kyle Chipchura  Fighting (maj) against  Rich Clune
18:54PHX Lauri Korpikoski  Holding against  Kevin Klein
2nd Period
06:28NSH Craig Smith  Hooking against  Alexandre Bolduc
11:03NSH Matt Halischuk  Interference against  Oliver Ekman-Larsson
3rd Period
05:24NSH Martin Erat  Roughing against  Keith Yandle
05:24PHX Keith Yandle  Roughing against  Martin Erat
08:08NSH Colin Wilson  Too many men/ice - bench
13:15NSH Gabriel Bourque  Tripping against  Nick Johnson
shots by period
PeriodNSHPHX
1st35
2nd79
3rd1111
Total2125
Team Stats
CategoryNSHPHX
Power Plays0/21/4
Hits2220
Faceoff Wins2825
Giveaways16
Takeaways24
Blocked Shots1310
Penalty Minutes1511
  • NASHVILLE
  • PHOENIX
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
4R. EllisD00-23019:16
6S. WeberD00-14025:16
8K. KleinD0000016:06
10M. EratR0002218:18
11D. LegwandC00-11016:50
12M. FisherC0002019:35
13N. SpalingC00-20016:05
15C. SmithC0000213:19
16R. CluneL000055:41
18B. YipR00-21010:56
22S. HannanD00-20020:23
24M. HalischukR000128:50
28P. GaustadC00-20014:54
33C. WilsonC0002018:10
57G. BourqueL00-10214:19
59R. JosiD00-15021:07
74S. KostitsynL00-10014:24
75H. GillD0000016:53
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
35P. Rinne2125.84060:00
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
2D. RundbladD0010015:11
3K. YandleD1223225:46
4Z. MichalekD0002018:49
6D. SchlemkoD0011013:09
12P. BissonnetteL001005:54
15B. GordonC0111017:19
17R. VrbataR0102016:25
18D. MossR0011014:46
19S. DoanR0012018:19
23Ekman-LarssonD0101022:03
24K. ChipchuraC000259:01
26S. SullivanL0002013:25
28L. KorpikoskiL1011220:13
32N. JohnsonR112108:18
49A. BolducC0002013:50
50A. VermetteC1022018:05
53D. MorrisD0122025:09
89M. BoedkerL0000018:38
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
31C. Johnson21211.00059:41