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

Coyotes use six-goal first period to defeat Predators

For one glorious period, the Phoenix Coyotes' offensive struggles were a thing of the past. Their seven-game losing streak is over as well.

Radim Vrbata scored twice in the Coyotes' six-goal opening period, and Phoenix went on to defeat the Nashville Predators 7-4 Thursday for their first victory since March 12.

Phoenix (14-15-5) came into the game having scored eight goals during an 0-6-1 slide that has dropped them out of the top eight in the Western Conference. But they sent Vezina Trophy finalist Pekka Rinne to the bench less than four minutes into the game while grabbing a 3-0 lead.

"We haven't had much luck around the net," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "Pucks seemed to be going in from all over the place tonight. We talked before the game about what we had to do to win -- I asked a couple of guys and not one of them said we're going to score six in the first period and walk away with it.

"That's the way it's gone lately -- it's crazy games. Fortunately, we got on top of this one."

Nashville (14-14-6) saw its three-game winning streak emphatically ended.

"Yeah, it was embarrassing," Rinne said. "Everything they did found a way to the back of the net."

The Coyotes led 3-0 almost before the fans at Bridgestone Arena had settled into their seats. Martin Hanzal scored an unassisted goal at 1:46; Vrbata made it 2-0 at 3:42 on a backhand wraparound; and David Moss hammered in a rebound eight seconds later.

That brought a goaltending change for Nashville, with Chris Mason replacing Rinne. It didn't help -- Matthew Lombardi scored his 100th NHL goal at 7:08, and Keith Yandle connected for a power-play goal on a one-timer at 8:26.

"We're a way better team when we are going forward instead of trying to chase it," Phoenix captain Shane Doan said. "We obviously have to be good in our own zone and be better defensively, but at the same time we have to be in attacking mindset and that makes us so much more effective."

Nashville finally got on the board at 9:03 when David Legwand beat Jason LaBarbera, and Rich Clune made it 6-2, 30 seconds later. Vrbata scored his second of the night at 15:57 on a bad-angle screen shot from the left boards near the goal line, only to see Gabriel Bourque tip a shot past LaBarbera 32 seconds later to cut the margin to 6-3.

The Coyotes scored six times on 13 shots in the opening period; defenseman Rostislav Klesla assisted on four of the six goals. Nashville had three goals on 17 shots. The six goals ties the most scored in one period in the League this season; the San Jose Sharks scored six times in the first period at the Edmonton Oilers on Jan. 22.

"Whatever it takes; if it takes seven goals to win, that's what we need right now," Vrbata said. "It was a crazy first period. That's not our style of play. I'm sure that's not theirs either, but we will take whatever we can get."

The six goals matched Nashville's franchise record for most goals against in one period.

"I've been here a long time, and I haven't seen anything like that," said Barry Trotz, the only coach the Predators have had since entering the NHL in 1998. "They scored three goals on three shots. They had five goals on six shots. Mentally, that's pretty stunning because that doesn't happen very often."

Rinne re-entered the game for the second period and was beaten by Antoine Vermette at 2:44 to make it 7-3.

LaBarbera, playing in place of injured starter Mike Smith, allowed a goal to Shea Weber midway through the third period and finished with 34 saves.

Coyotes forward Steve Sullivan, a former Predators player, was honored for his 1,000th NHL game.

Material from team media was used in this report

Scoring Summary
1st Period
01:46PHX Martin Hanzal (9) ASST: NONE 1 - 0 PHX
03:42PHX Radim Vrbata (5) ASST: Rostislav Klesla (3), Martin Hanzal (6) 2 - 0 PHX
03:50PHX David Moss (4) ASST: Rob Klinkhammer (2), Rostislav Klesla (4) 3 - 0 PHX
07:08PHX Matthew Lombardi (3) ASST: Rostislav Klesla (5), Mikkel Boedker (14) 4 - 0 PHX
08:26PHX PPG - Keith Yandle (6) ASST: Radim Vrbata (11), Shane Doan (9) 5 - 0 PHX
09:03NSH David Legwand (8) ASST: Jonathon Blum (6), Gabriel Bourque (5) 5 - 1 PHX
09:33NSH Rich Clune (4) ASST: Roman Josi (11), Patric Hornqvist (6) 5 - 2 PHX
15:57PHX Radim Vrbata (6) ASST: Rostislav Klesla (6), Martin Hanzal (7) 6 - 2 PHX
16:29NSH Gabriel Bourque (11) ASST: David Legwand (9), Taylor Beck (2) 6 - 3 PHX
2nd Period
02:44PHX Antoine Vermette (8) ASST: Paul Bissonnette (4), David Schlemko (3) 7 - 3 PHX
3rd Period
10:02NSH Shea Weber (7) ASST: Mike Fisher (10), Martin Erat (17) 7 - 4 PHX
Three Stars of the Game
Radim Vrbata
1st
Radim Vrbata
G: 2Shots: 3
A: 1Hits: 1
PTS: 3PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 17:16
Rostislav Klesla
2nd
Rostislav Klesla
G: 0Shots: 0
A: 4Hits: 1
PTS: 4PIM: 4
+/-: 2TOI: 19:26
Martin Hanzal
3rd
Martin Hanzal
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 2Hits: 1
PTS: 3PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 16:32
Penalty Summary
1st Period
07:53NSH Rich Clune  Roughing against  Keith Yandle
2nd Period
03:17PHX Oliver Ekman-Larsson  Interference against  Rich Clune
13:12PHX Paul Bissonnette  Slashing against  Bobby Butler
16:24PHX David Schlemko  Tripping against  Martin Erat
3rd Period
03:15NSH Mike Fisher  Hi-sticking against  Rob Klinkhammer
06:00PHX Rostislav Klesla  Hooking against  Mike Fisher
09:08PHX Rostislav Klesla  Roughing against  Brandon Yip
09:08NSH Brandon Yip  Roughing against  Rostislav Klesla
shots by period
PeriodPHXNSH
1st1317
2nd911
3rd710
Total2938
Team Stats
CategoryPHXNSH
Power Plays1/20/4
Hits1420
Faceoff Wins3123
Giveaways913
Takeaways93
Blocked Shots86
Penalty Minutes106
  • PHOENIX
  • NASHVILLE
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
3K. YandleD1023016:34
6D. SchlemkoD0131217:28
8M. LombardiC1002012:22
11M. HanzalC1213016:32
12P. BissonnetteL011128:07
15B. GordonC0002014:25
16R. KleslaD0420419:26
17R. VrbataR2123017:16
18D. MossR1003016:37
19S. DoanR0121015:19
23Ekman-LarssonD00-21222:34
26S. SullivanL00-10014:19
29M. StoneD00-22021:01
36R. KlinkhammerL010109:49
37R. TorresL0011011:26
50A. VermetteC1011016:26
53D. MorrisD0013023:32
89M. BoedkerL0101016:47
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
1J. LaBarbera3438.89560:00
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
6S. WeberD10-27030:23
7J. BlumD0101018:09
8K. KleinD0000012:27
10M. EratR01-12018:03
11D. LegwandC1112016:24
12M. FisherC01-21219:08
13N. SpalingC0003015:55
16R. CluneL1002212:06
17C. MuellerC00-1209:52
18B. YipR00-21213:18
19B. ButlerR00-2109:15
27P. HornqvistR0104016:02
56T. BeckL0112014:20
57G. BourqueL1111014:54
59R. JosiD01-26030:24
64V. BartleyD0012017:33
74S. KostitsynL00-21016:10
75H. GillD00-10011:04
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
30C. Mason69.66716:10
35P. Rinne1620.80043:50