|NSH||0||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||3|
|PHX||0||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||4|
Predators picked up a key road point despite falling 4-3 in overtime at the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night. Nashville earned three points on its two-game Fathers Trip and enters the All-Star Break with points in eight of its last nine games.
|Highlights: Coyotes 4,
Predators 3 (OT)
Radim Vrbata recorded four points with a hat trick and an assist to lead the Coyotes offense, while the Predators countered with a balanced attack of nine players recording one point each. One constant remained the same as J.P. Dumont picked up a second period assist to extend his scoring streak to 14 games.
Strange bounces and deflections defined the game from start to finish. However, both teams adjusted to the crazy hops along the ice and strange bounces off the dasher boards, to combine for seven goals and 62 shots. Even the game-winning goal was aided by a deflection. With 29 seconds remaining in overtime, Zybanek Michalek blasted a shot from the top of the right circle which deflected off the stick of Dan Hamhuis and beat Chris Mason five-hole.
The Coyotes took advantage of a hard kick-out off the corner boards to grab a 1-0 lead with 5:15 remaining in the opening frame. Off a seemingly harmless diagonal dump-in attempt, the puck shot out hard from the corner. The Predators were able to whack the puck clear from the slot, but Steven Reinprecht won the race to the loose puck and tipped it to Vrbata for a quick snap from just inside the face-off dot.
The teams traded goals 0:58 into the second period. Nashville tied the game a mere seven seconds into the second period. Jason Arnott won the face-off to open the period. Dumont chipped a pass off the boards to Alexander Radulov skating into the offensive zone. Radulov slapped a shot far side for his 17th goal of the season.
The Coyotes regained the lead 0:51 later on Vrbata's second goal of the game, off what again looked like a harmless play. Vrbata curled into the left point and shot the puck toward the net. The shot deflected off Shea Weber's stick and much like an on-side kick in football, pounded hard into the ice and fluttered high into the air. Mason lost sight of the puck and snuck just under the crossbar.
The Predators a pair of odd-man rushes in the middle of the period when Martin Gelinas missed the net wide on a shorthanded break with Vernon Fiddler and minutes later Dumont fired high off a three-on-one rush. The team would eventually even the score at the 13:32 mark on Rich Peverley's first career goal. Fiddler threw a shot on net from a sharp angle, but the rebound bounced out to the slot in front of the net. Peverley, trailing the play, fired the puck five-hole.
Nashville claimed the lead later in the period. Scott Nichol made initial shot racing into the zone in transition, but there was a long rebound to the right of the net. Gelinas attempted to go short side, but missed wide, however the attempt banked hard off the back dasher boards to Erat below the goal line on the opposite side of the net. With Ilya Bryzgalov fully sprawled attempting to stop the first two attempts, Erat banked the puck off the back side of the netminder's left skate for his 15th goal of the season.
Phoenix knotted the score with 2:35 remaining in the second period. Reinprecht, working behind the net, had his first centering feed blocked by Greg Zanon. However, Reinprecht corralled the puck and immediately connected on his second attempt to Vrbata, all alone in the slot. Vrbata converted the pass for his third career hat trick.
The Predators had a couple of chances to win the game in the third period. With Nashville applying pressure in the offensive zone, Phoenix forward Mathias Tjarnqvist tried to clear a bouncing puck, but caught it off an unfavorable hop and it fluttered over the glass for a delay of game penalty midway through the period. The Preds maintained strong pressure throughout the power-play, but were unable to capitalize. Nashville again created a pair of quality scoring chances in the waning seconds of regulation, but Bryzgalov turned aside Dumont's shot and Arnott's rebound attempt.
Post-Game Notes: The Predators have earned points in five consecutive road games … Nashville is 7-2-3 during the month of January, including 3-1-2 on the road … Over the last nine games the Predators have killed off 29 of 31 power-plays against (93.5%). The PK unit has also chipped in two shorthanded goals for during that time frame … 12 different Predators recorded a point on the two-game road trip … Erat became the fourth Predator this season to score at least 15 goals … Nichol has 7 points in 12 games this month, after recording 3 points over the first 29 games of the season … Radulov has goals in 3 consecutive games to give him 7 goals during the month of January.
|Radim Vrbata (19) ASST: Steve Reinprecht (17), Fredrik Sjostrom (9)|
1 - 0 PHX
|Alexander Radulov (17) ASST: J-P Dumont (24), Jason Arnott (27)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Radim Vrbata (20) ASST: Mathias Tjarnqvist (4), Zbynek Michalek (8)|
2 - 1 PHX
|Rich Peverley (1) ASST: Vernon Fiddler (12), Scott Nichol (5)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Martin Erat (15) ASST: Martin Gelinas (10), Ryan Suter (16)|
3 - 2 NSH
|Radim Vrbata (21) ASST: Steve Reinprecht (18), Mathias Tjarnqvist (5)|
3 - 3 Tie
|Zbynek Michalek (2) ASST: Radim Vrbata (16), Shane Doan (31)|
4 - 3 PHX
|Fredrik Sjostrom Tripping against Ville Koistinen|
|Alexander Radulov Too many men/ice - bench|
|Vernon Fiddler Holding against Zbynek Michalek|
|Derek Morris Interference against Jerred Smithson|
|Mathias Tjarnqvist Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|SA: 30||TOI: 64:10|
|Saves: 26||EV: 25 - 29|
|PIM: 0||PP: 1 - 1|
|SV%: .867||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 32||TOI: 64:28|
|Saves: 29||EV: 26 - 29|
|PIM: 0||PP: 3 - 3|
|SV%: .906||SH: 0 - 0|