Predators give up 3rd period lead but beat Phoenix in shootout, 4-3

The Nashville Predators made up for letting a two-goal lead slip away in the 3rd period by beating the Phoenix Coyotes in a shootout, 4-3. David Legwand got the shootout winner as Pekka Rinne stopped 2 of 3 Coyotes shooters.

The victory gives Nashville 91 points with 7 games remaining, putting them in 5th place ahead of Los Angeles, which lost tonight.

Check the video widget on the right sidebar for highlights, and follow after the jump for reaction to the game...

The Preds host the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday, and only limited seats remain. For cheap tickets to this, or any other Nashville Predators home game, take advantage of the OtF discount!

Once again, I'll go bullet-point style here. If you have something to add, sound off in the comments!

  • The best line for Nashville all night was the Sullivan-Goc-Hornqvist trio, which created several good chances, and combined for 2 goals and 4 assists.
  • I'm glad Legwand got the shootout winner, because he looked utterly lost in the offensive zone all night long previously. He played 18:14 and didn't even attempt a shot on goal, let alone force Ilya Bryzgalov to make a save.
  • Francis Bouillon had a great game, really using his strength and sound positioning to defend his turf on multiple occasions.
  • Lee Stempniak opened the scoring and gave the Coyotes an early lead, but I thought the Preds played well during the opening period. Patric Hornqvist's answering goal to tie the game came on a nifty backhand shot from about 20 feet out, far beyond his usual range!
  • Early in the 2nd, Steve Sullivan put the Preds up 2-1 on a nice, basic play. Goc carried the puck around behind the Phoenix net and waited for the right opportunity to feed Sully in the slot. The pass was on target, and Sully was in good position to immediately fire that wrister.
  • The Dan Hamhuis goal to put Nashville up 3-1 came after some nice work by J.P. Dumont, who continues to play in Barry Trotz's doghouse. J.P. had gone 13 games without an assist prior to that score, and logged the least ice time on the team tonight with just 12:51. Nick Spaling got 12:56.
  • While it would have been great to have Marcel Goc's goal in the 3rd period count to make it 4-1 (only to have a very close offsides call negate it), it is a bit disturbing to see how the Preds gave up that two-goal lead in the final seven minutes of regulation. Granted, the Coyotes are an excellent team, but Nashville needs to get in the habit of locking down late leads like that.
  • One play that drew some criticism from the crowd involved Legwand on an odd-man rush feeding the puck across to the right slot only to find nobody there. Kevin Klein had (correctly) opted to ease up rather than push hard down the wing - if it had been a forward in that position they could have driven the net, but the defenseman can't take that risk in that situation.
  • Neither Dumont or Hornqvist got any action in overtime.
  • Dustin Boyd fits on this team like a comfortable, well-worn glove. He looks very natural as a Predator.
  • It was fun to see the Preds win this shootout, and for Rinne to stop Adrian Aucoin, who had famously gone 5-for-5 up until tonight.
  • It was a good crowd tonight, albeit a little late-arriving due to the nasty weather.
  • The Save of the Night goes to OtF reader Matt, who sat down the row from my son and I in Section308, and gave my jacket to the Bridgestone Arena staff when I inadvertently left it behind.

Looking at the advanced stats from this game, the dominance of the Sullivan-Goc-Hornqvist line is confirmed, as is a bit of a rough time for Colin Wilson, as wondered about in the comments below.

 Even Strength Individual Totals Team Totals While Player Is On Ice
 Player Pos EV TOI Shots Shts Blkd Missed Shts Blocks SOG For SOG Ag SOG +/- Tot SF Tot SA Corsi
 Marcel Goc C 16:09 0 1 0 0 11 4 7 17 7 10
 Martin Erat R 16:07 3 2 3 0 8 10 -2 20 14 6
 David Legwand C 16:00 0 0 0 0 8 9 -1 19 13 6
 Steve Sullivan L 15:10 1 2 0 0 14 6 8 19 11 8
 Dustin Boyd C 14:55 3 0 1 2 7 7 0 15 16 -1
 Jerred Smithson R 14:50 2 0 0 0 6 7 -1 11 15 -4
 Patric Hornqvist R 14:39 6 1 0 0 11 5 6 18 9 9
 Jordin Tootoo R 14:18 2 0 2 0 7 6 1 13 14 -1
 Colin Wilson C 14:16 1 1 1 1 7 12 -5 18 17 1
 Cal O'Reilly C 12:16 0 1 0 0 2 7 -5 6 13 -7
 Nick Spaling C 12:09 0 0 2 0 3 5 -2 10 10 0
 J P Dumont R 11:11 0 1 0 0 3 7 -4 10 13 -3
 Shea Weber D 23:56 5 0 1 2 15 19 -4 32 24 8
 Ryan Suter D 23:08 2 2 3 1 13 19 -6 30 25 5
 Dan Hamhuis D 21:52 3 1 1 1 11 6 5 20 14 6
 Francis Bouillon D 21:30 0 1 0 3 7 6 1 16 19 -3
 Kevin Klein D 16:32 1 1 1 1 8 6 2 13 14 -1
 Cody Franson D 11:02 2 2 0 1 8 6 2 13 12 1
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