Coyotes 3, Predators 2: O'Brien's White Flag

Shane O'Brien waves the "white flag" from the penalty box.

Despite a late goal by Shea Weber and a few great chances in the final 30 seconds, the Predators fell just short of the Phoenix Coyotes at home, 2-3. The game ended with a flurry of activity but started unbelievably slowly, with the Predators failing to officially register a shot on goal until 13:30 had passed in the first period. The scoring opened up in the second, when Keith Yandle scored on a screened shot. 58 seconds later, Taylor Pyatt stole the puck from Ryan Suter on the boards and roofed it over a helpless Pekka Rinne. Sergei Kostitsyn answered at 6:37, scoring from his knees on the power play, but it was all down hill from there. After a scrum near the benches, Lauri Korpikoski scored for the Coyotes 4-on-4 on a play that was probably offsides. Ryan Suter then left the game at the end of the second period, after a blindside hit from Shane Doan (video after the jump).

I was watching this game via the jumbotron feed on NHL gamecenter, as there was no TV coverage in Nashville or Phoenix. At some point in the second period, the jumbotron feed showed Shane O'Brien skating up the ice and then bizarrely cut to an empty penalty box and back to O'Brien. This technical failure foreshadowed the real turning point of the game, in which 12:00 in to the third, Sergei Kostitsyn seemingly made a perfect back-handed pass to Mike Fisher for a goal. The referee quickly waved off the score, though, as O'Brien got 2 for high-sticking, while driving toward the net. Fans were livid with the ref, but O'Brien really earned the penalty, and would have earned a game misconduct if the ref saw him waving the "white flag" from the penalty box. 

After the waved-off goal, the Predators had to kill O'Brien's penalty and lost any kind of momentum. The Weber goal turned out to be too little, too late. 

After the jump: more reaction, a picture of Sully's new mask, and video of the Suter hit.

We have post-game audio from Barry TrotzMike FisherShane O'BrienJordin Tootoo, and Shea Weber (just click each name for the MP3).

Shane Doan has a history of blindside hitting. Is this one dirty? Here's the jumbotron feed:

Hopefully, Suter doesn't miss any more time. The Preds can't do it without him. 

Other notes:

  • Nothing notable in the first period. 
  • Pekka Rinne stopped Doan on a penalty shot, right after the opening face-off of the second period. Doan had gotten behind the defense and Alex Sulzer pretty blatantly tripped him. Wade Belak accurately described it as "cutting down a redwood." It was the first penalty shot the Preds faced this season.
  • A weird line combination of Wilson-Legwand-Ward generated a lot of chances early in the second, but nothing found the back of the net. Wilson shot just wide of an empty top-shelf moments later.
  • After the power play goal, the Preds came out with a lot of energy, but Dumont couldn't slide the puck passed a sprawling Bryzgalov on the best chance of the series. 
  • Legwand had a great chance in the blue paint, after Hornqvist made a heads up feed, but couldn't get a shot off.
  • The Coyotes failed to scored right afterwards on a three-on-Weber, or as I call it, "even strength."
  • Check out Sully's new helmet Screen_shot_2011-02-19_at_8 

Stats and video highlights follow below. All in all, it was a frustrating loss in every way possible, with O'Brien's Hartnell-esque stupidity really costing the Preds. 

 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
 David Legwand C 14:52 3 0 2 0 11 5 +6 15 9 +6
 Mike Fisher C 13:44 1 3 1 0 7 7 0 13 9 +4
 Martin Erat R 13:29 1 1 1 0 9 4 +5 15 5 +10
 Joel Ward R 12:12 2 0 0 0 8 3 +5 12 9 +3
 Patric Hornqvist R 12:04 2 0 1 1 9 6 +3 13 10 +3
 Sergei Kostitsyn L 11:54 0 0 0 0 8 5 +3 13 6 +7
 Colin Wilson C 11:47 2 0 2 0 9 5 +4 14 10 +4
 Nick Spaling C 11:08 2 1 2 0 5 3 +2 12 7 +5
 J.P. Dumont R 10:47 2 0 0 0 5 1 +4 13 5 +8
 Steve Sullivan L 10:15 0 0 0 0 4 5 -1 8 8 0
 Jordin Tootoo R 9:52 1 1 1 0 3 5 -2 11 8 +3
 Jerred Smithson R 9:12 0 0 2 0 2 3 -1 7 7 0
 Shea Weber D 22:38 5 0 0 1 14 6 +8 23 9 +14
 Kevin Klein D 17:34 0 1 1 2 4 7 -3 13 15 -2
 Cody Franson D 14:16 2 0 0 0 9 7 +2 15 12 +3
 Alexander Sulzer D 13:47 1 0 1 1 8 4 +4 16 11 +5
 Shane O`Brien D 13:25 0 0 0 2 11 9 +2 16 12 +4
 Ryan Suter D 13:23 1 1 0 1 2 3 -1 9 5 +4
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