Predators 5, Coyotes 4 (SO): A wild night in the Wild, Wild West

Mar 12, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (center) defends the net against a shot by Phoenix Coyotes right wing Shane Doan (19) during the second period at Jobing.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

Tonight had a lot of good, a lot of bad, but ultimately a happy ending for the Nashville Predators, as they took a 5-4 shootout decision at Phoenix. Three times the Predators took the lead, and each time Phoenix came back to tie the game, even overcoming a 2-goal deficit in the third period.

But after a wild but scoreless overtime led to a shootout, it was Andrei Kostitsyn scoring the lone goal and Pekka Rinne stopping all three Coyotes shooters to earn his 39th win of the season. The NHL record for goaltending wins in a season stands at 48, with 13 games remaining for the Predators.

Martin Erat led the scoring with a goal and two assists, giving him 52 points on the season, and a good shot at topping his career best of 57.

Follow after the jump for your highlights and breakdown...

Cue the video (might take 30-45 minutes post-game to work):

Your random observations:

  • Even though there weren't many shots on goal, that first period was a pretty exciting, up-and-down affair, capped off by a nifty shot by Erat on the 3-on-2 to give Nashville the lead. He trailed the play nicely and didn't skate himself into coverage there.
  • The more I see of Paul Gaustad, the more I like. Dude's got a motor. He also won 12 of 19 faceoffs, an impressive 63% clip yet again.
  • Hal Gill pulled a Zanon on that second Coyotes goal. Keith Yandle gave a bit of a shot fake and Gill went right down to the ice for an attempted block, giving Yandle all the time he needed to pick his spot for the score.
  • It's always nice to see the yeomen get the odd goal, and Bouillon's was a classic example of following your own shot and stuffing home the loose puck. It was his first score since November 3, 2010, in a game which was also at Phoenix.
  • But how about Smith's goal? That was an absolute beauty, and hopefully gives him the confidence that may have been lacking a bit, dating back to his infamous empty-net gaffe against Toronto earlier this season.
  • You can bet that Barry Trotz & crew won't be too happy about the style of this one, it was too wide-open for a team looking to get ready for the playoffs. There were too many lapses in the defensive end
  • Nashville is now just two points behind Detroit for 4th place in the Western Conference. The Red Wings play tomorrow night at Los Angeles, in case you can't sleep.

Box Score - Game Summary - Event Summary - Corsi Numbers

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