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.