May 2, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators center David Legwand (11) scores a goal on Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith (41) during the first period of game three in the Western Conference semifinals of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena. Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE
Pekka Rinne took command of Game Three, turning aside all 32 shots from the Phoenix Coyotes while leading the Nashville Predators to a 2-0 win. The teams play Game Four on Friday night, giving the Preds a chance to even things up in this Western Conference semifinal.
Follow after the jump for the video highlights and reaction...
Cue the video (might take 30-45 minutes post-game to work):
Your random observations:
- The second goal by the Preds, by Mike Fisher, comes off a hilarious sequence. Watch as Erat feeds SK74 the puck with him wide-open between the circles. He, of course, passes the puck away to Fish over to the side, who sends it immediately back to him for the slam dunk but it deflects off Smith's stick into the net.
- One thing I liked about this game was the physical dominance the Preds showed. They kept putting the pressure on the Phoenix defense whenever they could, giving them as little time as possible to move the puck. Klesla really took it from both Paul Gaustad and Jordin Tootoo (who played a smart, tough game) tonight.
- It was good see Matt Halischuk come back after taking that spill into the end boards courtesy of Adrian Aucoin.
- Both goalies were pretty outstanding in this one, stopping a number of dangerous chances. Of course, team defense appeared to be more cohesive as well, which helps a lot.
- Martin Erat seemed to be around the puck all night. He tallied only an assist on the Fisher goal and had only one shot attempt (it was blocked), but constantly helped move the play in the right direction.
- Colin Wilson made the most of his opportunity, especially with his work late in the third period. He was physical, moved the puck well, and hustled his butt off.
- The one area of concern might be the power play, which went 0-for-5 with 8 shots. I don't think we need to see Brandon Yip there, do we?
- So... do either Andrei Kostitsyn or Alexander Radulov get back in the lineup for Game Four?
- Post game audio is available from Mike Fisher, courtesy of 102.5 The Game intern David Yampolsky:
Who is your Predator of the Game?
Martin Erat (89 votes)
Pekka Rinne (249 votes)
Alexander Radulov & Andrei Kostitsyn (141 votes)
479 total votes