The Predators were playing a Phoenix squad that had only won two of their last ten games. Their playoff dreams are all but dashed and they dropped an overtime decision just one night ago. The Predators, on the other hand, had gotten themselves back in the playoff picture after some strong play and trying to sweep a four-game home stand.
The Coyotes came out on fire, scoring five times in the first half of the first period before Nashville even got on the board. Rinne got the hook for the time being, but the defense certainly wasn't doing him any favors. The action slowed down in the last two, but the Coyotes didn't let up and came away with a 7-4 decision in Music City.
Thoughts and notes about tonight's game:
- It's been said a thousand (heh) times tonight, but it needs to be said at least one more. Steve Sullivan played his 1,000th game tonight, and it just so happened to be against the team he won the Masterton trophy with. Go ahead and give him another standing ovation.
- For those of you keeping track at home, that was the highest scoring period in Predators history. Hanzal, Vrbata, Moss, Lombardi, Yandle, Legwand, and Clune all scored before the game was 10 minutes old. Got that? In total, nine pucks hit twin in the first period and 17 players were on the score sheet.
- What's the opposite of poetic justice? Rich Clune and Keith Yandle did a bit of jawing during warm ups and exchanged some pleasantries during a post-whistle scrum. Clune gets two for roughing and Yandle gets the PPG. 5-0 ‘Yotes.
- Finally, some luck went Nashville's way after David Legwand seemingly willed a trickler through the arms of Jason Labarbera to stop the bleeding. 30 seconds later, Clune got some revenge by redirecting his fourth goal of the season. Comeback on... sorta.
- When Pheonix scored their sixth goal it seemed like things were going south again. But Gabriel Borque was having none of that, and used his golden hands to chip a shot out of midair.
- It was more of the same in the 2nd period, as Vermette scored the touchdown barely three minutes in to the frame. The rest was relatively uneventful, except for the squandered power play chances by the Predators.
- Let's just take a second away from all of the craziness to take in the fact that the Coyotes have a player named Clinkhammer.
- Sacrifice whatever animals you need to or just flat out pray that Mike Fisher didn't get seriously hurt at the end of the game. That's the last thing this team needs. Seriously, though. Down by three goals late in regulation and he's still diving in front of pucks. Leadership.
Who knows what got into the Coyotes tonight. Maybe the dam broke and out rushed all the goals they haven't been scoring lately. Maybe they drank some of Sully's Secret Stuff before the game. Or maybe they were just sick of losing. Whatever it was, they were the better team tonight.
That's three high scoring, lopsided losses for the Predators in the month of March. Obviously it doesn't help things, but the Predators don't have to wait too long as they are back in action early Saturday afternoon against the worst team in the West. The dream isn't dead yet.
Roll the video highlights...