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Nashville Predators 3, Arizona Coyotes 1: Rinne Solid, Ellis Tallies 2

The Preds kicked off their three-game home stand in style

Calgary Flames v Nashville Predators Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

The Predators beat the Arizona Coyotes 3-1 tonight behind a couple goals from Ryan Ellis and a nice 25 save performance from Pekka Rinne for his 28th win of the year.

The first period was a snooze-fest. All you need to know is that there were a combined 9 shots on goal in 20 minutes. Luke Schenn knocked Mike Fisher into the boards at the end of the period, causing a ruckus.

The second period was more eventful. Cody McLeod took exception to Schenn’s actions, and he made the Coyotes’ blue-liner know about it. A few timely placed fists and Schenn was holding on for dear life. Viktor Arvidsson decided he would not stand for a scoreless game any longer and put the Preds up 1-0 for his 27th goal of the season. Craig Smith did have a breakaway chance, but in typical Craig Smith fashion he aired the puck completely off net and Mike Smith must have been laughing in his goalie mask. Smith would get a tiny bit of redemption later on, feeding Ryan Ellis to give the Preds a 2-0 lead.

The Coyotes looked a little lethargic after McLeod drubbed Luke Schenn in the second period. In other news, the Craig Smith-to-Ryan Ellis combo might be something. Ellis has his second goal of the night off of Smith’s second assist - the Preds with a 3-0 lead. Smith might not be scoring goals, but assists lead to points, right? Nashville gets called for a penalty, and in “I told you so” fashion Arizona ends the shutout on a goal from Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

Late in the game Rinne had a long attempt at an empty net goal, but couldn’t get it to go. Regardless, the Preds held on for a convincing 3-1 win and two huge points in the standings.

Random Observations

  • Western Kentucky’s mascot is creepy
  • *Yawn
  • Four shots on goal for the boys in gold. In 20 minutes. That’s an average of one shot per five minutes for those of you keeping score at home
  • Cody McLeod drops the gloves, then drops Luke Schenn. Payback for that hit on Fisher at the end of the first period
  • Arvi! Arvi! Arvi!
  • Craig Smith misses on a breakaway. In other news, the sky is blue and Juuse Saros is still exempt from the expansion draft
  • There were 9 combined shots on goal in the first period. At the end of the second period there are 38 combined
  • Ryan Ellis with a BOMB. He’s like a 5-foot-10 version of Shea Weber, with you know, less offense
  • Smitty with two assists tonight; he’s snake-bitten when it comes to goals, so when all else fails just pass to Ryan Ellis

OFT’s Super Duper Stars of the Game

  1. Ryan Ellis - Ellis has been dynamite this year. He has arguably been the Preds best defenseman and set a new career-high in both goals (14) and points (34).
  2. Pekka Rinne - he had a shutout for about 56 minutes. But, he still saved 25 shots and made some difficult saves in there too. This is the Pekka the Preds will need come playoff time.
  3. Craig Smith - that miss on the breakaway was bad. But collecting two assists somewhat makes up for it. It’s his first multi-point game since Jan. 26 against Columbus.

Tweets of the Night

Game Extras

Game Stats

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Natural Stat Trick

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