The Nashville Predators headed south to Tempe to take on the Arizona Coyotes.
Nashville got a chance on the power play very early, as Nick Schmaltz took a holding penalty just 26 seconds in. Unfortunately, as soon as they got off the power play, the Coyotes counterattacked, and even another Coyotes penalty didn’t do much to improve the Preds’ play.
Cody Glass then took a penalty of his own, and while Arizona didn’t score on the power play they were able to maintain possession afterward, with Brett Ritchie scoring the first goal of the game at 8:45, shortly after the teams returned to even strength.
Arizona continued to run away with the period, helped on as Cole Smith took a whack at Victor Söderström’s hands. The Preds were able to kill the penalty off, and this time didn’t give up a goal right after, but they were unable to gain the zone or even really clear their own, as the Coyotes continued to attack.
Intermission provided a much-needed respite, as the Coyotes were unable to keep taking shots at Saros while the game was paused. The Preds got out to a better start to the second, drawing another penalty—though not converting on their power play—and at least managing not to get caved in on shots again.
With four minutes remaining in the period, Michael McCarron and Liam O’Brien dropped the gloves, and both headed to the penalty box. Kiefer Sherwood got a great chance late, but was absolutely robbed by Coyotes goalie Ivan Prosvetov. A strong Preds flurry eventually resulted in Connor Mackey taking a holding penalty with 24 seconds left in the period.
The Preds were unable to score on their power play either before or after intermission, and the third period took on much the same shape as the first. Nashville failed to capitalize on their power play, gave up some shots, drew another penalty—taken by Mackey again, this time for delay of game—, failed to score on that power play, and took a penalty.
This time the penalty was shorthanded threat Yakov Trenin’s, also for delay of game. However, on the opening faceoff of the Coyotes’ power play, Travis Boyd grabbed Colton Sissons’s stick, and the teams went to 4v4. Neither scored, and almost as soon as they returned to even strength Glass took his second penalty of the night, sending the Preds back to the penalty kill.
Trenin got the Preds a shorthanded chance, but Prosvetov made the save and the Coyotes were able to counterattack with the Preds’ penalty-killers out of position. Clayton Keller scored to make it 2-0 Coyotes at 11:41 of the third. On the next shift, Matias Maccelli stole the puck and set Jack McBain up for the Coyotes’ 3-0 goal.
With a little over five minutes remaining, John Hynes pulled Juuse Saros for the extra attacker. Roman Josi spent the entire time out there as the Preds struggled to get any chances at all, and finally got a very brief reprieve as Cody Glass was able to break Prosvetov’s shutout at 18:00.
Josi was right back on the ice as the puck got re-dropped, however, before finally getting a rest when Nick Schmaltz evaded Tommy Novak’s best attempt to defend the empty net and scored to make it 4-1 Coyotes.