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Nashville Predators 6, Arizona Coyotes 2: Preds find depth for another W

Despite a tumultuous weekend, the Nashville Predators still had a game to play tonight, against the Arizona Coyotes. With Tanner Jeannot sitting for trade-related reasons, Nino Niederreiter just traded, and Filip Forsberg, Ryan Johansen, and Juuso Pärssinen still injured, the Preds’ forward corps was looking thin. Alexandre Carrier did return from injury, however, so the Preds went with 11F/7D.

The Coyotes got out to a strong start, going on the attack and not even daunted by a Patrik Nemeth tripping penalty. Shayne Gostisbehere scored the first goal of the game shorthanded at 5:55.

Yakov Trenin got it back at 9:02. The goal was briefly reviewed for a kicking motion, but none had been involved, and the Preds tied the game 1-1. Despite Nashville not being able to control the flow of the game, Matt Duchene was able to capitalize on a Coyotes turnover to give the Preds the 2-1 lead at 13:48.

The Preds started to build off of Duchene’s goal, but tripped themselves up when Colton Sissons high-sticked Zack Kassian at 18:03 and then Cole Smith took a really blatant holding penalty around a minute into killing Sissons’s penalty. The Preds were able to kill the 5-on-3 off, then the 5-on-4.

At 2:39 of the second, Roman Josi made it 3-1 off a pass from Tommy Novak. The Coyotes responded immediately, pushing back until Nick Schmaltz was able to make it 3-2 at 7:27, shortly after Mikael Granlund missed a wide-open net. The Preds’ attempted rally was brief, and Alexandre Carrier took a hooking penalty a few minutes later to give the Coyotes another chance on the power play.

Nashville was able to kill that off, even getting a brief shorthanded chance of their own, as the period started to wind down, but that was their last reprieve as the Coyotes continued to press the attack. Intermission came just in time, and the Preds got their feet under them afterward.

Novak started the third-period scoring at 3:28, making it 4-2. A few minutes later, Nick Ritchie took a holding penalty, and Josi scored his second of the night almost from the blue line on the power play to make it 5-2. However, just minutes after that, Mattias Ekholm took a penalty. The Preds were able to kill it off. Phil Tomasino joined the parade to the penalty box as well, but Juuso Välimäki soon joined him, setting the teams up for a minute of 4-on-4 play.

With 1:43 remaining in the game, as Välimäki’s penalty ran down, Cody Glass collected a great pass from Granlund to make it 6-2. In the aftermath of the goal, Liam O’Brien received a ten-minute misconduct. Glass’s goal held up as the last one, and the Preds collected another big win against a struggling team at a very awkward time of the season.