Nashville Predators 4, Phoenix Coyotes 2: Great Start, Lucky Finish

The Predators somehow clung to a lead that was in danger of being erased for more than half a game. Gabriel Borque's first period goal proved to be enough to send the Coyotes out of Music City empty handed.

The Nashville Predators followed up their season-high three-game winning streak with a league-leading fifth shutout loss. The Phoenix Coyotes came into town on their own little skid, having lost three of their last four games. It showed early, as just like the last time these two teams met, Nashville jumped out to a 3-0 advantage in the first period. Goals by Nick Spaling, Mike Fisher and Gabriel Borque had the Predators sitting pretty after 20 minutes.

Then, just like last month, the Coyotes howled back with a vengeance. Antoine Vermette and Tim Kennedy found the back of the net in the second period and cut the lead to just one. Fortunately for the Preds, even though the Coyotes dominated play in the third and threw everything but the kitchen sink toward the net, they were able to hang on. Just barely. An empty net goal from Captain Weber sealed the win for the Predators.

Random Observations

  • The Predators were having success with some good, old fashioned net crashing and forechecking tonight. Spaling and Borque's goals were scored by driving toward Mike Smith on the Rush, and Fisher potted his fourth on a nice feed from Colin Wilson down in the corner.
  • Last game, Dirk had some very constructive things to say about Colin Wilson. Well, apparently he's an avid OTF reader. Homeboy elevated his game to another level tonight, tallying an assist and two shots in 16:19 of ice time. He nearly scored a goal on a breakaway, but the post had other plans.
  • There have been a lot of pucks ringing off the iron lately. For Coyotes fans, the most frustrating had to come about eight minutes into the first period. Red-hot Shane Doan was inches away from tying the game, but a quick regroup led to Mike Fisher's goal. A missed opportunity that leads to a goal the other way is a hockey tale as old as time.
  • While on the subject of the Coyotes' captain, Doan left the game with an apparent lower-body injury, putting an end to his eight-game point streak. Here's hoping it isn't anything that is going to keep the 37-year-old out for too terribly long.
  • Just like Halloween, the Predators got a huge lead and started to let it slip away. Phoenix took control of the game and never let it go, and Nashville seemed to be content clinging for their lives. In the third period alone, shots favored the Coyotes 12-5.

A win is a win is a win, and the Predators need as many of them as they can get. However, it's disconcerting to see this team play so well for one period, only to turtle the rest of the game and hope things end up super-duper for them. They didn't need any more goals, but that doesn't mean you stop trying to bury your opponent. Nashville was lucky to leave the ice with two points, but they say sometimes it's better to be lucky than good, right?

Boxscore - Game Summary - Event Summary - Fancy Stats

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