Predators get to overtime but fall to Phoenix in series opener

Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 12:34am
Staff reports

Martin Erat forced overtime with his first goal of the playoffs as the Nashville Predators came from behind to tie three times Friday in the opener of the Western Conference semifinal series with the Phoenix Coyotes.

Ray Whitney scored 14:04 into the extra period, though, as Nashville fell 4-3 in Glendale, Ariz.

The goal came after an icing set up a faceoff in the Nashville end. Mike Fisher lost that draw, and the 39-year-old Whitney got to the front of the net and beat goalie Pekka Rinne for his first overtime playoff goal in 17 years.

It was the sixth time in seven games this postseason the Coyotes played beyond regulation. They won three of five in their first-round series with Chicago before they finally advanced with a regulation victory in the sixth game.

It was the 17th overtime game of this postseason but the first for Nashville, which played its first game in eight days.

The Predators trailed 3-2 after two periods but dominated the third and finally tied it on Erat’s goal with 4:42 to play in regulation. Erat poked home a rebound chance off a Ryan Suter.

Nashville outshot Phoenix 16-1 in the third after each team managed 17 through the first 40 minutes. Roman Josi looked to have tied it with 6:24 to play. Officials reviewed video of the play, which ended with the puck under goalie Mike Smith’s skate, but ruled that the whistle had blown before the puck crossed the goal line.

The shots were 9-5 in Nashville’s favor in the overtime and the final total was 43-22.

Defenseman Francis Bouillon and right wing Patric Hornqvist each had two assists on the Predators’ first three goals. Bouillon was paired with Hal Gill, who played for the first time this postseason after having missed the entire first round with an injury.

Brandon Yip took advantage of a fortunate bounce off the boards in the Phoenix end and tied it 1-1 at 14:09 of the opening period. Andre Kostitsyn made it 2-2 with 8:41 to play in the second period.

3 Comments on this post:

By: sharko20 on 4/28/12 at 5:41

They out worked and out played the opponent and still lost. Sound familiar? A week off and it showed. No more gift goals. If the Preds play like they did in the third period and overtime it should net them a win on Sunday. Got to get one in the dessert.

It's the lowly Coyotes. You can beat them.

GO PREDS !!!

By: Rasputin72 on 4/28/12 at 5:54

This is a sad moment for the 17,000 ice hockey fans in middle Tennessee. Those of us who read the paper feel your pain.

By: Lorenzo on 4/28/12 at 10:52

The Preds have to play a sixty minute game because it is the playoffs. This round is Phoexis guys, not Detroit. Taking the first thirty minutes of the game off last night won them no favors.

Also if Mr. Radulov was anyone else on the team he would be finding himself sitting in the stands for game two. No defense and no backchecks allowing the team to continually lose puck possession. He needs to quit trying to be so creative and play playoff hockey. Hit your man, pound your man, then put the puck in the black of the net.