Arizona 4, Nashville 3

Friday, April 27, 2012 9:00 PM

Final Scoring Summary

Team Records

Team W/L Home Away Streak
Nashville 48-26-3-5 26-10-2-3 22-16-1-2 L1
Arizona 42-27-3-10 22-13-2-4 20-14-1-6 W2


Ray Whitney's goal 14:04 into overtime guided host Phoenix to a victory over Nashville in Game 1 of their Western Conference second-round series.

Despite being heavily outshot over the final 20 minutes of regulation and most of overtime, the Coyotes prevailed after Whitney's tip shot trickled past Nashville netminder Pekka Rinne. That goal gave Phoenix its first conference semifinal victory in franchise history.

Game 2 in the best-of-seven is set for Sunday in Glendale, Ariz.

Trailing by a goal after two periods, the Predators dominated play for most of the third and thought they had tied the game with 6:24 remaining, but officials ruled that play had been whistled dead before the puck crossed the line. Less than two minutes later, Nashville was finally rewarded for its sustained pressure when Martin Erat banged home a rebound with the Predators enjoying a man advantage.

Coyotes netminder Mike Smith stopped 39 shots to preserve the victory. It was the sixth overtime contest for Phoenix in seven playoff games this season.

Radim Vrbata opened the scoring on a Phoenix power play at 7:23, firing a high shot that grazed Rinne for his first goal of the postseason.

Nashville answered just under seven minutes later after Smith was caught out of his net while trying to play a dump-in that took a weird bounce off the boards. The puck ended up on the stick of Brandon Yip, who deposited it into a wide open net.

Rostislav Klesla put the Coyotes back in front three minutes into the second frame. After an initial centering pass was blocked by Nashville defenseman Roman Josi, Klesla skated in after the puck and shot it past Rinne.

The Predators responded just over eight minutes later as Andrei Kostitsyn capitalized on a goalmouth scramble to poke the puck past Smith for his second goal of the playoffs.

Mikkel Boedker gave Phoenix its third lead just over five minutes later, waiting out Rinne before firing a shot that eluded the Nashville netminder.

: Erat's goal ended a string of 18 straight penalty kills by the Coyotes. ... Nashville finished with a 16-1 edge in shots in the third period, and a 42-24 advantage overall. ... The Phoenix franchise came into this postseason having lost all seven of its previous first-round playoff series.

Top Game Performances

Nashville   Arizona
Francis Bouillon 2 Points Rostislav Klesla 2
Martin Erat 1 Goals Rostislav Klesla 1
Francis Bouillon 2 Assists Rostislav Klesla 1
Martin Erat 1 Power Play Goals Radim Vrbata 1
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Pekka Rinne .833 Save Percentage Mike Smith .929
Pekka Rinne 20 Saves Mike Smith 39

Team Stats Summary

Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Nashville 42 3 1-5 2-3 6 32
Arizona 24 4 1-3 4-5 10 46

Upcoming Games

  • Arizona will play its next game at home against Nashville. The Coyotes have a W/L % of .476 after a win and .550 after a loss.
  • Nashville will play its next game on the road against Arizona. The Predators have a W/L % of .542 after a win and .647 after a loss.
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