Behind three goals from J.P. Dumont, the Predators took an early two-goal lead, gave it back, and then took control of the game during the second period in their 5-2 victory over the Coyotes on Wednesday. The win for the Preds moves them up past the Coyotes for the four seed in the conference.
Dumont scored his first goal just eight minutes into the game. Just 12 seconds later, Patrick Hornqvist would score to give Nashville a two-goal lead. Phoenix would fight back a few minutes later when a Radim Vrbata shot on the power play went between to skates of Pekka Rinne for Vrbata’s 10th goal of the season. Lee Stempniak would tie things up a little more than three minutes after that when a Adrian Aucoin slapshot hit right off Stempniak’s stick for his 11th of the season. Even though Phoenix had outshot Nashville 16-7 and dominated possession of the puck, things were still tied after one.
Shots were much more even during the second period, but it didn’t translate the two teams being even on the scoreboard. Dumont scored two goals during the period, his first coming about 11 minutes in and his second coming towards the end of the period when a shot hit the goal post and Dumont put it in the back of the net past Ilya Bryzgalov. The Coyotes were unable to take advantage of a brief two-man advantage during the period.
Phoenix had control early in the third period with dominating the shot total on Rinne and possession of the puck. The Predators first shot on net didn’t come until Hornqvist shot it past Bryzgalov for his second goal of the night and his 15th on the season. Phoenix outshot Nashville once again during the period, but had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard.
Things looked promising to start off this four-game homestand, but the Coyotes have to be disappointed with their back-to-back losses. These were two games that they should have probably won if a few breaks would have fallen their way instead of going to their opponent. It is a bit puzzling how you better your opponent by 13 shots, but still find a way to lose that game by three.
The Coyotes will have two straight games with the Kings. The first game will come Thursday night in Los Angeles and then the two teams will face each other on Saturday night in Glendale.