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(Monday, March 12th)
Final Score: Nashville 5, Phoenix 4 (SO)
Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) - Andrei Kostitsyn supplied the lone goal in the shootout and the Nashville Predators edged the Phoenix Coyotes, 5-4.
Martin Erat registered a goal and two assists for the Predators, who squandered leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 4-2. Pekka Rinne made 31 saves to earn his league-leading 39th win of the season.
Nashville has won three games in a row and sits fifth in the Western Conference standings with 89 points, two behind Detroit.
Raffi Torres, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Daymond Langkow each posted a goal and an assist for Phoenix, which fell to 1-4-2 in March after going 11-0-1 last month.
"We chased the game all night and that's tough," said Phoenix captain Shane Doan.
Like his Nashville counterpart, Mike Smith also stopped 31 shots.
The point earned gives Phoenix 79 on the season, one more than eighth-place Colorado and two back of the Pacific Division-leading Dallas Stars.
Kostitsyn was the first Nashville shooter and he beat Smith with a wrist shot. Rinne assured the extra point by turning away the Coyotes' trio of Ray Whitney, Radim Vrbata and Mikkel Boedker.
Earlier, it appeared a shootout wouldn't be necessary.
Rookie Craig Smith scored on a breakaway 2:36 into the third period to put the Predators up 4-2.
But the resilient Desert Dogs answered back with goals from Ekman-Larsson and Torres.
The latter tally came on a scrum in front of Rinne with 4:59 remaining. Langkow fired the puck on net and it wound up sliding across the goal line off of Torres, who had gotten knocked down in the crease.
"It was disappointing to give them two goals like that," Rinne said.
Erat took a drop pass from Sergei Kostitsyn and beat Smith with a shot from the right circle with 29 seconds left in the first period.
Both clubs scored twice during the middle frame.
Langkow tied it up 49 seconds into the second period, but Nashville went back ahead on a goal by Mike Fisher at 11:04. Keith Yandle drew Phoenix even at 14:23 before Francis Bouillon broke the tie by converting his own rebound with 1:34 to play.
Bouillon scored his first goal since November 3, 2010, snapping an 87-game drought...The Predators opened a four-game road trip...These teams split the four-game season series.
03/13 02:27:14 ET
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