NHL Game Summary - Phoenix at Nashville
(Thursday, January 15th)
Final Score: Nashville 4, Phoenix 3
Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - Scott Hartnell's power-play goal with 47 seconds remaining in the third period lifted the Nashville Predators to a 4-3 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes at Gaylord Entertainment Center.
Andrew Hutchinson, Marek Zidlicky and Martin Erat also scored for the Predators, who are unbeaten in their last five games (3-0-2). Tomas Vokoun turned aside 21 shots in the victory.
Brian Savage registered two goals for the Coyotes, who have dropped two straight after a six-game unbeaten streak (5-0-1). Daymond Langkow also scored in the losing effort.
Sean Burke started in goal in place of Brian Boucher, who needed a rest after his record-breaking shutout streak of five straight games came to an end recently. Burke allowed four goals on 32 shots.
With the game tied at 3-3 late in regulation, Phoenix forward Jan Hrdina took a costly boarding penalty at 18:27. On the ensuing power play, the Predators worked the puck around the perimeter before Hartnell tipped home a one-timer by Kimmo Timonen in the low slot and Nashville went on to the victory.
"We found a way to win even though we did not play our best," said Predators coach Barry Trotz. "These games against Western Conference teams are all four- point games. This is the first time we have ever been five games over .500."
Two nights after failing to score on eight power-play chances in a 0-0 tie with Los Angeles, Nashville scored twice on four opportunities with the extra skater in this one as it remained unbeaten versus Phoenix in 2003-04 (2-0-1).
The Predators opened the scoring at 4:43 of the first period when Hutchinson took a drop pass in the slot and beat Burke to the far side.
Midway through the frame, Zidlicky's power-play tally staked Nashville to a two-goal edge. A centering attempt from along the goal line near the corner boards hit a skate in front and went in.
Phoenix, though, countered with three straight goals to gain a 3-2 edge.
The visitors cut their deficit in half on Langkow's 11th goal of the season, a power-play goal with 3:54 to play in the first period, assisted by Jeff Taffe and Hrdina.
Savage then scored twice in the second period. First, he stayed patient in front of the net and when Vokoun could not control a rebound, he lifted a backhander from his knees in the low slot that found the back of the net with 5:05 gone in the stanza.
An interference penalty by Nashville's Jordin Tootoo allowed Savage to strike again. Just over a minute into the power play, Coyotes blueliner Paul Mara blasted a one-timer from the right point. The puck hit traffic in front, and Savage was in position at the left post to deposit his 10th goal of the season and a 3-2 Phoenix advantage at 12:44.
However, the Predators fought back and tied it at three apiece later in the middle period. An attempted clearing pass from along the left half-wall took a strange high carom off a skate in the slot.
As the players looked in the air for the puck, the only one who seemingly spotted it was Erat, who hustled to the disc and fired a turnaround backhander that beat Burke with 2:43 to play.
This was Burke's first appearance since December 29 against the New York Rangers...Phoenix lost on the road for the first time in 10 games (5-1-4)...Despite the loss, Phoenix is still 7-3-1 in the last 11 meetings between the clubs...Timonen notched two assists in the contest...Nashville has not lost in regulation on home ice in 10 games (6-0-3-1)...Phoenix forward Tyson Nash left in the first period with a sprained left knee and did not return.
01/15 23:57:38 ET