NHL Game Summary - Phoenix at Nashville
(Monday, February 19th)
Final Score: Nashville 4, Phoenix 1
Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - Scott Hartnell scored a pair of early second- period goals in a 23-second span for the fastest two goals ever scored by any Predator, as Nashville regained possession of first place in the Central Division with a 4-1 win over the slumping Phoenix Coyotes.
Jean-Pierre Dumont had a goal and an assist for Nashville, which briefly lost its grasp on the top spot in both the Central and the Western Conference following Saturday's loss to Minnesota at the Gaylord Entertainment Center, as the Wild spoiled Peter Forsberg's debut as a Predator by scoring three times in the third period en route to a 4-1 victory.
Forsberg, acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday in the year's biggest in-season deal thus far, was not a factor in his second game with his new club. While still held without a point in Nashville, the five-time All- Star and 2003 Hart Trophy winner was productive with five shots on goal.
Jason Arnott also scored for Nashville, which has split its last four games. Tomas Vokoun stopped 22 shots in goal. Standout defenseman Kimmo Timonen, who was scratched from the lineup against Minnesota with an upper-body injury, returned for this tilt.
The Predators are an outstanding 22-5-3 on home ice this season.
Oleg Saprykin scored for Phoenix, which is currently mired in a season-worst six-game losing streak, the club's longest since a six-game slide from March 22-31, 2003. Curtis Joseph stopped 31-of-35 shots.
"We knew we were in for a battle after them losing two in a row," Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said. "Right now, we have too many weak links and not enough guys paying the price."
With a penalty shot after getting taken down by Ed Jovanovski, Dumont got Nashville on the board with 1:11 remaining in the first period on a snap shot to the stick side, as the Predators held a 1-0 first-intermission lead.
In the second, they blew the game open. Arnott scored by backhanding in a loose puck after Steve Sullivan's centering pass just 39 seconds into the period.
Then, Hartnell got going. With 5:34 gone in the second, he led a 2-on-1 break and cut across the crease to beat a sprawling Joseph glove-side. Capping another fast-break, 23 seconds later, Hartnell took advantage of a pair of defenders colliding in the slot, and got off a wrister stick side for a 4-0 Nashville lead.
Phoenix finally got on the board when Saprykin deflected in Keith Ballard's missed shot from the point 17:14 into the final period.
Jovanovski got hit in the collarbone with a puck late in the third. He left under his own power, but did not return...This game marked the final meeting between these teams this season. The Coyotes won two of the three previous encounters, but dropped a 4-1 decision to the Preds in the Music City back in October...Phoenix has lost in each of its last five visits to Nashville and continued a seven-game winless streak (6 losses, 1 tie) at the Gaylord Entertainment Center. The Coyotes' last road win in this series came on October 22, 2002.
02/19 22:31:29 ET