NHL Game Summary - Nashville at Phoenix
(Thursday, January 24th)
Final Score: Phoenix 4, Nashville 3 (OT)
Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) - Radim Vrbata scored three goals in regulation, but it was Zbynek Michalek's goal with 29 seconds left in overtime that sent the Phoenix Coyotes into the All-Star break on a winning note with a wild 4-3 victory over the Nashville Predators.
Vrbata added an assist on the game-winner to go with his third career hat trick as the Coyotes won their second game in a row headed into the break. Steve Reinprecht had a pair of helpers for Phoenix, and Ilya Bryzgalov made 29 saves to aid the winning effort.
Rich Peverley scored his first NHL goal for the Predators, who saw their three-game winning streak come to an end. Alexander Radulov and Martin Erat also scored for Nashville, and J.P. Dumont notched an assist to run his franchise-record points streak to 14 games. Chris Mason stopped 26 shots for the Predators.
In the overtime, Shane Doan started a rush with a pass to Vrbata, who saucered a pass to Michalek on the right wing boards. Michalek hit the Nashville zone at full speed, wound up from the right circle and let loose with a shot that slipped between Mason's legs for the deciding goal.
After the Coyotes took a 1-0 lead in the first period on Vrbata's first goal of the night with 5:15 remaining in the frame, the second session saw an offensive barrage, as the two teams combined for five goals, including two in the first 60 seconds.
Seven seconds into the period, Radulov evened the score, as he scooped up a loose puck off the opening faceoff, cruised into the Coyotes zone and blasted a slap shot past Bryzgalov for his 17th goal of the year.
Fifty-one seconds later, Vrbata answered back with his second tally of the night. Breaking into the Nashville zone, Vrbata fired a fluttering shot on Mason, who made the stick save. However, the puck popped off Mason's stick and over his left shoulder, hit the crossbar and fell into the net, giving Phoenix a 2-1 lead.
With 6 1/2 minutes left in the second the Preds again tied the game, as Peverley took advantage of a scramble in front of the net, jumping on a loose puck and wristing it past Bryzgalov for his first career goal.
Chaos around the goal crease paid off for the Predators again less than two minutes later. After Martin Gelinas took a shot that caromed off the boards behind the net, Erat corralled the puck and fired it on goal, where it banked off of an unaware Bryzgalov's skate and into the net for Nashville's first lead of the night.
But, Vrbata continued to keep the Coyotes in the game all by himself, settling in front of the net and one-timing a pass from Reinprecht past Mason to complete his hat trick and tie the game with 2:35 left in the second, putting the capper on the wild period.
But, after the offensive flurry of the second period, defense ruled the third period, as neither team could break through to win the game in regulation, sending the contest into sudden death.
The home team has now won eight of the last nine games in this series...Phoenix has won both meetings this season...The Coyotes head into the break with 56 points (26-20-4), while Nashville has accumulated 53 points (25-21-3) in the first half...Doan's assist on the game-winning goal was his 31st of the season...Neither team converted on the power play; Nashville went 0-for-3, Phoenix was 0-for-2.
01/25 00:13:45 ET