Phoenix Coyotes Shut Out by Nashville Predators, Still Lead Playoff Series 2-1

The Phoenix Coyotes were shut out in Tennessee last night by the Nashville Predators, but still maintain a 2-1 series lead in the Western Conference semifinals.

For most of the game, it wasn't Predators goalie Pekka Rinne keeping the Coyotes scoreless, it was the offensive play of the Coyotes.

Phoenix had eight more shots on goal than Nashville in the box score, many of which can hardly be called "shots," but the Predators were able to put two of their 26 attempts in.

All of the scoring was done in the first 10 minutes of the game, as David Legwand put an easy one in eight minutes into the game as Coyotes goalie Mike Smith was out of position at the net, having just played the puck to the left side of the goal.

One minute later, the Coyotes were about to set up the offense when Oliver Ekman-Larsson gave the puck away like candy on Halloween, and the Preds' Sergei Kostitsyn hit the pass to Mike Fisher. Fisher was camped out in front of the net for some reason, and that reason was another goal.

The Coyotes played garbage hockey for most of the game, with poor offense and useless penalties everywhere.

The defense doesn't get off the hook either, as Smith had to stop a good deal of close shots that couldn't be handled by the rest of the Coyotes on the ice.

The Coyotes didn't even look desperate until less than five minutes were left in the game, which isn't a good time to start playing a hockey game when you're down by two.

After almost giving up a shorthanded goal, the Coyotes got the puck in the other zone, and got decent shot attempts from Ray Whitney and Radim Vrbata.

Then Ekman-Larsson was tripped, causing a five-on-three in the Coyotes' favor. The only thing that went in the Coyotes favor was the number of men on the ice.

Antoine Vermette won the face off on the next play, and Marty Hanzal creamed the Predators' Kevin Klein.

Shane Doan took a shot -- saved. Vrbata missed the net. Vrbata took another shot -- saved, and frozen by Rinne.

Still on the power play, Vermette won another face off. Boedker: shot, saved. Vermette: shot, saved.

The next face off went the other way while the Coyotes were still on the power play, causing another scare in the Coyotes' zone.

Phoenix looked well on its way to taking the Predators out of the playoffs with ease, but they're definitely not going to do it playing like they did last night.

The next game's Friday in Nashville, with the Coyotes leading the series 2-1.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley

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