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Nashville Predators in must win situation against Phoenix Coyotes
Posted By Hank Bonecutter On Sunday, May 6, 2012 @ 10:00 pm In Sports | No Comments
Monday, May 7th, 2012 at 8:00pm CT
Glendale, AZ | Jobing.com Arena
Nashville, TN – The Nashville Predators have seen some thrilling Game Fives over the past two playoff seasons. A little more than two weeks ago, Nashville downed Central Division rival Detroit Red Wings, 2-1, in Game Five of the 2012 WCQ. That victory gave the club its second playoff series win and second consecutive WCQ victory.
In Game Five of the 2011 WCS against the Vancouver Canucks, Joel Ward played the hero for Nashville as the team staved off elimination for the first time in franchise history. Ward tallied an assist on David Legwand’s shorthanded goal, then scored twice in the final frame as the Predators defeated the Canucks, 4-3, and secured a Game Six back in the Music City.
Earlier in the 2011 playoff year, Nashville won an overtime thriller in Anaheim in Game Five of the WCQ, as Jerred Smithson tallied the Predators first-ever playoff overtime goal just 1:57 into the extra frame. The series returned to Nashville for Game Six as the Predators defeat the Anaheim Ducks to record the franchise’s first ever series victory.
Nashville’s road power play ranks third in the postseason (35.7 percent) behind only the St. Louis Blues and Philadelphia Flyers. The Predators have collected a franchise-record five goals on 14 road power play opportunities this postseason, including three goals on seven attempts at Jobing.com Arena (42.8 percent) thus far. Ryan Suter leads the team with three points (1g-2a) on the power play this postseason – all three points have come against the Phoenix Coyotes.
Predators 0, Phoenix 1 at Bridgestone Arena
On Friday night, Pekka Rinne recorded the franchise’s longest postseason home shutout streak (100:40) with his last goal against at Bridgestone Arena coming in the second period of Game Five vs. Detroit (Jiri Hudler). The previous record for longest home shutout streak was 76:05 posted by Tomas Vokoun from April 11th-17th, 2004.
The Kempele, Finland native sits atop nearly every postseason goaltending category in Nashville’s history, including wins (13), goals-against average (2.43), saves (734) and games played (27). He ranks second to only Chris Mason in save percentage (.916).
Nashville is expected to see some major line-up changes in this game five, with the return of Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn. Jordin Tootoo is not expected to play, as coach Barry Trotz tries to find the lines that will generate more offense in a much needed win.
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