Nashville, TN – The Nashville Predators stormed out of the gate against the Arizona Coyotes tonight, taking a 2-0 lead, but had to hang on for the win, 3-2.
Predators Captain, Roman Josi and netminder, Pekka Rinne, put on quite the show tonight to lead their team to the victory. Josi with the winning goal and Rinne standing tall in net to help their team to the win.
In a game with only three penalties, it was fast and furious hockey. Nashville dominated play through the first two periods, out-shooting their opponent, 35-20. The Predators out-shot the Coyotes 22-5 in the first period alone.Filip Forsberg put the Predators on the board at 18:08 of the opening period when some fancy footwork allowed him to kick the puck to his stick then slide it past Coyote goalie, Antti Raanta and Nashville had the 1-0 lead.
At 7:53 of the second period, Viktor Arvidsson fired a blistering one-timer into the back of the net, and Nashville had the 2-0 lead.
Arizona, who played last night, came back at 18:07 when Lawson Crouse fired a shot “top shelf” over Rinne from the backhand and that brought Arizona to within a goal, 2-1.
The third period has not been the Predators’ best friend of late, but Nashville Captain Roman Josi put some distance between the Coyotes at 9:56 with a wrist shot from the blue line that found the back of the net and the Predators had a two goal cushion, 3-1.
Josi has scored 7 goals in the last 5 games.
Arizona wouldn’t go away though. At 10:33 of the final frame, Jakob Chychrun took a pass from Clayton Keller in the circle for the one-timer and the Coyotes climbed to within a goal, 3-2.
From then on, it was a madhouse of hockey, with both teams getting opportunities, but getting shut down with aggressive goaltending and pressing defense.
In a game with only three penalties, one of them came at the most inopportune time, when Nashville’s Colton Sissons was flagged for holding with only 25 seconds remaining in the game.
Arizona pulled their goalie and launched a six on four attack against the Predators who then held on for the hard fought win. Nashville has picked up 9 points in their last 5 games with tonight’s victory.
The NHL will take their annual Christmas break and will return to play on Friday night.
The Predators will play host to the Pittsburgh Penguins this Friday at 7:00pm. (photos by Michael Strasinger)