Nashville dominates Coyotes now into a four game losing streak
An interesting meeting was set up in Tennessee as the Nashville Predators looking to keep going as of the best teams in the NHL met the Arizona Coyotes desperate to keep their playoffs hopes alive.
Despite the disparity between the teams in the standings the Coyotes had won the two previous meetings in the season and started the first period with glances that Tuesday night’s efforts and injuries didn't affect the team at all.
That trend seemed to continue in the first period where the "Yotes" outshot the home team and saw Vinnie Hinostroza score a highlight reel goal against Vezina Trophy winner goalie Pekka Rinne winner to open the scoring.
The second period was music for ears of home fans
The Predators were coming off a three-game losing streak at home but their fans were delighted to see their comeback starting in the second period. Craig Smith started the scoring to tie the game on a rebound that beat Calvin Pickard.
A power play just five minutes later would create the goal that would give them the lead. Roman Josi assisted Filip Fosberg to score the first Nashville man-advantage goal in 34 opportunities - against the number one penalty kill in the league.
The Coyotes defense seemed to not be able to cope with all this offense and even with a solid performance by Pickard who would eventually finish the game with 42 saves, Ryan Ellis scored the third goal for Nashville still in the period.
Hope and desperation in the third
Following the team motto this season, the Coyotes regrouped and tried to avoid the inevitable in the night and hope was created when Derek Stepan scored at the beginning of the third period to cut the lead in half.
Too much space was being given to a lethal Predators’ team who came to score their fourth goal of the game by Swedish forward Calle Jarnkrok with just seven minutes to go in the game.
Desperation was caught in the Coyotes’ bench and in a bold move, head coach Rick Tocchet decided to pull the goalie with four minutes left still in the game. Roman Josi would make the Coyotes pay for not giving up and scored the final goal of the game.
"Yeah, but if you're squeezing the stick, then somebody just get it, one or two passes, get it in front and shoot it. That's the best way to simplify a power play. We're going to have to switch some units around because it's killing us. We actually hung right back in there. That's a good hockey club. In the second period, they were coming on us, and when we got it 3-2, we obviously gave them back that fourth goal." -- Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet on their struggles on the power play
"We knew it was going to be a tough trip with the travel and all of that stuff, but a winnable game in San Jose, winnable game in Dallas," Arizona coach Rick Tocchet said. "Obviously we didn't deserve to win the game [against Nashville], but these are the types of games that if you snuck that goal, maybe you get a point."
Next game for Nashville Predators is at home is against the Dallas Stars on Thursday and the same day the Coyotes come home to play the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Are the Coyotes still in playoff contention after four losses in a row or will they bounce back in their newest homestand? Comment in the section below!