The Nashville Predators defeated the Arizona Coyotes 5-2 in Bridgestone Arena. Nashville finally beat the Coyotes after losing to them twice already this year.
Nashville Key Stats
Arizona Key Stats
To start the game, Nashville looked slightly lethargic. The Predators started to pick up play after an incredible shift by the third line, but Vinnie Hinostroza’s goal at 16:58 of the first period put Arizona up 1-0.
The Predators came out with an intent to do damage in the second period. At 2:58, Craig Smith cleaned up a rebound in front of the net to tie the game. Filip Forsberg later gave Nashville the lead at 7:45 on the power play and the Predators didn’t settle. After 10 minutes elapsed, Ryan Ellis cleaned up another rebound at 15:37 to give Nashville a two-goal lead.
Derek Stepan pulled the Coyotes within one after he wrapped home his 11th goal at 3:29 in the third period, but it didn’t last long. At 13:41, Calle Jarnkrok buried a Colton Sissons feed, and Nashville had the two-goal lead once more. Roman Josi’s 200-foot empty netter at 17:10 destroyed any chance of a comeback, and the Predators had won their 32nd game of the year.
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Craig Smith finally grabbed his 15th goal of the year after struggling for 10 games. Smith recently turned up the heat around the net and was rewarded for his resilience.
P.K. Subban has not recorded a point in seven games and has only five in his return from the IR. Perhaps he is not 100 percent healthy yet, but the Predators need all the offense they can get. Subban will likely pick it up as the season draws to a close.
Kevin Fiala has six points in the last 12 games, but with Kyle Turris coming back from injury soon, those numbers should increase. Fiala is fifth on the team in points.
Calle Jarnkrok finally hit the ten goal mark after sitting on eight goals for most of December and January. Jarnkrok has goals in back to back games and is pacing for about 15 goals and 34 points.
The 0/34 power play drought is over- Filip Forsberg’s second-period snipe showed there is some life on the man-advantage. It’s almost like moving bodies to the front of the net opens up the ice for the shooters to shoot.
Viktor Arvidsson hasn’t netted a goal or recorded a point in two games, which is unusual, to say the least. Not too worried about Arvidsson- he was still chomping at the bit against Arizona and the game before that.
Kyle Turris is nearing a return from the IR, as he skated in a regular jersey in practice on Monday. Turris has been missing since December 27th, and his presence on the second line could be much needed now that Fiala and Smith are back to scoring.
Rocco Grimaldi has been told by GM David Poile to buy a house in Nashville, so it appears Rocket Man has made an impression. Perhaps a resigning or bigger contract is in the future for Grimaldi.
Nashville pulled within three points of Winnipeg with the win over Arizona, but the big game upcoming against the Stars holds more weight than the Coyotes. Dallas has downed Nashville twice this season in Bridgestone already, so a statement win would send a loud message to the rest of the division.
Also, Forsberg’s boxing robes in the postgame interview were AWESOME.
-Jack Woods covers the Nashville Predators and the Central Division for PenaltyBoxRadio.com and FullPressCoverage.com. You can follow Jack on Twitter at @jack_woods15 and the Full Press Predators at @FPC_Predators