Predators Vs. Coyotes: Phoenix Comeback Falls Just Short In 5-4 Shootout Loss To Nashville

Mar 12, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Nashville Predators right wing Andrei Kostitsyn (right) scores on Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith (41) at Jobing.com Arena. Kostitsyn would score the only goal during the shoot out period on the play leading to a 5-4 win for the Predators. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

The Predators cut things close with a hungry Coyotes team trying to separate from the lower playoff seeds in the West, but were able to hold on for a win in the shootout.

Through two periods, it seemed like the visiting Nashville Predators had locked up a win over the Phoenix Coyotes in the third period until two late goals tied the game up. Nashville escaped, though, winning 5-4 in the shootout.

After Martin Erat's goal off of a 3-on-2 in the first, the second period held most of the game's action. A Daymond Langkow tip-in that came courtesy of a solid Coyotes screen tied the game at one just 49 seconds into the second. Another goal that resulted from a odd-man rush gave the Preds the lead again as Mike Fisher finished the job, but just over three minutes later, Keith Yandle took advantage of another decent screen to knot the score again. The bum-rush of scoring ended with Francois Boullion's first goal of the season.

With a 3-2 lead heading into the final frame, Craig Smith put a sweet touch on a breakaway goal after a feed down the ice from Paul Gaustad early in the third.

It was all Nashville until Phoenix added more net presence, creating more chances and shots until two from Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Raffi Torres found the back of the net.

Chances came few between the Preds and Coyotes so a shootout decided the game. Andrei Kostitsyn, a hero the other night in a win against the Detroit Red Wings, scored the only goal in the shootout to give Nashville the 5-4 close victory.

A win would have helped Phoenix separate themselves a little more from the lower-half of the playoff seeds in the West and put them a point back for the division lead. The overtime point now gives them a one-point edge over the eighth-place Colorado Avalanche, and a two-point lead on the San Jose Sharks, who are sitting outside in ninth.

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