Coyotes Vs. Predators, NHL Playoffs 2012 Game 2: Tied 1-1 At 1st Intermission

The Phoenix Coyotes took the lead early and controlled most of the first period of Game 2 against the Nashville Predators, but the Preds were able to find a goal late in the period. Phoenix have had more shots and have been aggressive on the forecheck, but got beat by a quick transition play with under three minutes remaining in the period to make it 1-1 after 20 minutes of play.

On both goals, the highlight was the primary assist much more than the shot. Antoine Vermette scored the opening goal for Phoenix 8:32 into the first period, with Keith Yandle making a spectacular pass to set him up for an easy tap-in.

Kevin Klein's assist to Andrei Kostitsyn on Nashville's goal was even better. It might have been more lucky than skillful, but it was spectacular-looking nonetheless. He reached behind his back to play a great pass to Kostitsyn, who got by Shane Doan to create a two-on-one for his team and finished off the break with some great stick work and a shot poked past Mike Smith.

Even though they had a defensive lapse late to give up a goal to Nashville, the first period was a good one for the Coyotes. They were very physical and aggressive, tallying 19 hits to Nashville's seven, and they managed to stay out of the penalty box while doing it. The home crowd will be hoping they can keep it up and that Andrei Kostitsyn's goal didn't change the momentum of the game significantly.

For more on the two teams, check in with Predators blog On the Forecheck and Coyotes blog Five For Howling.

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