Predators Vs. Coyotes, NHL Playoffs 2012 Game 3: Nashville Leads 2-0 Through 2 Periods

Perhaps the exile of Andrei Kostitsyn and Alexander Radulov is exactly what the Nashville Predators needed to fire them up and get them back into their series against the Phoenix Coyotes. They lost the first two in Phoenix, then lost two of their wingers to a curfew violation. They're looking good without them, and they're up 2-0 at the second intermission in Game 3.

Pekka Rinne was average in the first two games in the series, but appears to be back on his game. He's stopped all 22 shots the Coyotes have put on target and he's helped to kill off two power plays.

Nashville scored both of their goals in the first period and appear to be comfortably in control, but might regret not extending their lead. They had two power plays in the second period while committing no penalties themselves, but were unable to capitalize.

For all news and information regarding the Phoenix Coyotes, please visit Five for Howling or stop by SB Nation Arizona. For updates and perspective on the Nashville Predators, head on over to On the Forecheck. For complete coverage of the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated NHL hub.

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