Thanks to a couple of early goals and a fantastic performance by goaltender Pekka Rinne, the Nashville Predators are back in their Western Conference semifinal series against the Phoenix Coyotes. One day after wingers Andrei Kostitsyn and Alexander Radulov were suspended, the Preds responded with a great performance in Game 3, winning 2-0 to cut the Coyotes' series lead to 2-1.
Their two goals were both scored in the first period, 66 seconds apart. David Legwand scored his third goal of the playoffs just over eight minutes into the first period, assisted by Gabriel Bourque. Mike Fisher got on the scoreboard for the first time in the postseason just over one minute later, assisted by Sergei Kostitsyn and Martin Erat.
Nashville's offense was average for the rest of the game, but those two goals were all they needed. After putting in a couple of mediocre performances in the first two games of the series, Rinne came alive in net for the Preds Wednesday night, recording a shutout in spectacular fashion with 32 saves. The home crowd appeared to make a difference for Rinne and has appeared to make a difference in general in all three games, so the Predators and Coyotes could be in for a long series.
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.