April 27, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (35), center Nick Spaling (13) and Phoenix Coyotes center Daymond Langkow (22) watch the puck in game one of the 2012 Western Conference semifinals at Jobing.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

Predators Vs. Coyotes, Game 4: Nashville Falls Into 3-1 Series Hole

The Nashville Predators and Pekka Rinne look to build off their Game 3 shutout win and even up their series with the Phoenix Coyotes on Friday night.

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6 Total Updates since May 4, 2012
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Predators Vs. Coyotes Score Update: Phoenix Still Leads After 2nd Period, 1-0

For most of the second period, it appeared the Nashville Predators were poised to score an equalizing goal, trailing the Phoenix Coyotes following a first-period goal by Shane Doan. The Predators made a few quick adjustments during the first intermission that paid dividends in terms of controlling play, though not on the scoreboard. After 20 minutes of pushing toward a goal, though, Nashville found themselves stymied by Mike Smith.

Smith has been the Coyotes' saving grace, making multiple superb stops and keeping the Predators off the boards through two periods. Multiple times in the second period, the Preds hit the post, narrowly missing evening up the score. Smith was also there to throw himself in front of the puck, keeping his clean sheet intact.

On the other end of the ice, Phoenix was held relatively in check, unable to mount any kind of charge in the offensive zone. When the Coyotes did, Nashville was quick to send a long pass the other way, allowing for solid, albeit fruitless, counters.

We have full coverage of Game 4 between the Predators and Coyotes in our StoryStream. For more on the Predators, check in with On the Forecheck, and for more on the Coyotes, check in with Five For Howling.

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Predators Vs. Coyotes, Game 4 Lineup: Nashville To Keep Alex Radulov, Andrei Kostitsyn Off Ice

The Predators will go with the same lineup in Game 4 as the one it employed in its Game 3 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes, and that means Alex Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn will remain sidelined following their one game team-imposed suspension for staying out too late after Game 2 in Arizona.

Head coach Barry Trotz announced the news before Game 4, opting not to fix what isn't broken. Radulov told reporters in his post-practice press availability that he thinks the coach made the right call.

A plurality of readers at Predators blog On the Forecheck voted Thursday in favor of keeping the same lineup for Game 4, a decision that means Matt Halischuk and Jordin Tootoo will remain in the lineup for the huge game at Bridgestone Arena on Friday evening. A Nashville win evens the series at 2-2, while a Phoenix win gives the Coyotes a commanding 3-1 series lead heading into Game 5 on home ice.

We have full coverage of Game 4 between the Predators and Coyotes in our StoryStream. For more on the Predators, check in with On the Forecheck, and for more on the Coyotes, check in with Five For Howling.

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