In front of their home crowd, down 2-1 in the series, the Nashville Predators did not look very much like a team in a virtual must-win situation. The Phoenix Coyotes scored in the first period of Game 4, then proceeded to turn slightly defensive and put the onus on the Preds to score and force them to change their game. They weren't able to do it, and the Coyotes are headed home with a 3-1 series lead after pulling off a 1-0 win Friday night.
Shane Doan scored the game's only goal in a lucky fashion, and it was far from Pekka Rinne's finest moment. Doan flipped a slow backhanded shot toward the net, perhaps hoping for a rebound and a teammate in an advantageous position. What he got instead was Rinne making a mess of a shot he should have saved easily, as the puck somehow went over Rinne's pad, off the post and in.
Nashville managed only 25 shots on goal, with 20 of those coming in the final two periods. They were very poor in the first period, and weren't exactly spectacular in the following two. Mike Smith put in a very solid performance to record a shutout but, with their backs against the wall at home, Nashville will be very disappointed that they didn't make him work harder.
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.