Back home in Smashville are we for a few and the first guest on the list? The former never-were-in-Phoenix-to-begin-with Arizona Coyotes! The Coyotes, coming into Nashville with a 2-2-0 record, were pretty well prepared to leave with victory in their hands. Stop for a moment – I just noticed Pekka Rinne chatting it up with former Preds goalie, Devan Dubnyk in the background of the picture above. Not that that’s special or anything, I just wanted to point that A.D.D. moment out – carry on. However, in order for Nashville to remain at the top of the Central Division standings, they’d need to pull off a win against Martin Erat & his brood.
Notable Mentions: Keith Yandle debuted in his 500th NHL Career game last night in Nashville, which is a pretty big milestone, I guess. Congrats, Yandy.
– Coming out sluggish and uncoordinated once again, it wasn’t long before the Coyotes and Rob Klinkhammer (2) would capitalize on this Nashville weakness and light the lamp in Arizona’s favor.
– Mike Ribeiro would retaliate against his former team at 12:05 for his third goal of the season. Ryan Ellis would be the lone assistant (2) on Ribeiro’s goal.
– After collecting an assist, Ryan Ellis nabbed his first goal of the season at 5:12 in the second, picking up assistance from Derek Roy (4) and Seth Jones (2).
– Arizona wouldn’t give Nashville too much to celebrate for at 11:48 as Keith Yandle sends one clean past Pekka’s barrier on the powerplay.
– Arizona would nabbed yet another power play goal thanks to former Pred, Martin Erat at 7:42 into the third; his second goal of the season.
– James Neal couldn’t wait 19 seconds later before answering Erat’s goal with one of his own, his second of the season. Mike Ribeiro (2) and Ryan Ellis (3) would both collect two more points on the night with their assists.
– With three shots from Nashville and just two from Arizona, this puppy was headed to a shootout.
Nashville – Derek Roy – Goal
Arizona – Mikkel Boedker – Save
Nashville – Craig Smith – Save
Arizona – Sam Gagner – Save
Nashville – Filip Forsberg – Save
Arizona – Antoine Vermette – Goal
Nashville – Ryan Ellis – Goal
Arizona – Martin Erat – Save
Here’s a .gif of Ellis’s game winner against Dubby:
With a win in the shootout, Nashville remains on top of the Central Division leader board… phew! It is important to note how well both Ryan Ellis and Mike Ribeiro looked tonight (among other players) and how Craig Smith needs to take some anxiety medicine; boy needs to take a deep breath and stop with all these silly mistakes. We know he’s better than that; we’ve seen it.
Next in line to come for a visit are the Chicago Blackhawks, who will be gracing us with their presence on Thursday. Chicago is sitting behind us both in the Central Division standings and in the league. I am sure they want to get past us tomorrow night if they can.