5-4-12 Round 2 Game 4, Preds vs Yotes, 1-0 Yotes

What fun!  Our 2nd playoff game ever.   It’s a bit harder since we can only do weekend games because of having to take off work and drive up from Atlanta, but we’re grabbing all that we can.   

This was Round 2, Game 4, and wouldn’t go in our favor, but it was still so much fun.

JB with the Pekka “Stand With Us” poster

My Favorite Sound in Nashville and I like it so much I’ve tossed it into every entry lately!    The PREDS Goal Horn:

A few warm up shots

Darren Pang and Joe Micheletti rink side tonite 

Big Hal Gill sporting his mohawk while stretching 

Micheletti chatting 

That Captain Shane Doan smile that’s very deceiving 

Gnash joins in with the catfish on the ice  

Doan and Smith during the Anthem 

Playoff Opening Laser Show.   I’m loving the playoff intro lasershow.   I’m borrowing this one which shows it all pretty good because we were too close to the ice and my lens is too close up to get it all in there.  

The Phoenix Coyotes were on the brink of their first Western Conference finals thanks to their stingy goalie and the captain who traveled with the franchise from Winnipeg to the desert.

Captain Shane Doan scored in the first period, Mike Smith made 25 saves and the Coyotes beat the Nashville Predators 1-0 on Friday night to grab a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinal series. It was the first win in the month of May in the franchise’s NHL history, and Phoenix can advance with a victory in Game 5 on Monday night in Arizona.

Look at the puck in his kitchen!  

The Coyotes, now owned by the NHL, were 3-1 for the second straight series heading back home with the chance to advance. Chicago won Game 5 to put off elimination for a game, but Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said his message will not change.

The Predators played without forwards Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn for the second straight game, this time the decision by coach Barry Trotz to stick with the lineup that won 2-0 on Wednesday night. Trotz said he refuses to second-guess his decision, though lineup changes are likely.

The Predators thought they tied it with 7:12 remaining. But officials waved off the power-play goal with the official explanation that a whistle blew before the puck crossed the line. Trotz said he didn’t get an explanation with officials telling captain Shea Weber a different reason.

The Predators wound up outshooting Phoenix 25-24, but they had chances with the net open they simply missed with Radulov and Kostitsyn on the sideline.

And the Gaustad vs Chipchura fight that seemed to go on forever!  

Gaustad finally loses his helmet 

Slow Dancing while the boys watch

Chipchura lands one

Video of the fight 

Smith, the low-budget replacement for Ilya Bryzgalov after the Russian left the desert for a big contract with Philadelphia, credited his teammates with pressuring the Predators into making some bad shots.

Battling Predators is hard work for a Yote

Cooling down

Back to work

Mayhem on Smith

Smith:   Dear Hockey Gods, please let this game be over

Smith:  Damn, these Predators love their hockey

Radulov leads Nashville with a team-high six points in the postseason, and Kostitsyn is tied for the team lead with three goals. Fans cheered the announcement that the two were scratched after they were suspended for Game 3 for an apparent curfew violation last weekend in Arizona.

Nashville had plenty of chances, outshooting Phoenix 10-5 in the third. The Predators even got a power play at 11:34 when Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris cleared the puck over the glass and went to the box. The Predators had a scrum in front of the net after Mike Fisher threw the puck at the net, but the official behind the net immediately waved no goal.

Peks stretching during tv timeout 

Yes Gnash, you and Preds Rule!   

Lots of animosity whenever Yotes are around

Phoenix improved to 4-1 on the road in the postseason, spoiling what had been a big party in Nashville with three blocks of Broadway shut down right in front of the arena. The Predators put two big TVs outside for fans to cheer.  

Always love seeing Coach Anderson in any capacity. 

Lovin the mohawk

Lots of extras tonite

More tries to get one past Smith

Smith setting as they head back down the ice

Another No Go for Preds

As it turns out, tonite this would be the reverse 

Pekka has this one in his glove

Catfish on the ice

The Coyotes outskated and outshot Nashville from the start, coming with much more energy. They even got a power play 90 seconds in only to see the Predators kill that. Then Ryan Suter had a turnover near the net, and Coyotes left wing Mikkel Boedker had a chance on Pekka Rinne right in front before the 6-foot-5 Finn blocked it with his right pad.

Fans did their best to try and spark the Predators with their usual standing ovation through a timeout in the first period to a catfish tossed onto the ice early in the third. Nothing helped the Predators’ aim getting past Smith into the net.

Nashville went 0 for 3 with the man advantage. The first came when Rostislav Klesla was penalized for boarding Predators forward Matt Halischuk right in front of the Coyotes’ bench. Replay showed Klesla appeared to grab Halischuk’s jersey before pushing him into the boards, and Halischuk went to the locker room briefly. But the Coyotes, perfect in killing penalties on the road this postseason, did it again.

Mike Fisher lost his helmet in the mayhem around Pekka’s net but that did not slow him down or stop him from battling for the puck. 

Fisher had had enough!  

Goal was waved off and fans began throwing their towels on the ice

The Predators came out with more energy in the second but struggled to get a shot on net. Hornqvist had Nashville’s best chance around the 6-minute mark when Smith came just out of the crease to handle the puck, and Hornqvist missed the net. The Predators struggled so much they couldn’t even go on a 2-on-1 chance before being called for offsides later in the second.

With Smith in net, Doan’s goal proved to be enough with the way the Coyotes played in front of him. They blocked 10 of Nashville’s first 15 shots, and Smith either covered up or gloved the others.

Disbelief at the goal being waved off

Ref:   60 seconds to go, Mike 
Smith:  60 seconds of hell, those Preds do not give up

Talking about it one more time

And, it’s all over 

Mr. NHL Sin Bin fella heading to the zamboni door

Notes: The Winnipeg/Phoenix franchise’s last previous May game was May 20, 1979, when the Winnipeg Jets beat Edmonton 4-2 to win their third WHA title. The game was the last in WHA history. … The Coyotes are 16 of 16 on the penalty kill on the road this postseason. … The Predators are 0 for 23 on the power play at home.

Darren Pang talking to Captain Doan

Joe Micheletti talking to Mike Smith

Three star selections
1st:   MIKE SMITH
2nd:   SHANE DOAN
3rd:   COLIN WILSON
Winning Goaltender
Mike Smith

Losing Goaltender
Pekka Rinne

GAME HIGHLIGHTS:

http://nhl.cdn.neulion.net/u/videocenter/embed.swf And, not quite the end of the evening: We got back to the hotel after the game and these guys were playing in the pool

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