Thursday, October 13, 2011

Coyotes spoil Preds home opener; Legwand continues stellar play

The Phoenix Coyotes came into Nashville and dominated the Nashville Predators by a score of 5-2 on Thursday night. Phoenix was strong out of the gate and took a 3-0 lead in the first period. They never looked back.

In the first period, the Coyotes got goals from David Schlemko, Ray Whitney and Lauri Korpikoski. The sellout crowd in Nashville was immediately taken out of the game, and the Coyotes controlled the flow of play.

Phoenix struck again at 11:26 of the second period when Mikkel Boedker made a great play in front of the net to beat Pekka Rinne and put the Coyotes up 4-0. Jordin Tootoo took a slashing penalty for Nashville, but Ryan Suter was able to score shorthanded at 14:01 of the period to put the Predators on the scoreboard.

Nashville had plenty of chances to convert in the third period. Colin Wilson scored at 9:08 of the period to bring the game within two, but that would be as close as they would get. Phoenix added an empty-netter and left Nashville with a victory.

David Legwand added two more assists against the Coyotes, giving him seven points in the first three games. That gives him the most points in the entire NHL so far this season. However, Legwand is more concerned about wins rather than personal accomplishments.

"The two points is the main thing, and we've got to be better as a group of 20. We weren't good tonight in the first period and it cost us the game," Legwand said.

This was the first win for the Coyotes so far this season, and it was due to their style of play. Phoenix is a frustrating team to play against because they're not a team that is going to make a lot of mistakes.

"They just wait for you to make a mistake. We've got to play a more patient game. They play an upbeat game and they wait for your turnovers and they kind of goated us into a couple of things tonight," Legwand said.

Prior to this game, the Predators hadn't played since last Saturday night in St. Louis. The long layoff may have had an effect on the play of the Predators coming out of the gate. Luckily for them, they play again on Saturday against the New Jersey Devils.

"It's good to get this one out of the way and move forward. That's a big thing for us. Just get it out of the way and forget about it," Legwand said.

Hockey Night in Nashville's 3 Stars of the game:
1. Lauri Korpikoski(PHX)
2. Jason LaBarbera(PHX)
3. David Legwand(NSH)

3 Stars by Nashville Media:
1. David Schlemko(PHX)
2. Lauri Korpikoski(PHX)
3. David Legwand(NSH)

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