Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mueller takes loss to Coyotes hard

The Phoenix Coyotes defeated the Nashville Predators by a 3-2 score on Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena to hand the Predators their third loss in their last five games.

Phoenix got on the board just nine seconds into the game when a shot squeezed through Pekka Rinne, who thought he had made the save. Taylor Pyatt was credited with the goal, and the Coyotes were off to as good of a start as they could have hoped for on the road.

Nashville would tie the game at one with 10.8 seconds remaining in the first period when Jack Hillen fired a wrist shot that went off a few bodies and into the net. The play was reviewed, and the goal was originally given to Mike Fisher. Hillen, however, would eventually be credited with the goal.

The next goal would be scored in the third period when Ray Whitney one-timed one from the slot to put the Coyotes up 2-1. Shea Weber would respond at 12:53 when he scored on a 5-on-3 power play to tie the game again.

Adrian Aucoin and Sergei Kostitsyn got in a confrontation that ended up putting both of them in the box. Phoenix would capitalize on the 4-on-4 play when Keith Yandle beat Rinne for the game-winner.

Chris Mueller had gone six for seven in the faceoff circle through the first two periods, but lost the faceoff that eventually led to the game-winning goal by the Coyotes.

"I had a lot of confidence going in, and then I go out there for the last draw, lose the draw and make a mistake and it's in the back of the net," Mueller said.

"I want to say up until two minutes left in the game I played a pretty good game. I had a lot of confidence and then I make a mistake. You can't do that here," Mueller said.

Nashville had another good game in the shot department, firing 32 shots on Jason LaBarbera. The Predators were simply unable to get enough pucks past LaBarbera, who played an outstanding game for the Coyotes.

"You always want to get pucks to the net, and for the most part we did a good job of getting pucks to the net and getting a lot of shots. We just couldn't capitalize on our opportunities. I made a mistake late in the game 4-on-4 and it ended up in the back of the net. I can't make mistakes like that. It ends up in the back of the net and we lose the hockey game," Mueller said.

Nashville will travel to Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets on Thursday night in a critical game.

"I have to forget about this, go out there and play hard and do what I can to help the team win and get two points on the road," Mueller said.

Hockey Night in Nashville's 3 Stars of the game:
1. Jason LaBarbera(PHX)
2. Keith Yandle(PHX)
3. Shea Weber(NSH)

Official 3 Stars:
1. Keith Yandle(PHX)
2. Ray Whitney(PHX)
3. Shea Weber(NSH)

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