Tuesday, May 8, 2012
The Phoenix Coyotes defeated the Nashville Predators by a 2-1 score on Monday night in Game 5 of their Western Conference Semifinals series and eliminated the Predators from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. This marks the second consecutive year that Nashville has been eliminated in the second round.
Nashville controlled the play for the majority of the game, out-shooting the Coyotes by a 33-17 margin. However, the Coyotes were able to capitalize on two chances while the Predators were only able to capitalize on one chance.
Mike Smith was sensational in goal for Phoenix all series long. He frustrated the Predators on Monday night, and made several sensational saves to preserve the lead for his team. Colin Wilson scored the lone goal for the Predators with 5:59 remaining in the third period, but Nashville simply wasn't able to find a way to get another puck past Smith.
For a team that had such high expectations placed upon them heading into the playoffs, being eliminated in the second round of the playoffs for the second consecutive year is certainly not what the Predators had in mind. As they had done all series long, the Coyotes were able to score timely goals and play stingy defense to get the win.
Derek Morris and Martin Hanzal scored goals for the Coyotes in the second period to give them a 2-0 lead despite Nashville out-shooting them by a 12-7 margin in the period. Those two goals would prove to be just enough.
With the series win, the Coyotes have advanced to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history. They will take on the Los Angeles Kings, who swept the Central Division champion St. Louis Blues in four games in their Western Conference Semifinals series.
Hockey Night in Nashville's 3 Stars of the game:
1. Mike Smith(PHX)
2. Martin Hanzal(PHX)
3. Colin Wilson(NSH)
Official 3 Stars:
2. Derek Morris(PHX)
3. Mikkel Boedker(PHX)
(Photo Credit: Leanne Charles)