Huge 1st period leads Coyotes past Predators 7-4
Posted at: 03/29/2013 12:39 AM
By: | WHEC.com
(AP) NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Radim Vrbata had two goals and an assist and Rostislav Klesla added four assists and the Phoenix Coyotes scored six times in the opening period to cruise to a 7-4 victory over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night.
Martin Hanzal, David Moss, Matthew Lombardi, Keith Yandle and Antoine Vermette also scored for the Coyotes, who snapped a seven-game losing streak _ thanks to their big first period that included five goals in a span of 6:40.
The Coyotes’ seven goals were just one short of the number they had in the entirety of their skid. Phoenix has scored 10 goals in the last two nights after being outscored 16-5 in their previous six games.
David Legwand, Rich Clune, Gabriel Bourque, and Shea Weber scored for Nashville, which had its three-game winning streak snapped.
Playing their second game in as many nights following a 4-3 overtime loss at Minnesota, Phoenix jumped all over Nashville early.
Hanzal, Vrbata, and Moss gave the Coyotes a 3-0 lead before the game was even 4 minutes old. All three goals were scored against Nashville starter Pekka Rinne, who was removed from the game following Moss’ tally. Rinne stopped just one of the four shots he faced in that span.
Chris Mason replaced Rinne, but it did not make much of a difference. Lombardi, a former Predator, and Yandle scored goals 1:18 apart to make it 5-0 at 8:26.
Legwand and Clune scored goals 30 seconds apart to get Nashville on the board just before the midway point of the first, but Vrbata got his second of the game at 15:57 before Bourque had the period’s last goal with less than 4 minutes left.
The six goals allowed in the first tied a Nashville franchise record for most goals against in one period.
Rinne returned to Nashville’s net to start the second period, but Vermette put one by him just 2:44 into the middle frame.
Klesla’s four assists set career highs in both that category and points in a game.
Weber’s goal came midway through the third period with the teams skating four-on-four.
Jason LaBarbera earned the victory for Phoenix, ending his personal three-game losing streak.
Notes: Lombardi’s goal was the 100th of his NHL career. ... Vrbata surpassed the 400-point mark in his career. ... Thursday marked the 1,000th game of Phoenix left wing Steve Sullivan’s NHL career. Sullivan played 317 regular-season games in parts of six seasons with Nashville. During his time with the Predators, Sullivan won the Bill Masterton Trophy in 2009 following his return to action after missing nearly two years with a back injury. ... Nashville has allowed a power-play goal in seven consecutive games. ... Bourque leads the Predators with 11 goals. ... Nashville C Mike Fisher had one assist, extending his scoring streak to eight games, one game shy of tying his career best.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)