Predators Not Game Ready in Loss to Coyotes

Nashville suffered their first loss of the season in their home opener against Phoenix.

Nashville suffered their first loss of the season Thursday night at the Bridgestone Arena. (Sarah Fuqua)

After winning both of their first two games on the road, the Nashville Predators came out flat in their 5-2 home opener loss to the Phoenix Coyotes at the Bridgestone Arena.

“We had no substance to our game,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “You have to play both sides of the puck. You have to eliminate people, you have to manage the puck and you have to be firm on people. We did none of that.”

After playing two Central Division games in a 24-hour period over the weekend, Nashville had four days off afterwards before Thursday’s home opener. Sometimes a longer layoff can leave a team a little flat.

“I wouldn’t say you can put all the blame on that,” Predators defenseman Jonathon Blum said. “As a group, we know what we have to do better. Even in the first two games we showed signs of what we did tonight.”

All five goals Phoenix goals were even strength goals – Blum and defensive partner Kevin Klein were on the ice for three of them.

“We can’t always rely on (Pekka) and our special teams to be good and win us games,” Blum said. “We have to get five-on-five play, we have to be a lot better than we were and we’ve got to work on it.”

“Our defensive zone coverage is terrible,” Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter said. “We’ve got guys going from man-to-man kind of chasing the puck around.”

For the third time in three games this season, Nashville was outshot by their opponent, as Phoenix led the shot column 31-25.

“We kind of dug ourselves into a hole and couldn’t really get out of it,” Suter said.

“Sometimes you need to get whooped a little bit to bring you back to reality,” Trotz said.

PuckScene.com Three Stars
  1. David Schlemko – Phoenix Coyotes
  2. Jason LaBarbera – Phoenix Coyotes
  3. David Legwand – Nashville Predators

Official Three Stars
  1.  David Schlemko – Phoenix Coyotes
  2. Lauri Korpikoski – Phoenix Coyotes
  3. David Legwand – Nashville Predators

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A native of Franklin, Tennessee, Patten Fuqua is the managing editor of PuckScene.com. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science from Belmont University in Journalism and Broadcasting.