Preds Face Uphill Battle in Loss to Phoenix

Nashville went down 9 seconds into the game against Phoenix on Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena, a circumstance Predators coach Barry Trotz compared to suddenly finding a mountain in the prairie.

A Phoenix goal 9 seconds into the game at Bridgestone Arena left the Predators with an uphill battle on Tuesday night. (Sarah Fuqua)

The Nashville Predators’ game against the Phoenix Coyotes started in the worst possible manner, giving up a goal 9 seconds into the contest.

Coyotes left wing Taylor Pyatt put a shot past Pekka Rinne before the crowd had even settled into their seats to put Phoenix up by a goal.

“It’s like looking at a little bit of a mountain  or a big hill,” Nashville head coach Barry Trotz said. “You’re like, ‘I just started. I can’t believe that hill is already there’. You’re going for a little bit of a walk on the prairie and all of a sudden there’s a mountain there. That’s how I would describe it.”

“It happens,” Nashville forward Kyle Wilson said. “It happens all the time. It’s one of those things that if you want to be a winning team, you have to come back in games like that. We did a great job coming back, but we came up a little short in the end.”

“Stuff happens but you have to pick your head up and move on,” Nashville defenseman Jack Hillen said. “It happened to me out there, but what are you going to do?”

It took almost the full period, but Nashville pulled back even with Phoenix on a Jack Hillen shot that went bouncing past Mike Fisher with 12 seconds left in the period. Hillen’s second of the year left Nashville tied going into the first intermission.

The game remained scoreless until Phoenix’s Ray Whitney put the Coyotes back ahead at 1:40 of the third.

Nashville finally tied the game when Shea Weber scored on a blast from the point on a 5-on-3 power play at 12:53. Phoenix’s Keith Yandle, however, put the Coyotes up for good with a wrist shot at 18:15.

The Predators had trouble solving Coyotes netminder Jason LaBarbera for the duration of the game, as he turned away 30 of 32 shots he faced.

“You just have to keep shooting,” Wilson said. “Goalies who are hot – you have to throw it on the net, get rebounds and get a dirty goal on them…or get a 5-on-3. Sometimes you just run into those things and you’ve just got to work through it.”

In the end, Nashville left the ice with no points as their home record dropped to 4-5-3 – the worst in the NHL.

“We felt like we were in control of that game the whole way along,” Wilson said. “You need these points in the long run, so we’re going to have to improve on that.”

PuckScene.com Three Stars of the Game
  1. Jason LaBarbera – Phoenix Coyotes
  2. Shea Weber – Nashville Predators
  3. Ray Whitney – Phoenix Coyotes
Official Three Stars of the Game
  1. Keith Yandle – Phoenix Coyotes
  2. Ray Whitney – Phoenix Coyotes
  3. Shea Weber – 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.