Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 4/28/12

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 24: Head coach Dave Tippett of the Phoenix Coyotes speaks during a press conference at Jobing.com Arena on September 24, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Coyotes coach Dave Tippett insists his clubs postseason formula is one he never drew up. "Im not a big fan of the rope-a-dope thing, he said. Id like to see us compete harder and make better plays." So would goalie Mike Smith. Hes stopped more rubber than a Goodyear quality-control tech. Then again, its hard to complain about the final product. Maybe its a gift from the hockey gods after 15 years of playoff misery. Maybe Smith is just on one of those historic runs that alters all expected outcomes. Whatever the cause, the cardiac Coyotes found a method to manufacture another win Friday night when the naked eye saw no way. With his team being outshot 25-6 through 35 minutes of the third period and overtime, center Martin Hanzal won a rare face-off in the Nashville end and chipped the puck over to a waiting Ray Whitney, and Whitney pushed it past Predators goalie Pekka Rinne for a 4-3 overtime win and a 1-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinals. The way things were going for Marty with draws on that side, I had a slight hunch it was going to go more to their side than our side, Whitney said. I just went to the net and it was kind of a lucky bounce. There were plenty in this game. Two of Nashvilles goals came off of fortunate bounces off the end boards, the first occurring when Smith got caught behind the net trying to stop Francis Bouillons dump-in as the puck caromed off an uneven partition and onto the stick of Brandon Yip at the doorstep for an easy tap-in. But there is no getting around the fact that the Coyotes enjoyed the lions share of good fortune on Friday. This was a game they had no business winning. They were dominated more in the final two periods than they were in those memorable first two periods of Game 6 of their previous series in Chicago. The Predators had the puck on their sticks for endless stretches, making it a moral victory when the Coyotes managed to ice it or chip it out of the zone. And Nashville peppered Smith with the types of shots Phoenix doesnt want to give up. When I look at it, we probably had about 30 chances, Predators coach Barry Trotz said. In the third period and overtime, he was under siege, Tippett added of Smith. And yet, just like in that Chicago game, the Coyotes kept forging leads, kept the Predators from ever gaining the upper hand. We played more time in our end than wed like, but once again, the resilient Coyotes found a way to win, Smith said. This in spite of a troubling recent trend of blown leads. The Coyotes were 33-1 when leading after two periods in the regular season, but theyve already blown four third-period leads in this postseason part of the reason theyve played six overtimes in seven postseason games -- and nobody seems to know why its happening. "Buddy, if I knew, we wouldnt do that," Whitney said, "so I cant help you out there. Youre not going to win many games sitting back like that. We just havent been responding very well when the momentums going one way. We havent been able to turn that. At some point, thats going to matter ... right? At some point, this turtle method of attack has to come back to bite them ... doesnt it? Skill and compete are imperative in this game, especially at this level in the playoffs, and our skill and compete in the third period was nonexistent, Tippett said. We were fortunate to get the first one under our belt, but if we expect to win this series, were going to have to be far better than that. At this point, maybe the Coyotes should just start with baby steps. Im fine with winning in regulation, Smith said.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Bright future for Minnesota Timberwolves

Eli and Archie Manning say Peyton won’t likely leave Denver if he plays in 2016

NCAA mulls changes to graduate transfer and targeting rules

Cavs active in NBA trade market, covet Jared Dudley

Roger Goodell expectedly dodges Patriots-related questions at Super Bowl

Baltimore Orioles acquire starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

USC athletic director Pat Haden to retire in June

Report: Browns owner ‘frustrated, emotional’ about Johnny Manziel

Raiders and Texans to play MNF game in Mexico City in 2016

Goodell wants to keep Raiders, Chargers in home markets

Deadly shooting breaks out at Dublin boxing weigh-in

Mike Shula vs. Wade Phillips: The best story of Super Bowl 50

WATCH: Cubs' Kris Bryant went swimming with sharks

Sports Authority taking steps to file for bankruptcy

Major League Baseball threatens to disassociate from DraftKings

NFL considering moving Pro Bowl to Australia

Joe Montana warns NFL players about potential long-term damage after retirement

Report: Two people fired for leaking Jason Pierre-Paul information

USMNT are big favorites against Canada

‘Crying Jordan’ photographer had no idea it existed until this week

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in the NHL playoff hunt

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

‘Actor’ Todd Gurley wants to make ‘billions’

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

David Price donates $300K to build field for special needs kids

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Johnny Manziel dropped by agent

Michael Irvin: Cowboys should save Manziel

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

The merits of trading Blake Griffin to the Hornets

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

Could the Marlins contend in 2016?

Report: Browns to cut Manziel in March

Browns rip Manziel in statement

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker