Originally posted on Inside Smashville  |  Last updated 5/3/12

The Nashville Predators got back to basics on Wednesday night when they shutout the Phoenix Coyotes 2-0 in Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals.  Phoenix leads the series 2-1.

With Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn out of the lineup for violating a team rule, Nashville returned to playing “Predator Hockey.”

“We stepped up and played Predator Hockey, finally, in this series,” Predators Head Coach Barry Trotz said.

Predators forward David Legwand agreed.

“I think it was,” he said. “It was a good hockey game. We limited their chances and took advantage of ours, and scored on ours. That is what we need to do and how we need to play. Obviously, if we do the right things, it is going to be better for us in the long run.”

Legwand opened scoring for Nashville at 8:10 into the first period. Mike Fisher added to the Predators lead just 1:06 later.  Pekka Rinne picked up his first career postseason shutout, making 32 saves on the night.

“In the last 7 minutes, I think they pushed a little bit with the 5-on-3. Our [penalty] killers did a good job. [Rinne] was huge; he made some big saves. Getting the first goal is a little bit better for us,” Legwand said.

Rinne wasn’t surprised with the flurry of action in front of his net towards the end of the third period.

“That’s usually what happens when it’s 5-on-3. A lot of space out there for them, but we made some huge blocks too. [Francis] Bouillon made a couple, and Hal Gill made a couple. That was key. I think at the time there was four or five minutes left, and a goal would have really helped,” Rinne said.

The Predators look to even the series 2-2 on Friday night at Bridgestone Arena. The puck drops on Game 4 at 6:30 pm CDT.

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