The Predators were edged 3-2 by the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena in front of 15 638 fans. In their last four games at home, Nashville has gone 0-3-1. With the worst home record in the NHL at 4-5-3, the Nashville Predators are left looking for answers as to why the team is struggling.
“Yeah I do,” Alternate Captain Ryan Suter said when asked if he felt like the team gave up a point. “I feel like we could have taken that game to overtime. We didn’t. It isn’t a good feeling when you know you could have got points but lose out. We have to get better at finishing the game. We have to get points. That’s what each game is about — getting points and moving up in the standings. It’s too bad that we failed to at least get one,” Suter said.
Suter says he is not sure why the Predators are struggling on home ice.
“That’s a good question. Last year we were so good. The fans are loud. It’s an exciting building to play in. We need to get that swagger back at home. We’ll be fine. We can’t hit the panic button,” he said.
Taylor Pyatt scored 9 seconds into the game to give the Coyotes the 1-0 lead early in the first period. Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne thought that he had the puck in his pads, but it was loose and Pyatt tapped the puck into the back of the net for the lead.
Suter says maintaining focus after the early goal was not a problem. “That stuff happens. You just have to move forward. Forget about it fast. You can get one back just as fast.”
The Predators did get back into the game, but it took them until the dying seconds of the first period to tie the game. Jack Hillen picked up his second goal of the season when his shot from the point beat Coyotes goaltender Jason LaBarbera with only 10.8 seconds remaining in the first period.
After a scoreless second period, Phoenix took an early third period lead. Nashville again tied the game on a Shea Weber shot from the point with the Predators on a 5-on-3 man advantage. Oliver Ekman-Larsson was in the box for holding and Derek Morris was sent just seconds later for delay of game after he shot the puck over the glass in the Coyotes defensive end.
Keith Yandle beat Rinne to give the Coyotes a 3-2 lead with just under 2 minutes left in regulation while the teams were skating 4-on-4. Sergei Kostitsyn and Adrian Aucoin were in the box for slashing and roughing respectively.
The Predators now move on to Columbus on Thursday night where they will try to snap their two-game losing streak. In the last 10 games, Nashville has gone 3-6-1.