GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Pekka Rinne celebrated his 29th birthday by signing the richest contract in Nashville's history. He capped the day by blowing out the candles on the Phoenix Coyotes.
Putting all the early-in-the-day distractions behind him, Rinne stopped 35 shots for his third shutout of the season to lift the Predators to a 3-0 win over the Coyotes on Thursday night.
"He had a goalie hat trick," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "Birthday boy, obviously, shutout and 49 million -- I'd call that a goalie hat trick."
Rinne received a big gift on his birthday, signing a seven-year, 49 million contract earlier Thursday, a deal that was a big boost for a franchise that had long been criticized for being tight with the purse strings.
After fulfilling his media obligations and taking a little nap, Rinne turned away everything the Coyotes threw at him to for his 23rd NHL shutout.
Jonathon Blum and Matt Halischuk had goals in the second period, and Patric Hornqvist scored for a f...