For the second game in a row, the Nashville Predators showed up at Bridgestone Arena and played well enough to win and came away with nothing in a 3-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes.
The Predators found themselves in a 1-0 hole, nine seconds into the contest, when Taylor Pyatt received a favorable bounce off of a Lauri Korpikoski shot and snapped the puck past Pekka Rinne to give the Coyotes an early advantage.
Jack Hillen tied the game 1-1 with twelve seconds left in the opening period on a shot that was reviewed and originally credited to Mike Fisher.
After a scoreless middle stanza, Ray Whitney put the puck in net, 1:40 into the third period, giving the Coyotes their second lead of the evening. After back to back Phoenix penalties, six seconds apart, Shea Weber converted on the five on three man advantage to tie the game 2-2 with seven minutes remaining.
The final back-breaker for the tough luck Predators came with 1:45 left in the game when Keith Yandle took a feed from Shane Doan and converted the winning goal. The goal was even strength, on the four on four, after Sergei Kostitsyn and Adrian Aucoin scuffled at 16:41 to open up the ice.
Preds' defenseman Jack Hillen was dejected after the game and was struggling to describe the loss. "It's super-frustrating. Two pretty solid games in a row but I guess pretty solid isn't cutting it."
"We've got to be even better and pay better attention to details because it's one or two mistakes that are costing us games. We're playing hard. It's not a lack of effort but we need to bear down more and play even better."
Barry Trotz was equally as frustrated with a decent effort and losses in the last two games. "You play well and you think you should get points and then you don't. In Vancouver, I didn't think we played well and we got the two points. You try to make sense of everything and it doesn't make any sense."
"We've been keeping the (opponent) shot totals down and our shot totals are up. I'm not looking for any big runs, like five or six games together. We've got the mentality that there is so much parity in the league that if you take two out of three from now to the end of the season then we'll be in good shape. We've just got to get out of our win one, lose one, win one, lose two type of situation that we are in now."
With the loss, the Predators home record falls to 4-5-3 and eleven points, which is the fewest in the NHL.
The Predators will travel to Columbus on Wednesday afternoon and play the Blue Jackets on Thursday night before returning home to meet the slumping Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass