Originally posted on Fox Sports Tennessee  |  Last updated 5/3/12
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Pekka Rinne made 32 saves as he returned to his dominating form, Mike Fisher scored his first goal of these playoffs, and the Nashville Predators found their rhythm with a 2-0 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday night in Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinal series. After giving up nine goals on the road as the Predators fell behind 2-0 in the best-of-seven matchup, Rinne was rarely challenged by the lackluster Coyotes. He helped the Predators overcome the team suspensions of forwards Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn. Phoenix still leads 2-1 in the series that will continue with Game 4 in Music City on Friday. David Legwand and Fisher capitalized on mistakes and scored 76 seconds apart midway through the first period. Rinne, a finalist for the Vezina Trophy given to the NHL's top goalie, made the goals stand up. Though Phoenix outshot Nashville early, Rinne wasn't tested much. He had a shot go off the post in the first period and saw heavier traffic in the crease as the Coyotes shook off a sluggish start. He never faltered after giving up five goals in Sunday's 5-3 Game 2 loss -- the Predators' worst performance of the postseason. Phoenix had its team-record streak of three consecutive road playoff wins and a run of three straight wins in Nashville overall snapped. The Coyotes had given up just four goals on the road in the playoffs coming into Wednesday. The change of venue seemed to energize Rinne and the Predators. With Charlie Daniels laying down a scorching version of "Devil Went Down to Georgia" and fans tossing catfish on the ice, Nashville got back into the "hockey tonkin'" vibe that lifted them to a milestone series victory over the Detroit Red Wings in the first round. Legwand brought out the catfish midway through the first period when he capitalized on goalie Mike Smith's mistake as he cleared the puck behind the net. Gabriel Bourque beat a defender to the puck in the left corner and centered a pass to Legwand, who wristed the puck past Smith at 8:10. Fisher -- Mr. Carrie Underwood for those who aren't country music fans -- followed that just over a minute later with a wrist shot past Smith. Martin Erat started the chance by forcing a turnover in the right corner. He centered the puck to Sergei Kostitsyn, who passed up an open shot to feed Fisher for the 2-0 lead at 9:16. Legwand also had an apparent goal waved off later in the period. Phoenix had just one serious scoring chance in the first period, and put a shot off the post. The Coyotes held a 10-8 shots advantage in the first 20 minutes. Without Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn, who were suspended for violating unspecified team rules, Nashville figured to lose some offensive power, but the defense more than made up for it. Rinne finished off the game by turning away several shots during a tense 41 seconds of 5-on-3 hockey late in the third period after penalties on Erat and Sergei Kostitsyn. He also stood tall after the Coyotes pulled Smith in the final 2 minutes for an extra skater. NOTES: It is unclear when Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn will return. Predators coach Barry Trotz said Wednesday morning that he might keep the same lineup for Game 4. ... Bourque extended his Predators' rookie playoff record to five points. ... Legwand has 10 points in his last 12 playoff games. ... Fisher leads the Predators with 38 career postseason points.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sam Mitchell reportedly candidate to join Pelicans’ coaching staff

Warriors GM indicates Steve Kerr still isn’t ready to return

Taylor Hall says it was “nice to finally see” the Edmonton Oilers eliminated

Report: Jets to hire female defensive backs coach

Vince Young officially inks contract with CFL team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jason Witten: Bill Parcells is getting soft in his old age

Braves make up with fan ejected by security for interference

David Price to start for Red Sox Monday against Chicago

David Price to start for Red Sox Monday against Chicago

Magic Johnson indicates Brandon Ingram is Lakers’ only untradeable player

Congress drafted a bill that could legalize online sports betting; how soon might it happen?

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

It’s our civic duty to stop attending Super Bowls in new stadiums

Box Score 5/25: The Cavaliers look to close out the Celtics

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

Box Score 5/24: Craig Anderson saves the Senators

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

NHL 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

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

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