GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Coyotes probably should have skated off the ice Friday night down a game to open the Western Conference semifinals. They probably shouldn't have even had the chance to win in overtime.
But they did, and it was all thanks to -- who else? -- goaltender Mike Smith.
As usual, Smith did all the heavy lifting in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals, withstanding a tireless assault from the Predators in a 4-3 overtime win for the Coyotes.
Phoenix once again surrendered a lead in the third period as Nashville cranked up its attack. Afterward, Coyotes coach Dave Tippett lambasted his team's effort in the third period and overtime, a stretch in which his team was outshot 25-7, including 16-1 in the third period.
"The third period, they cranked their game up and we didn't respond," Tippett said. "Third (period) and overtime, (Smith) was under siege, and he hung in there and played very well. He did a heck of a job for us."