Tonight wasn't the best attended game, what with the torrential rain that was going sideways and at least one tornado touching down in the valley, but those in attendance sure got a good show from the Coyotes and Predators tonight. The Coyotes didn't seem like they were in control at all through the first period. They did play pretty good defense though, and Ilya Bryzgalov made some nice saves to end the first in a 0-0 tie. The shots were entirely lopsided at 15-4 though which was concerning for the Coyotes to say the least.
The Coyotes opened the scoring in the second period as Matthew Lombardi got a nice pass from Shane Doan right in front and wristed it past Dan Ellis. The lead wouldn't last all that long though as the Predators would get 2 goals first from Patrick Hornqvist bouncing one off the back of Ilya Bryzgalov, and then a Jovanovski Turnover feet from the goal turned into a Martin Erat goal. Coach Dave Tippett looked like he was going to kill someone (Jovo) after that play. The Preds would keep that 2-1 lead going into the intermission as it seemed like they were taking control of the game.
In the third though Scottie Upshall decided that he didn't want the Predators to win this one and while there were plenty of help setting them up Upshall scored three goals for the natural hat trick each more exciting than the last. First he took a Shane Doan pass and wristed it past a surprised Dan Ellis. Then he crashed the front of the net and got a shot on, but Ellis blocked it. Upshall quickly got the rebound and lifted it over Ellis for his second. Finally with the Predators trying to come back Upshall broke loose as Martin Hanzal got a turnover and lifted it ahead of him for the breakaway. Upshall took the puck back and went five hole to beat Ellis for the third goal that put the Coyotes up 4-2. The hats came raining down, and Upshall was so excited he leapt on Jim Vandermeer and practically tackled him. It was awesome for Uppy to get the hattie and was even better for the Coyotes to Pick up two points against a team they were tied for 4th place with.
Video of Upshall's Hat Trick
Ilya Bryzgalov was also outstanding tonight making 41 saves on 43 shots and looking like Vezina candidate Bryz instead of sieve Bryz. It's good to see him back on track as the Coyotes need to keep this play up and not collapse like last year.
Stars of the Game: 1- Scottie Upshall (3G, Natural Hat Trick) 2 - SHane Doan (3A) 3- Mathew Lombardi - (1G, 1A)
Postgame Press Conference: