Nashville Predators vs Phoenix Coyotes Recap: Zombie Yotes Come Back from the Dead

Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sport

The Phoenix Coyotes defeated the Nashville Predators 5-4 in a shootout on Halloween night.

The Phoenix Coyotes rose from the dead after surrendering three unanswered first period goals to defeat the Nashville Predators 5-4 in a shootout on Halloween night.

The trick, was coming back from a 3-0 first period deficit and a 4-2 third period deficit to earn at least one point. The treat, was winning the five-round shootout to take home the win.

It looked as if the Halloween festivities for the costumed Coyotes fans in attendance would begin on a somber note as the Yotes played a poor first period and found themselves down three goals with their back-up goalie in net.

Thomas Greiss rebounded from a shaky, at times unlucky, opening period to stop 28 of 29 shots from the second period on, as well as all five Nashville shooters in the shootout.

Phoenix had contributions throughout their lineup as 10 different Coyotes recorded a point. "We all believe we can all contribute in some way," Derek Morris said.

Coach Dave Tippett earned his 165th win with the Coyotes, tying the franchise record with Bobby Francis.

The win places the Coyotes third in the Pacific Division ad fourth in the Western Conference with a 9-3-2 record through 14 games. With a win on Saturday against the Sharks, Phoenix could propel itself into a tie for the top spot in the division.

Defense is still a concern for the Desert Dogs as they gave up at least four goals for the third time in the last four games (3-1-0). Starting strong is key as well, something the Coyotes certainly didn't do on Thursday night.

The Predators drew first blood after a perfectly placed Matt Hendricks wrist shot from the top of the right face-off circle beat Greiss high-blocker. The goal was Hendricks' first of the season.  Nashville scored again five minutes later to take a 2-0 lead. Patric Hornqvist swatted the puck into the Coyotes' crease and it hit Eric Nystrom's chest and bounced into the net. Nashville wasn't done as a 5-on-3 power play opened the door for their third first period goal.

After solid puck movement and a huge save by Greiss on Mike Fisher, the Predators were afforded their second fortunate bounce of the period to make the game 3-0. David Legwand's attempted pass bounced off of Zbynek Michalek in front of and into the net. Legwand has three points in the first period.

Asked why the Coyotes have struggled in first periods recently, Tippett said, "soft goals have gone in and I think we have taken some bad penalties."

Phoenix got a friendly bounce of their own as Jordan Szwarz scored his first career goal after a low shot deflected off Kevin Klein's stick and around the glove of Carter Hutton. Morris added his fourth slap shot goal of the season to pull the Coyotes within one.

Nashville halted Phoenix's rally with a Paul Gaustad goal to make the game 4-2.

The Coyotes were awarded a power play after a face-off violation by Matt Cullen. Doan ripped home his fourth goal of the season after a cross-crease feed by Mike Ribeiro to off-set Gaustad's goal two minutes earlier.

Phoenix tied the game on a breakaway goal by Antoine Vermette. Vermette was taken down on the play but the puck trickled through Hutton's five-hole anyway for a goal. Originally called a no-goal on the ice, the goal was awarded after video review showed the puck crossing the goal line before Vermette made contact with the goalie.

Michalek saved the game in the waning seconds of the third period, laying out to block a shot on a 2-on-1 to preserve the tie and send the game into overtime.

After a five-minute overtime period dominated by the Coyotes yet scoreless, the 4-4 game would be decided in the shootout. The five-round shootout saw only one goal scored. That goal belonged to Mikkel Boedker cementing the comeback and earning the 5-4 win.

Paw Prints

  • Nashville's take on the game.
  • Brandon Gormley, who was called up earlier in the day, was a scratch.
  • Taking that spot in the lineup was David Rundblad who played only his fourth game of the season.
  • Coyotes defensemen lead all NHL D-men in scoring with 39 points
  • Phoenix remains unbeaten in regulation at home (6-0-1)
  • Attendance: 7,401

Our Three Stars of the Game

1. Keith Yandle: A pair of assists and second on the team in ice time.
2. David Legwand: Three first period points including a goal.
3. Shane Doan: A goal and an assist for the captain.

Looking Ahead

The Coyotes will visit the Shark Tank in San Jose on Saturday night seeking revenge for their previous loss in San Jose in the second game of the season. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

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