Photo: Associated Press
The Phoenix Coyotes continue to find ways to win, no matter how the game plays out. Phoenix came out on top of a heavy goaltending/defensive game, besting the Nashville Predators 1-0 in Game 4 Friday night at Bridgestone Arena to take a 3-1 series lead. Game 5 is set for Monday night in Glendale.
The only goal of Game 4 came at the 14:25 mark of the 1st period. Shane Doan threw a soft backhand shot at the net. It deflected off the stick of Predators defenseman Roman Josi and into the net past Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne.
Both goaltenders had strong nights, although neither team registered a large amount of shots during the game. Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith picked up his second playoff shutout of the postseason with 25 saves. Rinne faced 24 shots, making 23 saves.
The two teams combined to go 0 for 5 on the power play with six of the game's seven penalties coming in the 1st period.
With the win, the Coyotes players find themselves in a very familiar situation for Game 5 Monday night at Jobing.com Arena. In the first round, the Coyotes also came home with a 3-1 lead in the series against Chicago. The Blackhawks won that Game 5 in overtime to send it back to Chicago for Game 6, where the Coyotes clinched.
Now, they have a Nashville team that some believed had a chance to make a run at the Stanley Cup on the brink of elimination. With the series on the line, Nashville will certainly register more than the 25 shots they did tonight, being a desperate hockey team. For the Coyotes, it is a golden opportunity to end the series at home and go where this franchise has never gone before, the conference finals.