'Yotes Notes: Phoenix shut out in the Music City
Sure, you could read the box score and know who won, but we all know that won't tell you everything that happened in a hockey game. So, we will give you 'Yotes Notes, providing you with the analysis, quotes and notes from the Coyotes' 3-0 loss to the Predators on February 14.
When the offense isn't going well, as was the case Thursday night, goaltender Mike Smith has not had a problem being the best player on the ice for the Coyotes.
While Smith gave up three late goals that ultimately cost Phoenix the game in Nashville, the Coyotes netminder was the sole reason the team was even in the game to begin with.
Smith, who saved 14 shots in just the second period, kept the game tight with several nifty glove and stick saves.
The Coyotes didn't have a problem possessing the puck inside Bridgestone Arena, as centers Boyd Gordon and Antoine Vermette combined to win 19 of 24 faceoffs.
The Coyotes struggles on the power play (0-of-4) continued, but the more persistent problem on the road trip was their overall inability to score the puck.
While Phoenix notched four out of a possible six points on the three-game road swing, Dave Tippett's squad scored just two goals in regulation.
In their previous battle with the Predators this season, the Coyotes made Pekka Rinne look pedestrian (gave up four goals). Thursday night, he looked like a reigning Vezina Trophy finalist (19 saves and a shutout). Rinne now has 28 shutouts, which is the most by any goaltender since the start of 2008-09 season.
• Phoenix is now 1-4-0 on the season against teams they played (Chicago, Los Angeles and Nashville) in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
• In six February games, Mike Smith has given up just 12 goals.
• Veteran Steve Sullivan has struggled offensively of late. The Coyotes' main free agent acquisition has been held pointless in seven straight games.
The Coyotes will return to Jobing.com Arena to play the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday, February 16. The game is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. MST.
Dave Dulberg, Web Content Editor - ArizonaSports.com
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