The Phoenix Coyotes had everything to play for Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena. While the Nashville Predators had nothing to play for.
But that desperation against apathy plot line didn’t exactly play itself out.
In fact, it was flipped on its head.
Pekka Rinne stopped all 29 shots he faced, Craig Smith and Patric Hornqvist pitched in with a goal a piece over the final two periods and the Predators muscled their way to a 2-0 win over the Coyotes.
Here’s a look back at the two-goal loss by the numbers:
Due to Thursday’s result, Phoenix now has zero margin for error. If the Dallas Stars record two points in their matchup with the St. Louis Blues Friday night, the Coyotes will be eliminated from postseason contention. The same will be true if Phoenix fails to earn at least one point against the San Jose Sharks Saturday at Jobing.com Arena.
Phoenix was denied a goal for only the third time in 2013-14. Two of those three occurrences have come in the last four games.
6 Part I:
The shutout was the sixth of Rinne’s career — three more than he has against any other team.
6 Part II:
Phoenix has lost six straight games dating back to March 29. It’s the franchise’s longest losing streak since March 14-27, 2013.
Coyotes netminder Thomas Greiss started his career-high eighth straight game in Nashville. In those eight games, he’s allowed two goals or less six times.
Although the Coyotes finished with a game-high 29 shots on goal, they went 17 minutes and 11 seconds without a single puck reaching Rinne — a stretch that spanned from the :53 mark of the first period to the 16:20 mark of the second period.
Both Hornqvist and Smith recorded their 21st goals of the season in the win. Hornqvist has scored 20 or more goals four times in his career, while Smith achieved the feat for the first time in 2013-14.
With the blank job, Rinne secured his 162nd win in a Predators’ uniform — setting the franchise’s new all-time record by a goaltender.
Former Predator Martin Erat played in his 800th career game Thursday. The current Coyotes left winger finished with one hit and one takeaway in 14 minutes and 26 seconds of ice time.