Coyotes Tame Predators Rampant 18 Game Point Streak

The Nashville Predators prowled into Mullett Arena, not having relinquished a point in their last 18 games (16-0-2). The Arizona Coyotes made sure that wasn’t the case with number 19.

Jason Zucker made his presence known with two early goals against Connor Ingram.

The first Zucker netted off a pass from below the red line by Cody Glass, given to him by Colton Sissons, that found it’s way to Zucker in the slot, allowing him to fire a wrister past Ingram, 1-0 Predators with only 2:22 elapsed.

Zucker seemed to have all the switches flicked on as he found his second of the night just over three minutes later, another pass from Glass to Zucker in the slot, that originally carried no secondary assist, but Roman Josi was given his 55th assist of the year after a scoring change, 2-0 Predators.

It took Jack McBain less than three more minutes to find the lead splitter, as an attempted pass across the crease to Matias Maccelli caught Juuse Saros‘ pad and slid between his legs giving McBain his eighth goal of the season with the lone assist credited to Josh Doan, his first of his NHL career and his first of the season, 2-1 Predators.

Logan Cooley‘s first of three came on a flicked wrister between the legs of Saros, Cooley’s 14th of the season, with Lawson Crouse registering the lone assist, his 37th of the year, tying the game at two.

It remained tied as the last three minutes elapsed of the first period, and the Predators took the lead in shots to the locker room, 14-12.

Clayton Keller‘s 31st of the season came after the Predators were assessed a too many men on the ice bench minor.

Ryan McDonagh‘s clear attempt was knocked out of mid-air by Dylan Guenther, the secondary assist getter (12), fed to Keller, who then fed it to Alex Kerfoot, and returned back to Keller before he slung it past Saros, 3-2 Coyotes.

Cooley’s second of his first career NHL hat trick came just a minute after Keller’s as he recorded his second point of the frame, the primary assist (35), and Nick Schmaltz the secondary (33), 4-2 Coyotes.

Gustav Nyquist clawed the Predators back to within one as he, Filip Forsberg, and Josi connected once more, Josi’s 56th assist on the secondary and Forsberg’s 42nd with the primary, 4-3 Coyotes.

Nick Bjugstad showed Nyquist the unimportance of his goal as he notched his 20th on the year by poking one through Saros’ five-hole, with Keller getting the primary assist, his 35th, and Schmaltz the secondary, his 33rd, 5-3 Coyotes.

Schmaltz (21) and Keller (36) continued their multipoint period with Sean Durzi getting the secondary assist (28) on Keller’s hookup to Schmaltz, 6-3 Coyotes.

The remaining four minutes ticked away with nothing important happening, and the Coyotes took a 6-3 lead into the second intermission.

Matias Maccelli scored his 13th goal of the night after Kevin Lankinen had been pulled 13:57 into the third as the Predators were trying all they could to get closer on the board. Doan picked up his second assist on the empty netter, 7-3 Coyotes.

Nick Bjugstad’s two minute tripping minor at 15:47 of the third gave the Predators some life.

Forsberg added a fourth and final for the Predators on the man advantage (41), as Josi (57) picked up the primary marker and Tyson Barrie (14) grabbed the secondary, 7-4 Coyotes.

Back within three, the Predators called Lankinen to the bench, and Logan Cooley capitalized.

Cooley grabbed a loose puck off the boards at his defensive blueline and skated all the way down the far side of the ice into the offensive zone before sliding the puck into the waning crease, 8-4.

Josh Brown grabbed the lone assist on Cooley’s goal, his sixth of the season.

The final minute elapsed, and the Predators recent run of 16-0-2 had been ruined by the same Coyotes team they knocked out of the playoffs with a win on Tuesday.

The Coyotes moved to 31-37-5 on the year, 20-17-0 on home ice, and mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.

The Predators moved to 43-26-4 and holding the first wildcard spot in the Western Conference, 22-11-3 on the road.

Arizona takes on the New York Rangers at Mullett Arena on Saturday, as the Predators head to Mile High for a matchup with the Colorado Avalanche.

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James Mackey

Credentialed Writer Covering the Arizona Coyotes

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