The Phoenix Coyotes showed the Nashville Predators very little mercy in the third period as Scottie Upshall scored three goals on a natural hat trick to lead the Coyotes to a 4-2 victory in the soggy desert in Phoenix on Thursday night.
It was ex-Pred Scottie Upshall's first career hat trick and gave him 17 goals for the season. His goals came within 10:05 minutes of play and took the Coyotes from a 2-1 deficit to a 4-2 lead.
Matthew Lombardi has the other goal for Phoenix while Patric Hornqvist and Marty Erat scored for the Predators. Shane Doan had three assists for Phoenix.
The first period was all defense. The Predators started the game well and controlled the play for the better part of the first period as they out shot Phoenix 15-4. Patric Hornqvist had as many shots as the Yotes with four. The Corsi numbers were a little better to the Coyotes with the Preds leading 21-16. There were no no penalties in the opening period.
The second period started even better for the Coyotes. At 2:49, the Predators committed a turnover when Joel Ward passed from the boards into the open ice leaving two Coyotes open in the slot. Dan Ellis was helpless to stop them when Matthew Lombardi got the goal off a nifty pass from Shane Doan.
The Coyotes almost scored again at 4:03 when the puck leaked out behind Dan Ellis and was cleared from the blue ice by Shea Weber.
Seconds later, the Yotes' Lauri Korpikoski was called for hooking at 4:10 on another phantom penalty that has happened far too often this season. The Predators managed two shots on the man advantage but could not convert.
At 13:57, Patric Hornqvist picked up his 20th goal of the season when he shot from behind the cage and banked it off Ilya Bryzgalov to get the puck into the net. The play started at the far end of the ice when Steve Sullivan picked up a loose puck and skated in tandem down the ice with Hornqvist. Jason Arnott also assisted on the play.
Forty seconds later, Ed Jovanoski fumbled a pass in the slot in front of the Coyote goal and Mary Erat took advantage of the miscue and punched it into the net for an unassisted goal to put the Preds in front 2-1.
For the period the the Coyotes out shot the Predators 12-9 and held a 24-21 Corsi edge in a period that featured much more activity in the offensive zones and a far more wide open attack by both teams.
The Coyotes came out with a lot of jump to start the third period and it paid off at 4:02 when Scotty Upshall made a slick move to put a shot past Kevin Klein and Dan Ellis to tied the game 2-2. The dynamics of the move may have caused Klein to screen Ellis on the play,
The Predators went on the power play at 10:39 when Adrian Aucoin was called for roughing. The Preds launched five shots at the net but were only credited with two shots officially.
Scotty Upshall worked hard for his second goal of the period at 13:22 when he shot from close range at Ellis who gave up a rebound that Upshall picked up and placed in the net over Ellis' shoulder.
Sixty-five seconds Martin Hanzal later picked up the puck off a blocked Predator shot and passed it to Scottie Upshall on a breakaway. Upshall skated in with the puck and was able to put a shot past Dan Ellis for his third goal of the period and a natural hat trick.
Down by two goals, the Predators pulled Dan Ellis with 2:07 left in the game but were unable to make any headway against the Coyotes down the stretch.
In the third period, the Predators out shot Phoenix 19-7 as they battled hard to try to overcome the Phoenix lead. For the game the Preds led in shots 43-23.
Storylines From the Game
The Scottie Upshall Show...
Ex-Predator Scottie Upshall had a career game scoring three goals on a natural hat trick in the third period to singlehandedly salvage the win for the Coyotes. For the game he had six shots in 16:20 of ice time.
In the post game interview on FS TN, Upshall was pleased to have played well against his ex-teammates and even happier for the two points that moved the Coyotes ahead of the Preds into fourth place in the Western Conference.
Bryzgalov Showed His Stuff...
Many folks have wondered how the Coyotes have amassed as many victories as they have with few name players and even fewer butts in the seats at Jobbing.com Arena.
Ilya Bryzgalov showed the Preds, and everyone else, how they've done it putting on a goalie exhibition stopping 41 of 43 Predator shots. The Predators had more scoring chances than the Yotes but Bryzgalov came up big in net all game long.
At the other end of the ice, the Preds defense left Dan Ellis hung out to dry several times as he stopped 18 of 23 Coyote shots.
Defense Early, Wide Open Later...
The odds makers in Las Vegas placed the over and under for this game at 5 1/2 goals for both teams combined. As the first period ended with no goals, the Vegas pros looked like that they may have underestimated the defensive nature of Barry Trotz and Dave Tippett. Both teams played it close to the vest for the scoreless first period.
Things changed abruptly after that and the Vegas Wizards were right on target as six total goals were scored. The second and third periods were played wide open by both teams leading to the increased offense for the final forty minutes of play.
The Predators left immediately after the game to fly to Denver to try to salvage a win in the the second game of this quick two game trip against the Avalanche on Friday night.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass