Predators
Coyotes
3 - 4 Final - OT
  for this game

Michalek, Vrbata lead Coyotes past Predators

Jan 25, 2008 - 6:13 AM
By Bob Huhn PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

GLENDALE, Arizona (Ticker) -- Defenseman Zbynek Michalek assured that Radim Vrbata's return was a triumphant one.

Michalek ripped a slap shot past Chris Mason with 29 seconds left in overtime to lift the Phoenix Coyotes to a 4-3 victory over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night.

Vrbata recorded his third career hat trick and assisted on the winning tally as the Coyotes snapped the Predators' three-game winning streak.

"I feel great. I was off for a week and I'm happy to be back because it was tough not playing and just watching," Vrbata said. "I wanted to (play before the All-Star break) to see how it is. I wasn't 100 percent sure there would be no pain but I feel good."

With the game appeared headed to a shootout, Michalek corralled a loose puck at center ice, skated down the right wing and blasted a shot from the top of the faceoff circle between the legs of Mason.

"It was kind of a long shift and I knew everybody on the ice was tired," Michalek said. "I saw an opening and didn't want to do anything fancy so I shot it on goal and it bounced off the defenseman's stick into the net."

Ilya Bryzgalov made 29 saves for Phoenix, which moved into a tie with Nashville for 10th place in the Western Conference.

"Without question we are a lot further ahead and doing a lot better then anyone thought we would at this point and time," Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said. "Tonight Nashville was better than we were but we found a way to get a win. We seem to find ways to win games this year more than ever before."

Vrbata, whom the Coyotes picked up in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks prior to the season, was playing in his first game after missing three straight with a groin injury.

Phoenix got on the board 14:45 into the first period when Vrbata, the team's leading goal scorer, blasted a shot from the right circle that went over the right shoulder of Mason for a 1-0 lead. It was the 26-year-old right wing's 19th goal of the season, establishing a career high.

In a five-goal second period, Nashville wasted little time evening things up as Alexander Radulov's slap shot from the left circle beat Bryzgalov just seven seconds into the session. J.P. Dumont assisted on the goal, extending his career-best points streak to 14 games.

During the streak, Dumont had eight goals and 11 assists.

Phoenix regained the lead less than a minute later when Vrbata's slap shot deflected high in the air off the stick of defenseman Shea Weber. The puck bounced in front of Mason - who never saw it land - then went into the net for a 2-1 lead 58 seconds in the session.

"It was pure luck," Mason said. "I saw him shoot it then it went up and just dropped. It was a lucky bounce."

The Predators scored two goals in 1:26 to take the lead. Rich Peverley tied it at 2-2 with his first NHL goal after the Coyotes failed to clear the puck from in front of Bryzgalov. The rookie's wrist shot went through the legs of the Coyotes netminder at the 13:32 mark.

Martin Erat put the Predators ahead when his centering pass from behind the net careened off Bryzgalov's skate and into the goal for a 3-2 lead with 4:42 left.

Vrbata continued his offensive onslaught when he flicked a shot from in front of the crease past Mason for his third goal with 2:35 left in the middle session to knot it at 3-3.

"We needed every goal, Nashville never gave up but we never give up either," Vrbata said. "They went up, 3-2, and it was pretty early when we tied it but it was a big goal. That second goal hit the stick then bounced in the air. It was lucky but I will take it."

Mason made 26 saves for the Predators, who fell to 7-3-2 this month.

"In the third period and the overtime we had some real good chances but we weren't able to convert," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "We were a bit sluggish out of the gate and let them back into the game. In the overtime I thought we had the better of the chances, then they get one chance and it was over."








  • NHL
    FINAL IN OT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 0 3 0 0 3
    PHOENIX 1 2 0 1 4 FINAL IN OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHO - RADIM VRBATA 19 (STEVEN REINPRECHT, FREDRIK SJOSTROM)
    14:45
    2ND PRD: NAS - ALEXANDER RADULOV 17 (JASON ARNOTT) 0:07
    PHO - RADIM VRBATA 20 (MATHIAS TJARNQVIST, ZBYNEK

    Jan 24 11:38 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 3
    PHOENIX 4
    OT: PHO - ZBYNEK MICHALEK 2 (RADIM VRBATA, SHANE DOAN) 4:31

    Jan 24 11:37 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 3
    PHOENIX 4
    OT: PHO - ZBYNEK MICHALEK 2 (RADIM VRBATA, SHANE DOAN) 4:31

    Predators vs. CoyotesJan 24 11:37 PM
  • 144
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 67 roots (Overtime)

    Predators vs. CoyotesJan 24 11:29 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 3RD GOING INTO OT
    1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 0 3 0 3
    PHOENIX 1 2 0 3 GOING INTO OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHO - RADIM VRBATA 19 (STEVEN REINPRECHT, FREDRIK SJOSTROM)
    14:45
    2ND PRD: NAS - ALEXANDER RADULOV 17 (JASON ARNOTT) 0:07
    PHO - RADIM VRBATA 20 (MATHIAS TJARNQVIST, ZBYNEK MICHALEK)
    0:58
    NAS - RICH PE

    Jan 24 11:28 PM
  • 77
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Predators vs. CoyotesJan 24 11:22 PM
  • 72
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 72 roots (Close Finish)

    Predators vs. CoyotesJan 24 11:20 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 0 3 3
    PHOENIX 1 2 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHO - RADIM VRBATA 19 (STEVEN REINPRECHT, FREDRIK SJOSTROM)
    14:45
    2ND PRD: NAS - ALEXANDER RADULOV 17 (JASON ARNOTT) 0:07
    PHO - RADIM VRBATA 20 (MATHIAS TJARNQVIST, ZBYNEK MICHALEK)
    0:58
    NAS - RICH PEVE

    Jan 24 10:38 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 3
    PHOENIX 3
    2ND PRD: PHO - RADIM VRBATA 21 (STEVEN REINPRECHT, MATHIAS TJARNQVIST)
    17:25

    Predators vs. CoyotesJan 24 10:33 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 3
    PHOENIX 2
    2ND PRD: NAS - MARTIN ERAT 15 (MARTIN GELINAS) 15:18

    Predators vs. CoyotesJan 24 10:26 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 2
    PHOENIX 2
    2ND PRD: NAS - RICH PEVERLEY 1 (VERNON FIDDLER) 13:32

    Predators vs. CoyotesJan 24 10:25 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 1
    PHOENIX 2
    2ND PRD: PHO - RADIM VRBATA 20 (MATHIAS TJARNQVIST, ZBYNEK MICHALEK)
    0:58

    Predators vs. CoyotesJan 24 10:03 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 1
    PHOENIX 1
    2ND PRD: NAS - ALEXANDER RADULOV 17 (JASON ARNOTT) 0:07

    Predators vs. CoyotesJan 24 10:01 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 0 0
    PHOENIX 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHO - RADIM VRBATA 19 (STEVEN REINPRECHT, FREDRIK SJOSTROM)
    14:45
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NAS 12 12
    PHO 14 14
    GOALIES: NAS - CHRIS

    Jan 24 9:43 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 0
    PHOENIX 1
    1ST PRD: PHO - RADIM VRBATA 19 (STEVEN REINPRECHT, FREDRIK SJOSTROM)
    14:45

    Predators vs. CoyotesJan 24 9:32 PM