EditorsNote: adds missing word “him” in third graph
Roman Josi scored once and added an assist to lead the Nashville Predators to a 3-2 home victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Monday in the final game for each team before the holiday break.
Goaltender Pekka Rinne stopped 26 shots for the Predators, who have won two straight games and are on a 4-0-1 run.
The hosts were rewarded for a dominating first period when Filip Forsberg opened the scoring with 1:52 remaining in the frame. Josi’s point shot was blocked, but the puck ricocheted to Forsberg at the side of the goal and he made no mistake to collect his 14th goal of the season, temporarily giving him the team lead in goals.
Nashville outshot Arizona by a 22-5 margin in the first period.
Viktor Arvidsson doubled the lead near the midway point of the second period. Arvidsson drilled a one-timer from beyond the right circle that hit Coyotes goalie Antti Raanta in the shoulder, bounded up and over him and trickled over the goal line.
However, Lawson Crouse put the Coyotes on the board with 1:53 left in the second period. Crouse entered the offensive zone at full speed when he received a pass from Nick Schmaltz, drove to the goal and lifted a backhander into the net for his seventh goal of the season.
Josi restored Nashville’s two-goal edge just seconds before the midway point of the third period, continuing a torrid point streak and netting the game-winning goal.
Josi fired a long wrist shot that made it through the maze of players in front of the net and just inside the near post for his 14th goal to catch Forsberg. Josi has scored in a franchise record five consecutive games and collected nine points in that span.
Arizona’s Jakob Chychrun replied 37 seconds later, though, firing home a one-timer from near the bottom of the right circle to make it a 3-2 game with 9:27 left, but the visitors couldn’t find the equalizer.
Raanta made 38 saves for the Coyotes, who have gone through a win-one, lose-one roller coaster to a 5-5-0 mark in their last 10 games.
—Field Level Media