Richardson’s OT goal gives Coyotes series win over Predators
Brad Richardson’s goal 5:27 into overtime gave the Coyotes a 4-3 win Friday, sending Nashville out of the Stanley Cup Qualifying Round in four games.
The series win is Arizona’s first since 2012 when they beat the Predators in five games to advance in the Second Round.
As they’ve done in the series, the Predators dug holes that led to opportunities for Arizona. Continued mistakes in the defensive zone not only hindered their ability to create scoring chances (won by the Coyotes 27-26 at 5-on-5), but led to goals against.
On Arizona’s first goal, Craig Smith’s pass to Kyle Turris in order to exit their zone led to a turnover that ended up on Michael Grabner’s stick. The forward then wristed a shot over Juuse Saros’ glove for his second goal of the series.
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Phil Kessel slapped home Arizona’s second tally thanks to a poor pass from Saros to Roman Josi.
The Predators didn’t go down without a fight. Matt Duchene and Viktor Arvidsson tied the game in the second with goals four minutes apart. Jordan Oesterle looked to have put the Coyotes ahead for good, but a fantastic combination between Ryan Ellis and Filip Forsberg forced overtime with 31.9 seconds left.
Extra hockey didn’t last long with Richardson’s putting home his own rebound on the doorstep.
Darcy Kuemper (.954 even strength save percentage in the series) was once again solid in net for the Coyotes. He made 49 saves in Game 4, the third time in the series he’s had to stop 40-plus shots.
Arizona will face either the Avalanche or Golden Knights in the First Round, which will begin next week.
(6) Nashville Predators vs. (11) Arizona Coyotes (ARZ wins series 3-1)