NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- If the Nashville Predators were suffering flashbacks during the last two periods Monday night, it was certainly understandable.
After all, they let a 3-0, first-period lead slip away on Oct. 31 in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Phoenix Coyotes, and they were in the process of doing the same thing in the rematch.
This time, however, rookie goaltender Marek Mazanec made 12 of his 29 saves in the third period, and the Predators held on for a 4-2 win at Bridgestone Arena.
It was the fourth win in five games for Nashville (12-10-2) and the second consecutive loss for the Coyotes (14-6-4). Given Phoenix's remarkable ability to rally -- the Coyotes have nine victories when trailing this season -- the Predators had no reason to relax.
"You knew they were going to have a push," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "They have a lot of pride and a deep team that can score. Third period, they had a real good push and we were back on our heels, but we defended like crazy and Maz had a couple of big saves."
Mazanec, who allowed just eight goals in his past five games while filling in for regular starter Pekka Rinne, turned away a number of quality chances in the last 2 1/2 minutes. He denied left wing Mikkel Boedker from the high slot, then turned away center Mike Ribeiro on a 20-foot shot with a glove save.
When backup Carter Hutton struggled in a seven-game run after Rinne underwent surgery late last month to clean out a spontaneous bacterial infection in his surgically repaired hip, Mazanec (4-3-0) got his chance and has ran with it.
"He made some really good saves late and kept us in it," center Mike Fisher said. "He's been playing really well and confident and doing a good job."
After Mazanec turned in six saves in less than two minutes, defenseman Shea Weber finally sealed the win with an empty-net tally with 35 second to go, his team-high seventh goal of the season.
The Predators scored their other goals in a dominant first period that saw them pepper goalie Mike Smith with 12 shots and generate enough quality opportunities to score perhaps five or six times.
Left winger Nick Spaling got things started at 1:02, wristing the rebound of center Matt Cullen's shot over Smith for his third goal of the year. Fisher followed with his fourth goal at 8:22, a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle, and left winger Gabriel Bourque made it 3-0 at 18:27 with a backhander from point-blank range off a pass from right winger Viktor Stalberg.
"That's our approach every game," Spaling said of the fast start. "We've got to come out and take advantage of playing at home. We have to come out with that energy and excitement."
The Coyotes started their comeback at 9:34 of the second when Boedker tipped the shot of center Antoine Vermette into the net for his fifth goal. Left winger Tim Kennedy cut the deficit to 3-2 at 13:00 with a backhander, his first goal.
"We generated some good chips and got the momentum going our way," Vermette said. "We exposed their (defense) a little more and got them a little tired. That's when we were at our best, when we established our forecheck."
However, Phoenix couldn't squeeze the equalizing tally past Mazanec despite a 12-5 shot advantage in the third period.
"Overall, a pretty solid win," Trotz said. "Phoenix is one of the top offensive teams, and I thought we really limited them. The whole key was our one-on-one battles. We were much better."
Smith finished with 25 saves.
NOTES: Nashville RW Patric Hornqvist was scratched with an upper-body injury. The team's alternate captain, who is second on the team with six goals, took a slap shot to the chest in the first period of Saturday's 2-0 loss to the New York Rangers. ... Phoenix LW Lauri Korpikowski (upper-body injury) and D Zbynek Michalek (lower-body injury) missed their third and fourth consecutive games, respectively. ... Nashville wore camouflage-colored jerseys in warmups as part of the night's promotion, which honored local veterans. ... Coyotes RW Shane Doan entered the game with a point in eight straight matches, the longest for his team this year. He didn't score before leaving the game in the third period with a lower-body injury.