NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)—The Phoenix Coyotes are becoming very accustomed to pulling out ties on the road.
Shane Doan scored the tying goal in the third period and had two assists as the Coyotes salvaged a 3-3 draw with the Nashville Predators on Monday night for their third straight tie on the road and fourth in five games.
“We’ve played some good teams,” Phoenix center Chris Gratton said. “St. Louis at home—they’ve been hot, and this team here is no slouch either. They’re all going to be hard-fought games.”
Doan appreciated the point, which keeps Phoenix three points behind eighth-place Nashville in the Western Conference. But he wasn’t happy the Coyotes converted only two of eight power plays and none of their final four.
“When you have as many opportunities late in the game on the power play and you don’t score, it’s a little disappointing,” he said.
The tie spoiled Scott Walker’s three-goal performance, the second hat trick of his career. Five teammates earned assists on his goals. Nashville outshot Phoenix 29-27 but went 0-for-7 on power plays.
“There was no room in there, and it made the game look scrambly and choppy and both teams were checking and there was no time or space to make pretty plays,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “And when you did, it was probably a turnover.”
Ladislav Nagy and Jan Hrdina each scored power-play goals with Hrdina also getting an assist along with David Tanabe. But Phoenix extended its winless skid to five when the Coyotes couldn’t convert despite two power-play chances in overtime.
“It would’ve been nice to get the two,” Phoenix coach Bob Francis said.
Nashville had trouble mounting any offense in overtime, especially when penalized for having too many men on the ice with 40 seconds left.
Walker’s second goal was easily the strangest of the game.
He took a pass in front of the goal and skated to his left before putting a wrister past a diving Boucher, who swatted it away with his glove just after it crossed the line.
The light went on, but an official immediately waved the goal off and play continued. But the play was reviewed nearly two minutes later after Branko Radivojevic was called for hooking. The earlier play was ruled a goal, putting Nashville up 2-1 with the clock reset to 5:33 of the second.
Andy Van Hellemond, the NHL director of officiating, was at the game, and he said the situation was covered in the rule book and that the official was obstructed.
“He said the stick was between him and the puck, so he’s obviously not able to see … it was over the line,” Van Hellemond said.
Hrdina tied it at 2 with his power-play goal by catching Nashville goalie Tomas Vokoun almost on his back in the net. Hrdina poked the puck in at 18:17 of the second. Walker answered 62 seconds later for a 3-2 lead with his thirdgoal when he put back the rebound of a missed shot by Jeremy Stevenson.
Doan has 10 points in his last seven games with five goals and five assists. … Nashville had given up only one even-strength goal in three games until Doan’s goal. … The Predators had only two short-handed goals last season but have five this season. Walker has two of those. … Walker’s other hat trick was Dec. 26, 2000, against Colorado and was the Predators’ secondthis season.