• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Arizona Coyotes eliminate Nashville Predators for first playoff series win since 2012

Richard Morin, Arizona Republic
·2 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Coyotes forward Brad Richardson scored the winning goal in overtime to give Arizona its first postseason series win since 2012.

The Coyotes defeated the Nashville Predators 4-3 in Game 4 Friday to clinch the best-of-five series and advance in the expanded 24-team postseason format. Arizona won Games 1, 3 and 4 in the series.

Coyotes forward Michael Grabner scored the game's first goal when he beat Predators goaltender Juuse Saros at 17:27 of the first period.

Grabner, scoring his second goal of the series, fired a shot from the right circle that went post-to-post and into the net. Grabner had been a healthy scratch in 22 games this season and is still playing with impaired vision.

The Coyotes made it 2-0 when Phil Kessel capitalized on a Predators turnover and fired one past Saros.

Arizona Coyotes' Phil Kessel (81) celebrates a goal with teammates during the second period of an NHL hockey playoff game against the Nashville Predators Friday, Aug. 7, 2020, in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson/Canadian Press via AP)
Arizona Coyotes' Phil Kessel (81) celebrates a goal with teammates during the second period of an NHL hockey playoff game against the Nashville Predators Friday, Aug. 7, 2020, in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson/Canadian Press via AP)

SCHEDULE: Dates, results for qualifying round, round-robin play

However, the Predators cut the lead in half when the Coyotes took an unnecessary penalty just a few minutes later. Nashville forward Matt Duchene redirected a puck past Coyotes goaltender Darcy Kuemper and teammate Viktor Arvidsson scored shortly thereafter to even score at the midway point of the second period.

As play moved to the third, it was Coyotes defenseman Jordan Oesterle who sent a shot from the post that somehow found its way past Saros. Coyotes center Derek Stepan was providing traffic in front, but the puck seemed to go in clean off Oesterle's long-range wrister.

The Coyotes held their lead until Predators forward Filip Forsberg scored with a little more than 30 seconds remaining to send the game to overtime. Arizona won a crucial defensive-zone face-off but couldn't clear the puck, resulting in a Nashville chance and score.

Kuemper made 49 saves to pick up his third win of the series.

Looking ahead, the Coyotes will either face the Vegas Golden Knights or Colorado Avalanche, depending on round-robin results this weekend, in the next round of the postseason. The series will be a best-of-seven.

Richard Morin covers the Coyotes and Diamondbacks for azcentral sports. He can be reached at rmorin@arizonarepublic.com. Follow him on Twitter @ramorin_azc.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: NHL playoffs: Coyotes oust Predators for first series win since 2012

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Chicago
+155+1.5O 6
Nashville
-182-1.5U 6