Josi scores twice, Predators beat Coyotes 6-2
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Roman Josi scored two goals Sunday night and the Nashville Predators won their third in a row, beating the Arizona Coyotes 6-2.
Josi scored on a wrist shot early in the second period, and the Predators captain made it 5-2 with a power-play goal six minutes into the third period after Nick Ritchie was penalized for holding. Josi, who also had an assist, has 17 goals this season.
Juuse Saros stopped 26 shots for the Predators, who are currently 10th in the Western Conference standings.
“We played well 5-on-5, a very engaged performance from our group,” Predators coach John Hynes said.
Yakov Trenin, Matt Duchene, Tommy Novak and Cody Glass had the other Nashville goals. Duchene's goal was his 18th, one behind injured Filip Forsberg for the team lead.
“We're still fighting here, we still believe we can make the playoffs,” Duchene said. “Obviously teams ahead of us are winning too, but we play some of those teams. We don't know what it's going to look like at the end of this week." Friday is the trade deadline.
The Predators killed off a 5-on-3 Arizona advantage late in the first period, in which the Coyotes failed to get a shot on goal in 45 seconds of the two-man edge.
“Those I think are turning points in the game, the score was tight then. I thought the penalty kill was a big factor tonight,” Hynes.
Shayne Gostisbehere opened the scoring with a short-handed goal for Arizona at 5:55 of the first period, while teammate Patrik Nemeth was in the penalty box for tripping. Nick Schmaltz, whose pass set up the first goal, also scored for the Coyotes, his 17th of the season.
“I thought we were better in some areas. They scored on a lot of their opportunities,” Gostisbehere said. “When we turn the puck over that much, it's the NHL, teams are going to score.”
Connor Ingram, who broke into the NHL with Nashville, had 28 saves for Arizona.
Coyotes D Jakob Chychrun sat out for the seventh consecutive game as the team attempts to execute a deal before Friday’s trade deadline. Chychrun hasn’t played since Feb. 10 in an overtime loss at Chicago.
Nashville's Tanner Jeannot also did not play in the game Sunday. The winger only has five goals this season after a strong rookie campaign a year ago.
Nashville was without C Juuso Parssinen, who suffered an upper-body injury Thursday against San Jose. Forsberg missed his eighth straight game, also with an upper-body injury.
Gostisbehere’s goal gave him 300 career points. ... Lawson Crouse played in his 400th game, all with the Coyotes. ... With the victory, Nashville is 13-12-3 on the road.
Predators: Host Pittsburgh on Tuesday night.
Coyotes: Host Chicago on Tuesday night.
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Jack Thompson, The Associated Press