Coyotes storm back to beat Predators in OT

The SportsXchange

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Phoenix Coyotes are off to one of the best starts in franchise history, but it is not something they dwell on. Their difficult conference helps keep them humble.

Using Mikkel Boedker's goal in the fifth round of the shootout, the Coyotes extended their undefeated streak at home this season with a 5-4 victory over the Nashville Predators, overcoming a three-goal first-period deficit at Jobing.com Arena in the process.

"I think we have a pretty good team," said Coyotes captain Shane Doan, who had a goal and an assist. "I put it up there with one of the better teams we've had, if not the best. Whenever you have a better team, it makes it that much easier.

"We really haven't even talked about it. You look around the league and we are fifth in our conference, so there is not much to talk about."

The Coyotes (9-3-2) have 20 points, third in the Pacific Division and tied for third in the retooled Western Conference. They are 6-0-1 at home and tied a franchise record for victories in October.

Phoenix is off to its best start since 2000-01 with points in 10 of its last 11 games, including eight victories. The 2000-01 team had 22 points after 14 games and finished 35-27-17, fourth in the Pacific Division.

"More than anything, we are just hanging around. We've found ways to win games, which is good," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett.

"I think deep down there is an appreciation of stability in ownership that the players recognize. We've been able to score some goals and get in games, and there have been a couple of games where our goaltending has been really good."

Nashville center David Legwand scored a goal and two assists in the first period to give Nashville a 3-0 lead before the Coyotes recovered to tie the game early in the third period.

Nashville (6-5-2) lost two of its last three games coming in and was playing for the first time since suffering its worst loss of the season, a 6-1 defeat to St. Louis on Saturday.

"We just shot ourselves in the foot," Nashville's Eric Nystrom said. "It's just frustrating. Everything is preventable. That can't happen. That's tough. We should have had two points in that game, 100 percent. We just let off the gas pedal, and a couple of broken plays end up in our net, and that's got to be the only time that happens this year."

Phoenix goaltender Thomas Greiss made 36 saves and Nashville goalie Carter Hutton stopped 21. It was Hutton's first career shootout.

Matt Hendricks and Nystrom also scored in the first period for Nashville and Paul Gaustad scored early in the third off Greiss, who was making his second start of the season in place of Mike Smith.

Coyotes right winger Jordan Szwarz scored his first career goal and defenseman Derek Morris scored for the second straight game to make it 3-2 after two periods.

After Gaustad's goal, Doan scored on a power play at 6:16 of the third period and center Antoine Vermette tied the game on a breakaway at 8:17 of the third.

Doan fed Vermette at center ice and he skated in all alone on Hutton. Vermette put the puck between Hutton's legs as he crashed into the net. The goal was originally waved off before video review showed the puck crossed the red line before the collision dislodged the goal.

"A great character win for the guys," said Szwarz, who was playing in his second NHL after being recalled from Portland of the American Hockley League on Monday.

Doan, Vermette and Morris all have four goals this season, and Doan scored in his last four games since missing one game with an injury.

"We weren't happy after the first, but we said to get a little more intensity," said Morris, who has four goals this season after scoring two in the previous two seasons.

"We all believe we can all contribute in some way.

NOTES: Hendricks left the ice with an upper body injury in the first minute of the second period and did not return after taking a hit from Morris. ... Coyotes C Martin Hanzal served the final game of his two-game suspension for charging Edmonton D Jeff Petry on Saturday. Phoenix also played without C Jeff Halpern (upper body injury) and D David Schlemko (lower body). ... Nashville began a seven-game road trip, tying for the longest trip in franchise history. The Predators have been displaced from Bridgestone Arena every year since 2006 for the Country Music Association awards. They do not play at home again until Nov. 16. In between are the CMA awards Nov. 6, the CMA Country Christmas on Nov. 8 and a Justin Timberlake concert Nov. 15. ... The Coyotes recalled D Brandon Gormley from AHL Portland on Thursday and returned LW Tim Kennedy to Portland. Gormley, the Coyotes' first-round pick in the 2010 draft, was a healthy scratch.
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