April 29, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Francis Bouillon (51), defenseman Ryan Suter (20) and Phoenix Coyotes left wing Taylor Pyatt (14) battle for the puck in game two of the 2012 Western Conference semifinals at Jobing.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

A Day in the NHL, Chase for the Cup: Mike Smith Stymies the Predators in Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Night that Was:

Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn did not return to the Nashville Predators’ lineup for Game 4 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with the Phoenix Coyotes, leaving it to the team who won Game 3. In the first it seemed they could have used the extra offense as the Preds mustered just five shots and the Coyotes nine. One of those shots from Captain Shane Doan however, pinballed it’s way past Pekka Rinne for a 1-0 lead. In the second the teams traded 10 shots each, but along with those the Preds missed the net countless times. In the third it was more of the same as the Preds outshot the Coyotes 10-5, but couldn’t beat Mike Smith. Doan’s would be the only goal of the game as Phoenix won 1-0 to take a 3-1 series lead. Mike Smith made 25 saves for the shutout, his second of the playoffs.

Phoenix 1 vs Nashville 0 – Phoenix leads series 3-1

What’s on Tonight?

Following their three-overtime thriller, the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals resume their series this afternoon in Washington with New York leading the series 2-1.

The Injury Bug:

-Brandon Dubinsky’s status for Game 4 is questionable. Dubinsky is suffering from a lower-body injury.

-The St. Louis Blues may be without Jason Arnott when they try to stave off elimination against the LA Kings on Sunday. Arnott is listed as questionable with a lower-body injury.

-Sean Couturier of the Philadelphia Flyers is suffering from a lacerated leg, and his return for Game 4 is questionable.

News and Notes

-Calgary Flames’ forward Olli Jokinen underwent surgery yesterday for an abdominal tear. Jokinen played through the last portion of the season with the injury.

-As the Coyotes move towards a Western Conference Final berth, things may be leading up to the ‘Yotes staying in Phoenix as well, with positive developments possibly coming next week. The team has continued to operate without an owner since 2009.

-Friday from the World Hockey Championship: USA 7 v France 2, Germany 3 v Italy 0, Canada 3 v Slovakia 2, Czech Republic 2 v Denmark 0, Finland 1 v Belarus 0, Sweden 3 v Norway 1

Playoff 3-Stars

1. Mike Smith, G: 25/25 svs, W, SO

2. Shane Doan, F: 1 G, GWG, +1, 20:35 TOI

3. Pekka Rinne, G: 23/24 svs

Tags: IIHF Nashville Predators New York Rangers Phoenix Coyotes Stanley Cup Playoffs Washington Captials

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