GLENDALE, Ariz. – Joakim Lindstrom told Phoenix Coyotes teammate Kyle Turris how to handle Nashville goalie Dan Ellis. The rookie then put that knowledge to good use.
Turris recorded his first two-goal game, including the go-ahead score with 9:58 left, and the Coyotes beat the Predators 2-1 Thursday night. “I feel the best I’ve felt all year,” Turris said. “I feel great, I have my legs under me and I’m feeling very confident.”
Turris put Phoenix ahead 1-0 on a breakaway with 9.7 seconds left in the first period after Ed Jovanovski chipped the puck off Martin Erat’s stick and just outside the Coyotes zone. Turris gained control, skated in alone on Ellis and waited until the goalie was flat on the ice before tucking the puck just inside the right post.
Turris took advantage of the tip from Lindstrom, who said to watch how far Ellis comes out of his crease and to wait for the goalie to make the first move.
“That was the first thing I thought about coming down the centre,” Turris said.
Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said Turris and Lindstrom have shown great chemistry since Lindstrom was acquired from Anaheim on Dec. 3.
“Lindstrom and him seem to feed off each other,” Gretzky said. “They play a similar style, move the puck to the open man, go to open areas to get pucks back. It’s a nice combination right now and they’re doing a nice job for us.”
Turris was credited with the go-ahead goal, but Enver Lisin did most of the work.
Lisin took a pass from Zbynek Michalek just inside the Predators zone and sprinted past the defence before firing a hard wrist shot at Ellis. The rebound bounced to Lisin at the right side of the net, where he fired a second time. Ellis again couldn’t control the rebound, losing the puck just in front of his pads, and Turris forced the puck through for the goal.
“The first one hit me in the head, the second came at my armpit and I tried to squeeze it,” Ellis said. “It must have fallen down, and they just hammered home the third one.”
It was Turris’ second two-point game in the NHL and the first since he had a goal and an assist in the Coyotes’ second game of the season on Oct. 12 at Anaheim.
Ilya Bryzgalov made 30 saves for the Coyotes, who snapped a two-game losing streak and leapfrogged Nashville and idle Minnesota into seventh place in the Western Conference.
“It was a four-point game,” Bryzgalov said. “We’re battling for a playoff spot and we played desperate hockey.”
Vernon Fiddler scored the lone goal for the Predators, who lost for the fourth time in five games, tying the game 1-1 off a shot by Rich Peverley.
The Predators have scored two goals or fewer in six of nine games.
“The bottom line is we haven’t scored a lot of goals lately,” Predators coach Barry Trotz said. “We’ve got to get some production from our top guys. We have gotten zero from them the last few games. There are some guys not pulling their weight, and they need to step up.”
Notes: Lindstrom missed an empty-net chance off the left post with six seconds to go. … The Coyotes have earned points in a season-high five straight games, including a pair of overtime losses. … Bryzgalov, whose starting job seemed in jeopardy a month ago after a couple of shaky outings, made his seventh consecutive start. … These teams won’t meet again until Feb. 3 at Nashville. … The Predators are 6-3 against the Pacific Division.