NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Alexander Radulov was at the perfect place at the perfect time for the Nashville Predators.
Radulov scored on a deflection off his shoulder at 4:10 of overtime to give the Predators a 3-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday night.
Radek Bonk fired a slap shot from above the right faceoff circle that was stopped by Phoenix goalie Ilya Bryzgalov. The rebound bounced off Radulov’s left shoulder and trickled across the goal line.
“It bounced off of the goalie then off of my shoulder and head and then in,” Radulov said. “They all count, and everybody is happy that the team won, and that is the best thing.”
Radulov established a new Nashville franchise record by scoring a goal in six consecutive games. Steve Sullivan, Greg Johnson and Sergei Krivokrasov were the other Predators to score in five straight games.
“We would have liked to have gotten the two points and given them nothing, but they got the one point,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “The last thing we wanted to do was lose that game. We got a big goal by Rads, and one point on Phoenix and two on a few other teams.”
David Legwand and Martin Erat also scored for Nashville, and Dan Ellis had 35 saves. The Predators outshot the Coyotes 7-0 in overtime.
Shane Doan and Steve Reinprecht had Phoenix’s goals, and Bryzgalov stopped 34 shots.
The Coyotes, who entered the game trailing the Predators by one point in the Western Conference standings, have lost back-to-back games.
Legwand scored the only goal of the first period at the 3:31 mark. Standing in the low slot, he deflected a pass from Erat past Bryzgalov low to the stick side.
Erat made it 2-0 at 5:53 of the second period with a wrist shot from the right faceoff dot.
“He’s a pretty big guy who is tough to score on,” Erat said of Bryzgalov.
Doan got the Coyotes on the scoreboard at 11:56, sending a wrist shot from the high slot through traffic and past Ellis low to the glove side.
The Coyotes had a prime opportunity to tie the game late in the second period when they had a two-man advantage for a full two minutes after Legwand and Rick Peverley were both assessed slashing minors at 14:31. Despite having 17 shots in the second period, Phoenix managed just two shots on goal during the 5-on-3 advantage.
“We got our wires crossed there,” Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said. “We didn’t do the things we wanted to do and the things that we have worked on recently.”
Phoenix did manage to tie the game with 2:57 remaining in the third period on a rebound goal by Reinprecht, who picked up the rebound of Peter Mueller’s shot in the crease and tapped it in for his 13th goal of the season.
“I think we’re definitely glad we got the point,” Reinprecht said. “We had a pretty bad first period, but we picked it up in the last half of the game.”
Nashville’s J.P. Dumont saw his career-and Nashville franchise-high 16-game point scoring streak come to an end one day after signing a US$16-million, four-year contract extension.
Notes: The Predators played without captain Jason Arnott, who sustained a lower leg injury in Thursday night’s victory over Columbus. In missing the game, Arnott’s eight game point scoring streak came to an end. … Nashville D Ryan Suter played in his 200th career NHL game. … Doan has recorded at least one point in 19 of his last 21 games. … Phoenix enforcer Daniel Carcillo increased his NHL-leading penalty minutes total to 204 with a fighting major, a 10-minute misconduct and a game misconduct. … The Coyotes have not allowed a power-play goal in five consecutive games.