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Power play has no juice

The Sports Xchange

--When the Coyotes gave up goals 66 seconds apart midway through the first period against the Predators, it was the first time in nine games in this playoffs that they had trailed by more than one goal.

And once it happened, the Coyotes didn't panic. They didn't fold. But they didn't score either, and most of the 32 shots they put on Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne weren't much of a threat. The Coyotes got some good chances in a 5-on-3 power play in the third period, but they are now 1-for-9 on the power play in this postseason and haven't scored since the first period of the first game.

--Phoenix coach Dave Tippett repeatedly says the positives of Mike Smith's net-wandering outweigh the negative, but that wasn't the case in Game 3.

Smith strayed out of his net and threw a blind pass behind his net that wound up on the stick of Nashville's Gabriel Bourque. Before Smith could scramble back, David Legwand put it into the net and eight minutes of hard word was ruined for Phoenix.

Just over a minute later, Mike Fisher's centering pass for Sergei Kostitsyn rolled up his stick and into the net and Nashville had a 2-0 lead.

The defense can be faulted in each case -- Adrian Aucoin didn't skate back hard on the first goal and Oliver Ekman-Larsson coughed up the puck on the second one. But Smith has been erasing mistakes in the postseason. This time, he played a role in creating them.

"We just have to eliminate the mistakes. At the same time, when we get our opportunities, Pekka Rinne played great tonight. He played the way he can, and we've got to find ways to score." -- Phoenix captain Shane Doan.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


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